March 12, 2013
NEW ORLEANS--Villanova had a successful weekend of competition at the NCAA Championships and on Monday afternoon was rewarded with a total of six All-America honors by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The highlight of the results for the weekend was a fifth place finish in the distance medley relay for the Wildcats, with all four members of the relay lineup earning first team All-America accolades.
Freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia), juniors Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) and Chris Fitzsimons (Hamden, Conn.), and sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) recorded a time of 9:35.46 in a physical race. Villanova's fifth place finish was four spots higher than its seed entering the race. This is the second time in the last three years that the Wildcats have recorded an All-American finish indoors in the distance medley relay. Last month Villanova also won a BIG EAST title in the DMR.
Williamsz anchored the Wildcats in the DMR at the conference meet and also finished third individually in the 3000 meters to earn All-BIG EAST honors. He led off the distance medley relay at the NCAA meet with a split of 2:55.72 for the first 1200 meters.
In the second leg of the relay Ellison produced a split of 46.89 over 400 meters. It was the second race of the night for Ellison, who earlier ran in the semifinal heats of the 800 meters. He finished seventh in his heat with a time of 1:49.22 and is a second team All-American in that event. These are the second and third career All-America accolades for Ellison, who was a first team honoree in the 800 meters at the outdoor NCAA Championships last season. This season he won his first four individual races, earned All-BIG EAST honors in the 500 meters and ran on both the DMR and 4x400 meter relay squads at the conference meet.
FitzSimons is also having a strong season for Villanova and is an All-American for the first time in his career. He had a split of 1:50.03 on the third leg of the DMR at the NCAA meet. FitzSimons was the individual BIG EAST champion in the 800 meters and also ran on the Wildcats 4x400 meter relay team at the conference meet. Including both the indoor and outdoor seasons FitzSimons is a two-time BIG EAST champion and three-time All-BIG EAST honoree during his career.
The final results of the DMR came down to the very end of the anchor leg and McEntee had a split of 4:02.83 for Villanova. He repeats as an indoor All-American after earning first team honors in the Mile last year. McEntee doubled up individually in the 3000 meters and the 5000 meters at the BIG EAST Championships last month, winning the conference title in the 3000 meters and coming in fifth in the 5000 meters. He is a three-time All-American and three-time BIG EAST champion during his career, including both the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.
Redshirt freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) earned second team All-America recognition in the Mile after a seventh place finish in his semifinal heat. Earlier this season Denault became the 35th member of the Wildcats prestigious sub-four minute Mile club when he recorded a time of 3:59.39 at the Alex Wilson Invitational. He was the BIG EAST champion in the Mile and also ran the third leg of the runner-up 4x800 meter relay at the conference meet.