STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Led by a conference title in the distance medley relay and three individual scorers in the 5000 meters, Villanova scored 45 team points and stands in second place after one day of competition at the BIG EAST Championships. The conference meet got underway with five scored events and the preliminary heats of the sprints and middle distance events on Friday at Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex.
The winning lineup for the Wildcats in the DMR was sophomore Logan Wetzel (Saline, Mich.), freshman Tory Young (Baltimore, Md.), sophomore Lucas Arrivo (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and sophomore Casey Comber (Maple Glen, Pa.). The quartet posted a winning time of 9:48.31 and finished with a three-second margin of victory over Butler and the rest of the six-team field. Comber closed with a particularly strong anchor leg in which he split 4:02.97 for the final 1600 meters, a time which is roughly equivalent to his 4:04.10 personal best in the mile.
Wetzel led off the relay with a split of 2:59.12 for the first 1200 meters, while Young followed in 49.47 on the 400 meter leg and Arrivo split 1:56.77 over 800 meters. Villanova has won the DMR more times than any other event at the indoor BIG EAST Championships, with today’s win marking the team’s 18th conference crown in the event all-time and the fifth in the last six years.
Sophomore distance runner Andrew Marston (Wayne, Pa.) led a trio of Wildcats who scored in the 5000 meters. Marston was the runner-up with a time of 14:03.11 to notch the second-fastest time of his career, while redshirt freshmen Martin Barr (Skokie, Ill.) and Rob Morro (Media, Pa.) were fourth (14:28.39) and sixth (14:30.55), respectively. Marston was also the runner-up at last year’s meet and will now be an All-BIG EAST performer in the event for the second time in his career.
Villanova also had multiple scorers in both the pole vault and the long jump. Senior James Deutmeyer (Rye, N.Y.) came in fourth in the pole vault with a height of 4.40 meters in his season debut, while fifth-year senior Zack McDermott (Little Silver, N.J.) finished seventh in 3.80 meters in addition to competing in the first four events of the heptathlon during the day. In the long jump, sophomore Steve Testa (Warminster, Pa.) came in fourth with a jump of 6.81 meters and freshman Michael Troup (Doylestown, Pa.) followed with a fifth place finish and a mark of 6.79 meters.
Sophomore thrower Jadyn Anczarski (Ringtown, Pa.) was the team’s final scorer of the day with a sixth place finish in the weight throw. His mark of 14.24 meters is the second-best of his career. The first four events of the heptathlon were completed during Friday’s action and McDermott currently stands in third place with a score of 2,746 points. Junior Michael Morrow (Danbury, Conn.) is in seventh place with 2,414 points.
In the events which held preliminary heats on Friday, the Wildcats qualified a total of 10 athletes for tomorrow’s finals. Freshman sprinter Brian Faust (Stone Mountain, Ga.) had the fastest overall time in the preliminaries of the 400 meters, as he won his heat in 48.44. Junior Harry Purcell (Dublin, Ireland) also won his preliminary heat in 48.85 and is ranked third going into the final.
Villanova also had the fastest qualifier in the 800 meters, where senior Ishmael Muhammad (Mays Landing, N.J.) won his heat in 1:51.24. He will be joined in the final by senior Ben Malone (River Vale, N.J.) and junior Ville Lampinen (Vantaa, Finland), who were each automatic qualifiers with times of 1:51.45 and 1:54.24.
Junior Sterling Pierce (Voorhees, N.J.) advanced to the final in both the 60 meters and the 200 meters. He will be joined in the 200 meters final by freshman Amir Brock (Egg Harbor Twp., N.J.), as the pair posted nearly identical times of 21.87 and 21.88 in the preliminary heats. Pierce also had a time of 6.91 in the preliminaries of the 60 meters.
In the prelims of the Mile, redshirt freshman Nick Steele (Princeton, Mass.) and junior Zach Swenson (Boulder, Colo.) advanced to the final with times of 4:14.60 and 4:13.97, respectively. Steele won his heat and Swenson finished fourth in his heat to also be an automatic qualifier.
Action resumes on Saturday morning with the resumption of the heptathlon at 10 a.m., followed by the start of the field and running events at 11 a.m.