Feb. 14, 2014
AMES, Iowa--Freshman distance runner Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) eclipsed the previous facility record at Lied Recreation Center and finished with the nation's second-leading time in the 5000 meters at the Iowa State Classic on Friday evening. He ran a blistering time of 13:37.73 to finish second in the race by less than four-tenths of a second. Villanova also had a terrific performance in the distance medley relay, registering a first-place finish while beating Georgetown and notching the nation's fifth-ranked time.
"Pat did most of the work in the race so I thought it was a great effort by him," Wildcats coach Marcus O'Sullivan said. "It was also a very nice win for the DMR. We will have to see if that is enough to be an NCAA qualifying time."
Tiernan and Reed Connor of Wisconsin were separated by just 0.31 seconds at the finish line. Connor came in first in 13:37.42 and was followed closely behind by Tiernan, as the two runners moved into the top two spots in the nation this season in the 5000 meters. The top four overall finishers in the race each beat the previous Iowa State Classic meet record. Connor and Tiernan both crossed the finish line faster than the old building record of 13:38.23, which had stood since 1998.
The first two races of the indoor season for Tiernan have been noteworthy ones. He set a facility record in the 3000 meters at Penn State last month with a time of 7:57.75 at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track and ranks 12th in the country in that event.
A great finish set up in the distance medley relay, with the top three teams in the field of 10 all being BIG EAST squads. The winning time for Villanova was 9:35.08 and was less than two-tenths of a second faster than the runner-up Hoyas. Butler (9:37.35) and the rest of the field was more than two seconds behind the pace that the Wildcats and Georgetown set.
Sophomore Dusty Solis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led off the relay and was followed by senior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.), junior Chris FitzSimons (Hamden, Conn.) and senior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia). Entering the race Villanova was ranked seventh in the nation in the DMR this season and they moved up two spots with the results of tonight's race.
In the opening leg of the DMR, Solis had an unofficial 1200 meters split of 2:55. That was followed by Ellison running one of the fastest relay splits of his career, 46.2, in the 400 meters. FitzSimons ran the 800 meters in 1:50.0 on the relay before passing off to McEntee, who closed out the win with a split of 4:02 ove 1600 meters.
Coming up on Saturday the Wildcats will continue to compete in individual events at the Iowa State meet. Ellison, FitzSimons and Solis are scheduled for the 800 meters, while McEntee will run in the 3000 meters. Sophomores Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) and Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) will compete in the Mile.