Nov. 2, 2013
KENOSHA, Wis. - Freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) was again at the forefront of a dominant Villanova pack and his individual championship also helped lead the Wildcats to their fifth team title at the BIG EAST Championships on Saturday morning. Tiernan is the eighth individual conference champion from Villanova and he led the way for the Wildcats to put each of its five counting runners in the top 14 overall at the Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country course. The team score for the Wildcats is the lowest in the team's five BIG EAST titles and Villanova posted a 13-point margin of victory over runner-up Providence and the rest of the nine-team field.
Tiernan covered the 8,000 meter men's course in 23:51 and crossed the finish line 12 seconds faster than any other runner. He was followed in short order by junior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) and sophomore Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.), who came in fourth (24:17) and sixth (24:18), respectively. Sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) placed 11th (24:34) and junior Brian Basili (South Orange, N.J.) came in 14th (24:41) to give the Wildcats their team score of 36 points.
"We have a really good group of guys on the team and I am very pleased with how they each ran today," Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan said. "This is a terrific result for the team and it is topped off with the individual win by Pat. I am proud of the way we have come together this season."
The sixth runner for the Wildcats, senior Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.), finished in 15th place and joins the top five in earning All-BIG EAST honors for their performances.
"When you are able to put six runners in the top 15 then then depth is definitely there," O'Sullivan said. "We have enough guys like Sam, Rob and Jordy that have been there before but it has been a pleasant surprise that Pat came on as fast as he has. From an individual standpoint he ran down a lot of really talented runners in today's race."
Tiernan has been the top runner for Villanova in each of the past three meets. Leading up to the conference championship the Wildcats were in terrific form after winning the Princeton Invitational and coming in second at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas last month. O'Sullivan noted that the fast start was important for the team and that the race in Arkansas was a particularly important one for the team.
"We were pretty close to Arkansas at the Chile Pepper meet and I think that was a real confidence boost for the team," O'Sullivan said. "After we struggled in the BIG EAST meet last year I thought the way we started the season was really good for us. Now I think we can finally turn the page from that and we are in position to continue doing some really good things."
Redshirt freshman Harry Warnick (Fairfield, Conn.) came in 16th with a time of 24:55, while the Wildcats lineup was rounded out by redshirt freshman Kevin Corbusier (Monkton, Md.) in 21st place (25:02) and junior Robert Hurlbut (Rochester, N.Y.) in 24th place (25:12).
Providence finished in second place in the team standings with 49 points and was followed by Butler (61), Georgetown (76), Marquette (151), Xavier (215), Creighton (224), DePaul (225) and Seton Hall (253).
Villanova returns to action in two weeks when it competes in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday, November 15. The meet is being held in nearby Bethlehem, Pa. on the Lehigh campus.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Men's Championship Race
Patrick Tiernan 1st of 75 23:51 Sam McEntee 4th 24:17 Rob Denault 6th 24:18 Jordy Williamsz 11th 24:34 Brian Basili 14th 24:41 Alex Tully 15th 24:48 Harry Warnick 16th 24:55 Kevin Corbusier 21st 25:02 Robert Hurlbut 24th 25:12
Villanova 36 Providence 49 Butler 61 Georgetown 76 Marquette 151 Xavier 215 Creighton 224 DePaul 225 Seton Hall 253