March 4, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Redshirt freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) and junior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) each qualified individually for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, while Villanova will also send a distance medley relay squad to the national meet this weekend. The official list of accepted entries to the NCAA Championships was announced on Monday evening.
Denault is a national qualifier in the Mile after becoming the 35th member of the Wildcats sub-four minute Mile club this past weekend. He ran a career best time of 3:59.39 at the Alex Wilson Invitational to secure his spot at the NCAA meet. Ellison qualified in the 800 meters thanks to a time of 1:48.62 which he ran at the Penn State National in January.
In addition to having Denault run a sub-four minute Mile at Notre Dame last weekend the Wildcats also earned their spot at the NCAA Championships in the distance medley relay during that meet. This will be the sixth consecutive season that Villanova sends a DMR to the national championships.
The lineup of freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia), Ellison, junior Chris Fitzsimons (Hamden, Conn.) and sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) recorded a time of 9:30.47 in the DMR, which stands at the ninth-fastest time in the country this year. Villanova was also the BIG EAST champion in the relay, which it won for the 16th time at the indoor conference meet.
Denault will be the third athlete in the last three years from the Wildcats to compete in the Mile at the indoor national championships. He was the individual BIG EAST champion in the event and posted a time of 4:00.04 at the Penn State National in January, a precursor to his sub-four time last weekend.
This is also the first individual appearance at the indoor national championships for Ellison, who is the first Villanova runner to qualify in the 800 meters since the 2009 season. Ellison was a first team All-American in the 800 meters during the past outdoor season and registered his personal best time in the event (1:47.62) in the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships last spring.
The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held this coming Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark. The semifinal heats of the Mile and the 800 meters take place on Friday night at 5:45 p.m. Central time and 7:25 p.m., respectively. The distance medley relay national championship race goes off on Friday as well, starting at 9 p.m. The finals of the Mile and 800 meters are scheduled for Saturday night at 6:10 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Once again this year the NCAA Championships will air live on ESPN3. Live coverage will air on Friday night from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Eastern time and on Saturday evening from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Eastern. There will also be highlights from the championships shown on ESPNU on Sunday, March 17 from 7-9 p.m. Eastern time.