AMES, Iowa - Three distance runners from Villanova traveled out to the Iowa State Classic on Friday night and tallied terrific results against top competition at Lied Recreation Center. Headlining the results from the meet was sophomore Andrew Marston (Wayne, Pa.), who broke 14 minutes in the 5000 meters in perhaps the best race of his collegiate career thus far. Redshirt freshman Martin Barr (Skokie, Ill.) also had a big personal best in the 5000 meters, while sophomore Casey Comber (Maple Glen, Pa.) had a strong finish in the 3000 meters.
Marston recorded a time of 13:59.51 in the 5000 meters and finished eighth out of 61 total competitors. His time is the 10th fastest ever recorded by a Wildcats runner indoors, and he moves into ninth place on the program’s all-time indoor performance list. Just nine previous Villanova athletes had broken 14 minutes indoors during the collegiate regular season. Marston also lowered his previous personal best of 14:17.37 by nearly 18 seconds. The previous time had come at last year’s indoor BIG EAST Championships.
Running in the same meet and at the same site where former teammate Patrick Tiernan set the Wildcats indoor record in the 5K four years ago, Marston raced to a time which would have ranked fifth in the nation prior to the start of the weekend. It would also have been the fastest time in the BIG EAST this season by a margin of more than 20 seconds. The current weekend is shaping up to be an active one for many top athletes to begin chasing down potential NCAA qualifying times.
The result in the 5000 meters for Barr is a continuation of what has been a breakthrough year for him, starting during cross country in the fall and carrying over to the indoor track & field campaign. He came in 11th overall in the 5K on Friday night and posted a time of 14:04.14. He shattered his previous personal best mark of 14:53.43 by more than 49 seconds and stayed close behind Marston for much of the race. Barr now slides into 11th place on Villanova’s indoor performance list.
Comber finished eighth out of 30 runners in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:09.06. It is the second-fastest time of his career, trailing only the personal best mark of 8:03.24 which he set at the Columbia Challenge two weeks ago. Comber is also coming off a career best performance in the Mile, as he recorded a time of 4:04.10 in a race at the Villanova Invitational last weekend.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Iowa State Classic
Lied Recreation Center
Casey Comber 8th of 30 8:09.06
Andrew Marston 8th of 61 13:59.51 Martin Barr 11th 14:04.14