May 14, 2012
SWARTHMORE, Pa.--Freshman middle distance runner Samuel McEntee (Perth, Australia) had an incredible race in the 1500 meters at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet on Monday night and will get a great deal of recognition around the country for his time of 3:36.81, a personal best by more than six seconds.
McEntee was the second collegiate runner across the finish line and came in fourth overall in the Jim Tuppeny section of the 1500 meters. Tuppeny, a legend in his own right, was a longtime Villanova assistant coach and the Swarthmore meet was previously held at Villanova Stadium and named in Tuppeny's memory.
This year has already been a memorable one for McEntee but his race on Monday night may have been his best effort yet. His time of 3:36.81 is the approximate equivalent of a time of 3:53 in the Mile and firmly establishes McEntee as one of the top middle distance runners in the nation as he prepares for the upcoming NCAA regional and national meets.
Despite its name the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet was not an officially recognized "last chance meet" in terms of qualifying times for the upcoming NCAA meets. Had the time for McEntee last night counted towards the outdoor season rankings he would have run the third fastest time in the entire nation for the current season.
In yesterday's race McEntee trailed Kyle Merber of Columbia, who ran a time of 3:35.59 to run the race. Earlier this season Lawi Lalang of Arizona registered a time of 3:36.77 in a meet at Stanford, a time just four-hundredths of a second faster than what McEntee ran on Monday evening.
McEntee remains in good shape to qualify for the NCAA East Regional in the 1500 meters. His time of 3:45.15 in the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton earlier this season is ranked 43rd in the East Region, with declarations for the NCAA regional meet to be announced later this week.
Two other strong results for the Wildcats at the Swarthmore meet came from freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) in the 1500 meters and sophomore Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) in the 800 meters. Denault won the main section of the 1500 meters with a personal best time of 3:42.26, which paced the field of 81 runners. In the 800 meters Tully set a personal best of 1:51.75 while coming in eighth out of 88 runners in the event.
Denault has come on strong late in the season for Villanova and should continue to move forward as a result of his race in the 1500 meters on Monday night. Although his time will not count for consideration for the NCAA meets he took a big step towards being chosen to compete in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Spain this summer.
NOTES: The previous personal best for McEntee in the 1500 meters was 3:43.34, set at this same meet last season as an unattached runner ... McEntee is a sophomore academically at Villanova who is a freshman in outdoor track this season ... At the bottom of this release is a list of highlights for McEntee during the 2012 calendar year.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Alex Tully 8th of 88 1:51.75 Chris O'Sullivan 27th 1:54.73 Chris Pietrocarlo 42nd 1:57.38 Philip O'Connell 43rd 1:57.44
1500 Meters (Jim Tuppeny)
Samuel McEntee 4th of 15 3:36.81
Rob Denault 1st of 81 3:42.26 Dusty Solis 12th 3:51.32 Dan Harris 32nd 3:55.35 Brian Basili 35th 3:55.65 Charlie Bates 40th 3:57.65 Matt Kane 43rd 3:58.17 John Pickhaver 46th 3:59.60 John Castillo 58th 4:03.24 Richie Bohny 67th 4:11.66
Samuel McEntee 2012 TIMELINE
Runs the first sub-four minute mile of his career at the Penn State National meet
Anchors Villanova to a victory in the distance medley relay at the Millrose Games
BIG EAST champion in the 4x800 meter relay, running third leg of relay for Villanova
All-BIG EAST in the Mile with a runner-up finish at the conference championships
Places fourth in the Mile at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Named a USTFCCCA first team All-American in the Mile
Anchors the Villanova distance medley relay at the Penn Relays
Runs the second leg of the 4x800 meter relay at the Penn Relays
BIG EAST outdoor champion in the 5000 meters
Runs a personal best time of 3:36.81 in the Jim Tuppeny 1500 meters at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet