Oct. 13, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) was the team's top runner and Villanova had a split of only 50 seconds between its top six runners at the Pre-NCAA Meet at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park on Saturday morning. As a team the Wildcats placed eighth out of 40 teams in a field that included seven other nationally-ranked squads.
Mildenhall came in 32nd out of 272 runners with a time of 23:54.5 on the 8,000 meter course. He was followed in short order by the trio of redshirt freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.), freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) and senior Matt Kane (Fairfield, Conn.). Those three runners were separated by less than eight seconds at the finish line as Denault came in 53rd place (24:04.7), Williamsz finishes 57th (24:06.0) and Kane placed 66th (24:12.5).
The team result was a good one for the Wildcats at the site of the NCAA Championships next month. Villanova was coming off a team title at the Paul Short Run two weeks ago and competed against another particularly strong field on Saturday morning.
Sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) had been the Wildcats top runner in each of the first two races of the season but came out of today's race due to an illness. With solid depth from its other six runners Villanova put itself in the middle of the closely grouped team standings. The teams that finished fourth through eighth were separated by only 63 points and the Wildcats finished ahead of BIG EAST rival Georgetown for the second straight meet.
"This was a good race for us," Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan said. "Sam pulled up with a stomach issue but everyone else ran well and I think this is still a good omen for us as the season progresses."
Colorado won the team championship with 72 points and was followed by BYU (127) and Oregon (152) in the top three finishing spots. Also coming in ahead of the Wildcats were Florida State (275), Duke (287), Virginia Tech (288) and Tulsa (292).
The individual winner in the race was Anthony Rotich of UTEP with a time of 23:01.0.
Following the men's and women's seeded races on Saturday morning Villanova had two runners competing in the men's unseeded race. Sophomore Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) came in 32nd in that race out of 278 competitors with a time of 24:58.8, while junior John Pickhaver (Drexel Hill, Pa.) finished 49th (25:10.5).
Members of the Wildcats will compete next week in the Haverford Invitational on October 19, while the next team meet is the BIG EAST Championships on October 26 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York.
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park
Top 10 Teams
Colorado 72 BYU 127 Oregon 152 Florida State 275 Duke 287 Virginia Tech 288 Tulsa 292 Villanova 338 Georgetown 351 Florida 369 Eastern Michigan 369
Villanova Individuals (Men's Seeded Race)
Mathew Mildenhall 32nd of 272 23:54.5 Robert Denault 53rd 24:04.7 Jordy Williamsz 57th 24:06.0 Matt Kane 66th 24:12.5 Brian Basili 130th 24:40.7 Greg Morrin 134th 24:44.5
Villanova Individuals (Men's Unseeded Race)
Alex Tully 32nd of 278 24:58.8 John Pickhaver 49th 25:10.5