May 5, 2012
TAMPA, Fla.--The highlight of competition on the second day of the BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships for Villanova was a conference championship in the 5000 meters for freshman Samuel McEntee (Perth, Australia), who set a stadium record at the USF Track & Field Stadium on Saturday night. A terrific day for the Wildcats led the team to a second place standing headed into the final day of competition at the conference meet tomorrow.
McEntee ran the 5000 meters for the first time in collegiate competition and races across the finish line with a winning time of 14:19.75, coming in with a margin of victory of just over four seconds over a trio of runners from Syracuse that finished in the second through fourth spots. Junior Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) also scored team points for Villanova with a seventh place (14:29.75) finish in the race.
This is the eighth time that a Wildcats runner has won a BIG EAST title outdoors in the 5000 meters and the first time since Bobby Curtis was a back-to-back winner in 2007 and 2008, the latter year being when Curtis went on to win a national title. McEntee also earns All-BIG EAST honors for his winning effort.
As a team Villanova has accumulated 35.5 points through the first two days of competition. That is good for second place out of 13 competing teams, with the Orange (45 points) leading the way at the top of the team standings. DePaul and Louisville (32 points) are tied for third just behind the Wildcats through the first two days of the meet.
Villanova scored a combined 15.5 points in the jumps on Saturday thanks to the efforts of freshmen Matthew Sidney (Canton, Mass.) and Elbert Maxwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who excelled in the high jump and the long jump. Sidney set a new personal best by clearing a height of 2.07 meters in the high jump and came in third out of 13 competitors. Maxwell was right behind him in a tie for fourth place (2.04 meters).
In the long jump it was Maxwell's turn to establish a personal best and he did so with a jump of 7.39 meters. That put him fourth overall out of 16 athletes and he finished as the runner-up in his individual flight. The previous personal best of 7.24 meters for Maxwell came last month at the Colonial Relays.
Coming up on Sunday the Wildcats will have six athletes competing in the finals of their respective events. One of the high points for the team should come in the 800 meters, where sophomores Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) and Chris Fitzsimons (Hamden, Conn.) had the two fastest times out of 16 runners in the preliminary heats on Saturday evening.
Ellison and Fitzsimons both won their individual heats to automatically qualify for the finals and fifth-year senior Brian Tetreault (Cinnaminson, N.J.) advanced on time with an eightp lace overall finish and a sixth place showing in his individual heat.
In the first of two preliminary heats Fitzsimons crossed the finish line in 1:52.51 and beat out a runner from Notre Dame by just over one-tenth of a second. Both heats were extremely close at the finish line and in the second heat the top four runners were separated by less than four-tenths of a second. The leader in that close group of four was Ellison, who registered a time of 1:50.02. That heat also included Tetreault, whose time of 1:51.09 is a new personal best.
Junior Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) and true freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) each advanced to the finals of the 1500 meters. Tully came in third in his heat with a time of 3:52.07 and moved on automatically with the sixth fastest time out of 25 runners. Denault registered a time of 3:52.12 in the same heat and advanced on time.
In the 400 meter hurdles junior Nicoy Hines (Paterson, N.J.) had a time of 52.20 in the second preliminary heat and advanced on time to the finals. He finished third in his heat and fifth overall out of 14 hurdlers.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Italics indicate a new personal best time or mark in the event
Chris Glennie 12th of 12 52.22 Meters
Matthew Sidney 3rd of 13 2.07 Meters Elbert Maxwell tie-4th 2.04 Meters
Elbert Maxwell 4th of 16 7.39 Meters 2nd of 8 (Flight 1)
Samuel McEntee 1st of 26 14:19.75 Mathew Mildenhall 7th 14:29.75 Matt Kane 15th 14:45.10 Brian Basili 16th 14:46.65
Alex Tully 6th of 25 3:52.07 3rd of 13 (Heat 2) Rob Denault 10th 3:52.12 5th of 13 (Heat 2) Joseph LoRusso tie-14th 3:54.45 6th of 12 (Heat 1)
Bryan Murphy 14th of 16 48.59 5th of 5 (Heat 3)
Samuel Ellison 1st of 16 1:50.02 1st of 8 (Heat 2) Chris Fitzsimons 2nd 1:52.51 1st of 8 (Heat 1) Brian Tetreault 8th 1:51.09 6th of 8 (Heat 2) Dusty Solis 14th 1:53.47 7th of 8 (Heat 1)
400 Meter Hurdles
Nicoy Hines 5th of 14 52.20 3rd of 7 (Heat 2)