March 2, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Redshirt freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) became the latest member of the elite club of sub-four minute milers at Villanova with a career-best time of 3:59.39 in the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday afternoon. Denault is the 35th member of the Wildcats to run a sub-four minute mile and the 11th to do so under head coach Marcus O'Sullivan.
"The sub-four minute mile is such a big part of our tradition and history," O'Sullivan said. "It is great to see Rob become the latest Villanovan to reach this prestigious accomplishment."
Denault had come within five-hundredths of a second of one of running's greatest accomplishments earlier this season at the Penn State National so it was no surprise to see him lower his time while competing against a field that included some of the top runners in the nation. Denault had the fourth fastest time overall out of 33 competitors in Saturday's race and came in third in his section.
The group of sub-four minute milers from Villanova has combined to meet the standard a total of 343 times over the years and that is in addition to another 296 races meeting the 1500 meters equivalent (3:42.20). Denault is the second active member of the Wildcats to be a part of the club, joining sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) who had a time of 3:57.86 last season.
Villanova had three other runners in competition at the Alex Wilson meet on Saturday afternoon. Junior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) ran in the 800 meters and came in fourth in his section with a time of 1:49.84. His time was the 15th fastest overall out of 52 runners in the field.
Freshmen Donald Urschel (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Alex Reber (Cherry Hill, N.J.) ran in the 400 meters and each had season best times in the event. Urschel came in third in his section with a time of 48.74 and Reber was sixth in his section, crossing the finish line in 49.11.
The two days of competition for the Wildcats at Notre Dame each provided a memorable highlight. Last night Villanova qualified for the NCAA Championships in the distance medley relay with the ninth-fastest time in the country.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Donald Urschel 48.74 28/34 3/4 (Section 2/7) Alex Reber 49.11 31/34 6/6 (Section 3/7)
Samuel Ellison 1:49.84 15/52 4/7 (Section 7/7)
Rob Denault 3:59.39 4/33 3/11 (Section 3/3)