Oct. 5, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.--Each of the seven runners in the Villanova lineup finished in the top 20 overall and the Wildcats earned a runner-up finish in the team standings at the Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday morning. Both the team and individual results were outstanding for Villanova in the race at Agri Park, where the Wildcats and host Arkansas dominated the field of 14 teams that were competing in the University division of the men's 8,000 meter race.
Villanova entered the meet with a No. 27 national ranking and finished with a team score of 44 in the meet, second by a close margin to the Razorbacks (31), who are No. 5 in the national rankings and were running on their home course. The spread from one to five among the Wildcats counting runners was just 39 seconds.
Freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) led Villanova with a fourth place finish and crossed the finish line in 24:27.0. This is the second straight race in which Tiernan has been the top Wildcats finisher, as he was also the individual champion at the Main Line Invitational last month.
Sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) and junior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) came in eighth and 13th, respectively. Williamsz registered a time of 24:37.8 and McEntee finished in 24:54.3. The five counting runners for Villanova also included junior Brian Basili (South Orange, N.J.) in 15th place (25:02.1) and sophomore Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) in 19th place (25:06.1).
The top two individuals in the race, which included 327 runners, were Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech and Kemoy Campbell of Arkansas. The pair was well in front of the rest of the pack, with Kithuka winning in 23:28.1 and Campbell crossing the line in 23:34.8. Razorbacks runner Stanley Kebenei was third in 24:08.0.
Following two local races to start the season the Wildcats were competing in their first scored meet of the year. The core trio of Tiernan, Williamsz and McEntee was once again strong but the performance of the rest of the team's lineup is what showcased the tremendous depth of the Villanova roster.
Redshirt freshman Harry Warnick (Fairfield, Conn.) came in 21st overall (25:09.5) and senior Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) finished in 30th place (25:26.0). Wildcats head coach Marcus O'Sullivan noted the finishes of Basili and Warnick specifically as being highlights of the day for Villanova.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, October 19 to compete in the Princeton Invitational.
NOTES: The successful showing for the Wildcats on Saturday came amidst threatening weather conditions in Fayetteville ... The men's Open race scheduled for 9 a.m. was delayed due to weather and pushed back the start of the collegiate race that Villanova ran in ... Races for the day were halted for good at 2:35 p.m. due to lightning in the area.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Men's Collegiate Race
Patrick Tiernan 4th of 327 24:27.0 Jordy Williamsz 8th 24:37.8 Sam McEntee 13th 24:54.3 Brian Basili 15th 25:02.1 Rob Denault 19th 25:06.1 Harry Warnick 21st 25:09.5 Alex Tully 30th 25:26.0 Kevin Corbusier 34th 25:29.4 Dusty Solis 126th 26:52.5
Team Standings (Top 10)
1. Arkansas 31 2. Villanova 44 3. Texas Tech 91 4. North Texas 110 5. Loyola Marymount 114 6. Baylor 161 7. Arkansas-Little Rock 188 8. Central Arkansas 264 9. Louisiana Monroe 274 10. Louisiana Tech 276