June 17, 2014
NEW ORLEANS--Sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Perth, Australia) and freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) were each recognized as first team All-Americans in an announcement made by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday afternoon. Villanova received a total of four All-America honors for the outdoor season, with senior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) and junior Elbert Maxwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also earning honorable mention All-America distinction. All four athletes competed for the Wildcats at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. last week.
Williamsz finished in fifth place in the final of the 1500 meters on Saturday afternoon and produced a collegiate best time of 3:40.25 to record the best finish in the 1500 meters by a Villanova runner in three years. His two races at the national championships are the two fastest of his collegiate career, as he also finished in 3:41.23 in the semifinal heats. Williamsz ran the metric equivalent of sub-four minute miles in both the semifinals and the championship race. He has now run four such races during his career and is the 20th person out of the 36 sub-four minute milers in Wildcats history to achieve the feat at least four times.
The outdoor season was a very successful one for Williamsz, who was the BIG EAST champion in the 1500 meters to help Villanova claim its sixth team title at the conference meet. Williamsz also ran a leg of the Championship of America winning 4x800 meter relay at the Penn Relays. He was previously a first team All-American in the Mile indoors.
In the national championship race of the 5000 meters, Tiernan produced a lifetime best mark of 13:31.25 and finished sixth in a field stacked with the best distance runner in the country. He sliced nearly 6.5 seconds off his previous personal best and became the second-fastest 5000 meters runner in school history behind NCAA record holder Sydney Maree. Tiernan ran a strong race from start to finish, producing splits of 2:41.26 through 1000 meters and 8:05.93 at the 3000 meters mark.
Prior to the national championships Tiernan won the BIG EAST title in the 5000 meters and was an automatic qualifier for the NCAA meet by finishing fourth in his heat at the NCAA East Preliminary last month. He was also the BIG EAST champion in the 5000 meters indoors and during the season broke Maree's indoor school record with a time of 13:37.73 at Iowa State in February.
Ellison competed at the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters for the third straight year and placed eighth in his semifinal meet. His time of 1:51.07 put him 22nd overall. Ellison was in top form during the outdoor season and his accomplishments included setting a personal best time of 1:47.60 in the national quarterfinals heats of the 800 meters. He also anchored the Wildcats to the Penn Relays win in the 4x800 meter relay and anchored the BIG EAST champion 4x400 meter relay.
In his first career appearance at the NCAA Championships, Maxwell came in 21st overall in the long jump. His top mark in three attempts at last week's meet was 6.99 meters and came during rainy and windy conditions. Maxwell qualified for the national championships by setting a personal best mark of 7.52 meters at the NCAA East Preliminary, where he placed 11th overall in a field of 48 athletes. Maxwell was also the BIG EAST long jump champion both indoors and outdoors.
Throughout its history Villanova has had 73 student-athletes combine to receive 131 All-America honors during the outdoor track & field season.