Feb. 21, 2014
NEW YORK - Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan...
On winning the distance medley relay: It was perfect, just a joy to watch really and plus my son is on it so for him to be part of something like that is special for me. A time of 9:42 at a conference meet is pretty decent, especially when you are trying to manage the whole weekend and not solely the DMR. This was just part of the whole weekend and all things considered it was a great outcome.
On the way the race played out: This was a big breakthrough for Ben Malone. He had a 1:50.9 split and Chris led off very solid. Cory kept them in it and Dusty was just unbelievable. He broke all the rules that you would try to keep to. Instead of sitting and waiting a while to take your time he caught right up and did it the hard way.
On the unknown factors in a relay: You just never know with a DMR. You don't always know who is available on your own team, let alone the other teams. I was convinced that Ahmed Bile would anchor for Georgetown but I saw him run the 800 leg. So even as the race goes on you don't always know who will run which leg. It is like a lucky bag where you don't know what you are going to get out.
On Chris O'Sullivan running the relay: We had some individual spots open but when you can have a leadoff leg like that with fresh legs that is a big difference. In the end we had three fresh legs in the DMR but based on the individual events we were already entered in that may not have been the case. It is kind of a precautionary tale to cover everything. When you have a fresh leadoff leg it keeps everyone in the race and gives them all a fair shot even if they ran in heats earlier in the day. They can still hang in and be competitive. That probably explains our faster time coming out of it today. It was a great race.
On Pat Tiernan winning the 5000 meters: Pat is just a class act. He is really in control of his events. I don't think he needed to work as hard as he did today in order to win, just in the sense that I think he could have won it from any angle.
On the depth in the team's performances: There were plenty of other great performances that should not go unnoticed. Elbert Maxwell was terrific and you could feel the excitement when he went for the jump that was over 24 feet. The guys in the field events and the weight throw picked up a lot of points for us. We expected some points but the picked up a lot more there, in addition to the pole vault. It was an exciting day where it seemed everyone was on board and coming up big to do what they needed to.
Junior Dusty Solis (DMR anchor leg)...
On the final 1600 meters of the race: Georgetown had a 3-4 second lead. I sat on the Providence runner for a bit and when I got comfortable enough I closed the gap a bit. I lost track of what point in the race it was and I went a little too early. I paid the price for that with 200 meters to go but luckily I had a big enough lead where I could keep it going.
On getting team points: The team score is a huge aspect this year so getting a win in the DMR definitely counts a lot towards that.
Freshman Ben Malone (DMR 800 meters leg)...
On being part of a winning DMR team: "It is huge. There have been so many great middle distance runners and relays at Villanova, whether it is at a BIG EAST meet or Penn Relays or [NCAA Championships]. There is such an excellent history in the program and to be a part of that my freshman year is amazing.
Junior Cory Serfoss (DMR 400 meters leg)...
On doing well in the DMR at the national level: I think we would have to run at least 9:30 to be successful nationally. We have the ability to put a lot of different people [on the relay]. There is a lot of depth on the team and hopefully that will allow us to do well.
Junior Chris O'Sullivan (DMR opening leg)...
On the team score: It is very important. It has been a long time since we last won the team title and we feel like we have a chance to do it. That was a main topic in our meetings and we are off to a good start with a winner in the long jump and getting second in the pole vault. We also had the 5000 meters winner so everyone is going a really good job. I have to give credit to all of the other teams here too because they are very talented, but we came in with the goal of winning as a team.
Freshman Pat Tiernan (5000 meters champion)...
On his race: It went out pretty slow, which is what we expected coming into it. I would have liked to sort of pull away in the middle of the race and that didn't work out so the last couple of laps were a little harder than I would have liked. I still came away with the win and Sam finished third so it is a great result for us.
On his success this year: I'm not sure what it is [that is going particularly well]. It is a different setup than what I am used to and I think that is paying off. We had a great cross country season and coming off of that the results are showing up really well so far. If we can keep it going the way we have been we should be fine the rest of the season.
On feeling stronger and more confident: I feel a lot stronger and more experienced as far as racing goes. Cross country season here is phenomenal. You get a bunch of races that are just sensational and that has benefited my track running. I am still working on knowing when to make a kick but that is all a learning curve and I am excited to see what's in store.
On his first indoor BIG EAST race: It is very special for me. Every race you win is going to be somewhat of a landmark for you. I am here to do two races though so the job is only half done. We need to come out strong again tomorrow and I am sure we can do that.
Senior Sam McEntee (third place in the 5000 meters)...
On having momentum after a great meet at Iowa State last weekend: Some of the guys had fantastic races last week. Pat broke a 33 year old record in the 5K and we ran a very fast DMR. Four or five guys had spectacular runs and that can really build momentum. We don't look at rankings too much but this week we are #10 [in the national computer-rankings] and that is almost unheard of for a distance program like we are. Everyone is pretty much there and we have to get everyone to keep it rolling so that we can get to Nationals and keep it going.
On doubling up in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters: We are both coming back tomorrow. It should be good and hopefully get us some more points towards getting the team title back to Villanova.
On running at the Armory: I love this place. I was just saying to the guys that I haven't been here since the BIG EAST meet two years ago just because of the schedule and how the meets fall. This is my last BIG EAST meet here in a Villanova jersey so I just want to finish strong and see if we can take the team title. I think we have a shot at that. Running the BIG EAST meet here is so much fun. This is the strongest team I have been a part of and everyone is running so well. It has been a great time.