Feb. 2, 2013
NEW YORK - An impressive anchor leg by junior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) in the final 1600 meters of the race led Villanova to the nation's leading time in the distance medley relay at the New York Armory on Friday night. The big run by Lipari was the highlight from the first day of competition for the Wildcats at the Armory Collegiate Invitational this weekend.
Lipari was comfortably in front during the final leg of the relay and Villanova won by a margin of more than eight seconds over Arkansas and the rest of the field of 10 relay squads. Freshman Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) led off the DMR with the 1200 meters leg and freshman Michaela Wilkins (Ellicott City, Md.) took the 400 meters leg before juniors Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Lipari brought the Wildcats home during the second half of the race. Lipari had an unofficial split of 4:34 in her anchor leg.
Villanova came within just over six-tenths of a second of matching its facility record at the Armory, which the team set two years ago en route to winning a national championship in the event. On this night the Wildcats were running the DMR for the first time this season and put themselves in good position to hold on to a national qualifying time for later in the year.
The distance medley relay was not the only event in which Villanova showcased the strength of its middle distance group. In the championship section of the 1000 meters sophomore Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) was the runner-up in a field of 48 runners with a time of 2:45.65. That time was a personal best by more than 2.5 seconds and marked the second time this season Schappert has established a new top time.
In the college sections of the 400 meters and the 500 meters sophomore Qualitra Brown (Suffolk, Va.) turned in a pair of terrific races. She set a new personal best in the 500 meters with a time of 1:17.43 and came in 16th out of 46 entries. She came in fifth in her section and her new personal top time eclipses her old mark set earlier this season by nearly five full seconds. In the 400 meters Brown came in third in her heat and 47th overall in a field of more than 100 runners with a season-best time of 58.03. This was the third time that Brown ran the 400 meters this season and she has lowered her time in each race.
Friday afternoon and evening also saw the Wildcats have a great deal of success in the pole vault, with terrific performances from sophomore Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio), freshman Abigail Nolte (Branchburg, N.J.) and sophomore Kathleen McPhillips (Carlisle, Pa.).
Wasik cleared four meters for the first time in her career and finished 11th of 17 in the championship section of the pole vault with a height of exactly 4.00 meters. It was the third time in four competitions this season that Wasik has cleared 3.90 or better. Last week at the Penn State National she had tied her previous top mark of 3.95 meters. In the college section of the pole vault Nolte came in seventh out of 22 competitors with a personal best height of 3.70 meters, while McPhillips placed 13th and notched a season best mark of 3.70 meters.
Junior Samantha Yeats (Califon, N.J.) had a strong performance in the college section of the high jump and was the runner-up with a jump of 1.75 meters.
Six more events are on the schedule for Villanova on Saturday, highlighted by the championship sections of both the 800 meters and the Mile. The championship Mile goes off at 5:16 p.m. and will feature Akande and Piccirillo in addition to freshman Kelsey Margey (Huntington, N.Y.) and senior Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.).
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
60 Meter Hurdles Championship
Emerald Walden 26th of 53 8.69 6th of 8 (Heat 3)
400 Meters College
Qualitra Brown 47th of 103 58.03 3rd of 6 (Heat 15)
500 Meters College
Qualitra Brown 16th of 46 1:17.43 5th of 7 (Section 4) Mary Bohi 33rd 1:20.00 4th of 8 (Section 3)
1000 Meters Championship
Stephanie Schappert 2nd of 48 2:45.65 Shannon Browne 17th 2:53.42 Amanda Borroughs 26th 2:56.17 Courtney Chapman 32nd 2:58.48
Distance Medley Relay Championship
Villanova 1st of 9 10:56.74 Angel Piccirillo 1200 Meters Michaela Wilkins 400 Meters Nicky Akande 800 Meters Emily Lipari 1600 Meters
High Jump College
Samantha Yeats 2nd of 16 1.75 meters
Long Jump College
Alexandria Reo tie-59th of 69 4.92 meters
Pole Vault Championship
Alexandra Wasik 11th of 17 4.00 meters
Pole Vault College
Abigail Nolte 7th of 22 3.80 meters Kathleen McPhillips 13th 3.70 meters