Three Wildcats Earn First Team All-America Honors
March 18, 2014
NEW ORLEANS--Senior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.), sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) and freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) all received first team All-America honors on Monday afternoon from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Villanova had seven All-Americans in all, including four second team honors for the Wildcats distance medley relay squad which consisted of Ellison, junior Dusty Solis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and seniors Chris FitzSimons (Hamden, Conn.) and Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia).
At the NCAA Championships last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M., Villanova had each of its three athletes that qualified for an individual event receive first team All-America honors by placing in the top eight of their respective event. Ellison came in sixth in the 800 meters after advancing on time to the final in the preliminary heats. He posted times of 1:49.53 in the preliminaries and 1:50.13 in the final to notch his highest ever individual finish at a national meet. Ellison also earned second team All-America honors for running the 400 meters leg of the DMR and is now a six-time All-American during his Wildcats career. He has received All-America honors indoors in each of the last two seasons in both the DMR and the 800 meters.
Tiernan continued his sensational first year of collegiate competition with a seventh place finish in the 5000 meters. He crossed the finish line with a time of 14:00.83 to notch his second fastest time of the season and become the first Villanova indoor All-American in the 5000 meters in more than a decade. Tiernan was also the BIG EAST champion in the 5000 meters and an All-BIG EAST performer in the 3000 meters during the indoor season, which came after he was a cross country All-American during the fall and helped the Wildcats win both the BIG EAST and NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional team titles.
In his first individual appearance at the NCAA Championships, Williamsz came in eighth in the Mile. He made an incredible sprint to the finish line in his preliminary heat to assure an automatic berth in the final and then crossed the finish line in 4:04.79 in the final race. Earlier this season Williamsz ran his first official sub-four minute mile with a time of 3:56.84 at the Iowa State Classic, which is the fastest time by a Villanovan since head coach Marcus O'Sullivan ran faster during his own racing career. If his time in the NCAA final was converted based on the altitude in New Mexico, Williamsz would have notched another sub-four minute mile. As a freshman last season Williamsz was a first team All-American indoors in the DMR.
The DMR squad of Solis, Ellison, FitzSimons and McEntee placed ninth with a time of 9:51.63. Solis receives his first career All-America honor, while FitzSimons and McEntee are repeat indoor All-Americans. FitzSimons earned first team honors on the DMR last year and McEntee is now a five-time All-American between the indoor and outdoor seasons.
O'Sullivan is in his 16th season at Villanova and has now coached 80 All-Americans during his Wildcats career, including 47 during the indoor season alone.