NEW YORK - On the heels of winning its four indoor BIG EAST title in the last five seasons, Villanova had 18 student-athletes combine to earn 25 All-BIG EAST honors in an announcement made by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. Last week’s championship performance by the Wildcats included winning five events at the meet, with two individual conference champions in addition to a sweep of the three relays. Villanova has won a total of seven indoor BIG EAST crowns.
Junior sprinter Harry Purcell (Dublin, Ireland) and sophomore distance runner Casey Comber (Maple Glen, Pa.) each combined winning an individual event with running on one of the Wildcats conference champion relays. Purcell won the BIG EAST title in the 400 meters with a time of 47.49 in the final, and he also ran the third leg of the 4x400 meter relay which posted a winning time of 3:12.84. Purcell had a split of 47.65 for his leg of the race. The win in the 4x400 relay clinched the team’s conference title. Comber anchored the distance medley relay victory on the first day of the meet with a split of 4:02.97 on the 1600 meter final leg. He then became an individual BIG EAST champion for the first time in his career when he won the 3000 meters in 8:05.39 a day later.
The rest of the lineup aside from Purcell in the 4x400 relay included freshman Amir Brock (Egg Harbor Twp., N.J.), junior Ville Lampinen (Vantaa, Finland) and freshman Brian Faust (Stone Mountain, Ga.). Brock had a split of 48.98 on the relay’s opening leg and was followed by Lampinen with a split of 48.84 on the second leg. Lampinen also earned individual All-BIG EAST honors for a third place finish in the 800 meters. Faust anchored the relay with a split of 47.38 after earlier finishing second to Purcell in the 400 meters. He crossed the finish line in 47.69 in the final.
Senior Ishmael Muhammad (Mays Landing, N.J.) anchored the 4x800 meter relay to a winning time of 7:32.76. Junior Zach Swenson (Boulder, Colo.) led off the race with a split of 1:56.29 for the first leg, followed by senior Ben Malone (River Vale, N.J.) splitting 1:51.49 on the second leg and redshirt freshman Nick Steele (Princeton, Mass.) posting a split of 1:55.43 on the third leg. Muhammad’s split for the final 800 meters was 1:49.56 and Villanova held off runner-up Georgetown by a quarter of a second at the finish line.
Running in front of Comber on the distance medley relay were sophomore Logan Wetzel (Saline, Mich.), freshman Tory Young (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Lucas Arrivo (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Wetzel had a split of 2:59.12 on the leadoff leg of the relay and also earned individual all-conference recognition for finishing third in the Mile with a time of 4:10.64. Young and Arrivo had DMR splits of 49.47 for 400 meters and 1:56.77 for 800 meters, respectively.
Junior sprinter Sterling Pierce (Voorhees, N.J.) was the Wildcats lone athlete to earn All-BIG EAST honors in more than one individual event. He was the runner-up in the 200 meters with a time of 21.53 and also came in third in the 60 meters in 6.89. The other Villanova runner to earn all-conference recognition was sophomore Andrew Marston (Wayne, Pa.), who was the runner-up in the 5000 meters with a time of 14:03.11.
Multi-event competitor Zack McDermott (Little Silver, N.J.) finished third in the heptathlon and set a school record with a score of 4,925 points. Freshmen Ryan Tompkins (Farmingdale, N.J.) and Jacob Kelly (Longmeadow, Mass.) came in second and third, respectively, in the high jump with marks of 2.00 meters and 1.95 meters. Rounding out the field athletes on the All-BIG EAST squad was junior thrower Henry Sise (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), who came in third in the shot put with a throw of 15.12 meters.
VILLANOVA ALL-BIG EAST HONORS
Lucas Arrivo: distance medley relay
Amir Brock: 4x400 relay
Casey Comber: 3000 meters, distance medley relay
Brian Faust: 400 meters, 4x400 relay
Jacob Kelly: high jump
Ville Lampinen: 800 meters, 4x400 relay
Ben Malone: 4x800 relay
Andrew Marston: 5000 meters
Zack McDermott: heptathlon
Ishmael Muhammad: 4x800 relay
Sterling Pierce: 60 meters, 200 meters
Harry Purcell: 400 meters, 4x400 relay
Henry Sise: shot put
Nick Steele: 4x800 relay
Zach Swenson: 4x800 relay
Ryan Tompkins: high jump
Logan Wetzel: Mile, distance medley relay
Tory Young: distance medley relay