Feb. 4, 2014
NEW YORK - Freshman distance runner Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) is this week's BIG EAST Men's Track Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference office this afternoon. Tiernan made his indoor debut for Villanova last weekend and set a facility record at Penn State in the 3000 meters.
Coming off a sensational cross country season in the fall, Tiernan immediately made an impact in his first indoor race. He raced in the invitational section of the 3000 meters at the Penn State National and won the race with a time of 7:57.75. Tiernan is only the third Wildcats runner in the past five indoor seasons to break eight minutes in the 3000 meters.
In addition to the first place finish Tiernan also set a new meet and facility record at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. The previous record of 7:58.51 had stood for 14 years since being set by Robert Gary of Adidas in 2000. Tiernan's time ranks eighth in the nation this season.
Villanova enjoyed two successful days of competition at the Penn State National. The meet began with the Wildcats running in the invitational section of the distance medley relay last Friday night. A lineup that consisted of sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia), freshman Ayomide Obadare (Elmont, N.Y.), senior Chris FitzsSimons (Hamden, Conn.) and sophomore Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) recorded a time of 9:36.89. That currently ranks seventh in the nation for the current season.
Tiernan is in his first year of eligibility at Villanova and during the fall was named the Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). He was the individual champion at both the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and the BIG EAST Championships before going on to finish in ninth place and earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championships.
Next on the schedule for the Wildcats is the Armory Collegiate Invitational this weekend. The competition will begin on Friday night and continue throughout the day on Saturday.