NEW YORK - Sophomore Andrew Marston (Wayne, Pa.) was named this week’s BIG EAST Male Athlete of the Week in an announcement by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. He earns the honor after a successful race at the Penn State National Open last week, where he was the top Villanova finisher and the individual runner-up overall.
Marston returned to action last week after missing the Paul Short Run two weeks ago. He ran the 5.2-mile course at Penn State in 25:16 and came in second out of 126 runners in the men’s race. The individual finish is 11 spots higher than where he placed last season in the same meet and it also helped the Wildcats come in third out of 17 teams at the meet.
After earning both All-BIG EAST and Mid-Atlantic All-Region honors as a redshirt freshman last year, Marston has started off the 2017 campaign on a strong note. He was the runner-up to teammate Casey Comber at the season-opening Main Line Invitational prior to leading the team at the Penn State meet. Comber continued his own strong start to the year with a sixth place finish at Penn State.
The finishes of Marston and Comber helped Villanova stay within striking distance of team champion Oklahoma State and second place Penn State for most of last week’s race. The champion Cowboys entered the meet ranked No. 9 in the nation and the host Nittany Lions came in ranked ahead of the Wildcats in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Region rankings. In new rankings that came out this week, Villanova moved up a spot to No. 6 in the region.
Next up for the Wildcats is the BIG EAST Championships on October 28 in Kenosha, Wis.