May 5, 2013
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Junior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) successfully defended his title in the 800 meters and also ran a leg on the 4x400 meter relay squad which earned All-BIG EAST honors at the BIG EAST Championships on Sunday afternoon. Villanova wrapped up competition at the Rutgers Track & Field Complex and finished in ninth place in the final team standings. During the conference meet the Wildcats had a total of seven All-BIG EAST honors, including a third place finish in the 4x400 relay.
Ellison was the individual champion in the 800 meters with a time of 1:49.90, crossing the finish line a quarter of a second in front of Monroe Kearns from the host Scarlet Knights. Ellison won the 800 meters last year at the BIG EAST meet and had the fastest time in the preliminary heats yesterday. He is the first back-to-back outdoor champion since Jesse O'Connell of Georgetown won the title in 2003 and 2004, while this year marks the ninth time that a Villanova a runner has been the individual champion. Counting both the indoor and outdoor seasons Ellison is now a six-time All-BIG EAST performer.
In the 4x400 meter relay the Wildcats registered a time of 3:12.77 with a lineup that included freshman Alex Reber (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Ellison, sophomore Bryan Murphy (Teaneck, N.J.) and freshman Donald Urschel (East Brunswick, N.J.). Villanova was just three-tenths of a second behind runner-up Rutgers in the relay.
The other highlights for the Wildcats on Sunday came from freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) in the finals of the 1500 meters. They finished second and third, respectively, and combined to set the pace for the majority of the race before Williamsz was narrowly edged out for the conference title by Jeremy Rae of Notre Dame in the final straightaway. Williamsz crossed the finish line with a time of 3:47.83 and was a mere seven-hundredths of a second behind Rae, who made a big surge on the final turn but did not take the lead until his final few strides.
Denault finished with a time of 3:48.53 as both he and Williamsz earn outdoor All-BIG EAST honors for the first time. Senior Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) came in seventh with a time of 3:51.38 to give Villanova three scorers in the 1500 meters.
Later in the afternoon Denault also ran the 4x800 meter relay, in which the Wildcats notched a fifth place finish with a time of 7:37.41. Senior Andrew Golato (Springfield, Pa.) led off the relay for Villanova and was followed by junior Chris O'Sullivan (Havertown, Pa.), Denault and Tully.
Sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) competed in the 5000 meters and finished in fifth place with a time of 14:33.37.
VILLANOVA SUNDAY RESULTS
Samuel Ellison 1st of 8 1:49.90 Dusty Solis 5th 1:50.45
Jordy Williamsz 2nd of 12 3:47.83 Rob Denault 3rd 3:48.53 Alex Tully 7th 3:51.38
Sam McEntee 5th of 18 14:33.37 John Pickhaver 14th 15:04.59 Tom Trainer 18th 15:23.83
4x400 Meter Relay
Villanova 3rd of 11 3:12.77 Alex Reber Samuel Ellison Bryan Murphy Donald Urschel
4x800 Meter Relay
Villanova 5th of 11 7:37.41 Andrew Golato Chris O'Sullivan Rob Denault Alex Tully