April 26, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Villanova men turned in a strong performance and finished second in the DMR Championship of America race at the Penn Relays on Friday afternoon. Villanova ran 9:26.80 to finish behind Penn State who had a winning time of 9:24.68.
"I am happy in terms of time," said head coach Marcus O'Sullivan. "I am disappointed in terms of not winning. It is important for us to come here and win. We're in a good state, we're competitive, we're mixing it up. There were three great teams in that race today."
Junior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) ran the leadoff 1200 meter leg for Villanova and was timed in 2:53.0. McEntee found himself in the middle of the pack with a little less than 400 meters left. It was then that he made a strong push to move past four teams. McEntee's late surge was good enough for second place behind Oregon as he handed the baton to junior Sam Ellison (Dresher, Pa.).
"When we walk to the locker room every day you see 20 or 30 Penn Relay wheel championships and Marcus always makes note of it," said McEntee. "It is a rich history. I was walking out to the track today and one of the other schools was getting ready. I heard their coach say `there is Villanova, follow them, they know what they're doing.' People know we are here."
Ellison ran the quarter in 46.0 and cut into the 15 meter deficit he faced when he started his leg. Ellison's effort allowed him to pass the baton to junior Chris FitzSimons (Hamden, Conn.) a split second behind the Penn State Nittany Lions.
FitzSimons, Penn State's Casimir Loxsom and Oregon's Elijah Greer ran neck and neck for the first 500 meters of the 800 meter leg. With 300 meters to go, Loxsom made a move that would allow Penn State to open up a three second lead heading into the 1600 meter anchor leg. FitzSimons was credited with a split of 1:49.4.
It took Wildcat freshman anchor Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) less than a lap to catch Robby Creese of Penn State and Jeramy Elkaim of Oregon. After Williamsz caught up to the lead pack the pace slowed down considerably as the race became a tactical affair with each runner waiting for the right time to make his move. The slower pace allowed Indiana's Andrew Bayer to get the Hoosiers back into the race, as Bayer had his team within five meters with 600 meters remaining.
Creese and Elkaim made a move with 300 meters left and opened up a lead over Williamsz and Bayer. Williamsz had one last push in him and he made a charge around the final turn. His effort was good enough to pass Elkaim, but he ran out of track and was unable to reel Creese in.
Later on Friday afternoon Villanova competed in the preliminary heats of the 4x400 meter relay, finishing with a time of 3:13.65. The lineup of freshman Alex Reber (Cherry Hill, N.J.), sophomore Bryan Murphy (Teaneck, N.J.), freshman Donald Urschel (East Brunswick, N.J.) and senior Kyle Chou (Wilmington, Del.) came in 25th overall out of 69 teams as the Wildcats finished sixth in their heat. Based on the preliminary heats Villanova qualified for the IC4A section of the 4x400 meter relay, which takes place early Saturday evening.
In the Eastern section of the long jump senior Lazaro Tiant (Roselle, N.J.) recorded a mark of 6.77 meters. This is the longest outdoor jump for Tiant during his collegiate career, and he placed 13th overall.