June 12, 2012
NEW ORLEANS--The official All-America teams for the outdoor track & field season were released today by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and Villanova athletes Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) and Samuel McEntee (Perth, Australia) each received All-America recognition for their efforts at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships last week.
Ellison earned first team All-America accolades and McEntee was a second team honoree based on their finishes in the 800 meters and the 1500 meters, respectively, at the national meet. McEntee was also a first team All-American in the Mile during the indoor season.
At the NCAA Championships last week Ellison was an automatic qualifier for the national championship race in the 800 meters. He came in second in his semifinal heat on the first night of competition and then ran a personal best time of 1:47.62 to finish in eighth place in the finals. The top-eight finish guaranteed Ellison first team All-America status and also marked the third time this year that he lowered his top time in the 800 meters.
Ellison wrapped up an incredible outdoor season which saw him win the individual BIG EAST title in the 800 meters and - from the beginning of the indoor campaign through end of the outdoor season - lower his personal best time by 3.6 seconds. Ellison was an automatic qualifier in each postseason round of the 800 meters, beginning with a strong finish in the first round and then continuing with the quarterfinal and semifinal heats.
In addition to his individual success Ellison was also a part of the Wildcats lineup in both the distance medley relay and the 4x800 meter relay at the Penn Relays, running the anchor leg of the latter race. During the indoor season he was a BIG EAST champion as the anchor of the 4x800 relay at the conference meet.
McEntee finished in ninth place in the finals of the 1500 meters at the NCAA Championships after a pair of tremendous races in the semifinals and then the national championship race. He was an automatic qualifier for the finals after a surge in the final 150 meters of his semifinal heat gave him a fifth place finish. The top five runners in his heat all were automatic qualifiers for the finals and they were separated by a mere sixteen-hundredths of a second at the finish line.
In the national championship race last weekend McEntee was part of a race that was so tight that with 400 meters to go the entire field of 12 runners was separated by just 0.85 seconds. Over the course of the final lap McEntee moved up four spots into ninth place, a finish that was good enough to move him ahead of an Oklahoma State runner who was in first place at the start of the bell lap.
McEntee made headlines at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet earlier this season when he ran the 10th fastest time in the 1500 meters in the history of NCAA competition. He crossed the finish line in 3:36.81 at that meet to establish his personal top time as well as break into the NCAA top 10 all-time.
During the outdoor season McEntee was the individual BIG EAST champion in the 5000 meters and joined Ellison in running both of the Villanova relays at Penn. McEntee placed fourth in the Mile at the NCAA Championships indoors and in January became the 34th Villanovan to run a sub-four minute mile.