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Alexandra Wasik is BIG EAST Pole Vault Champion as Wildcats Sweep Top Three Spots
Alexandra Wasik is the first Villanova athlete to be a conference champion in the pole vault.
 
Alexandra Wasik is the first Villanova athlete to be a conference champion in the pole vault.
 

Feb. 21, 2014

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NEW YORK - Junior Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio) became the first Villanova athlete to win a BIG EAST title in the pole vault and she led a sweep of the spots on the podium by the Wildcats at the New York Armory on Friday afternoon. Halfway through the conference championships meet Villanova sits atop the team standings with 48 points. The meet concludes on Saturday evening and the Wildcats have set themselves up to score well in nearly every event.

In addition to its sweep of the pole vault Villanova also added team points on Friday with runner-up finishes in the pentathlon and the distance medley relay, in addition to getting points in the long jump and the weight throw. The second place finish in the DMR came after an incredible race which saw the Wildcats lower their season-best time in the relay. Villanova entered the conference meet with the nation's eighth ranked DMR time; the Wildcats lowered their time by nearly five full seconds with Friday's race.

Wasik cleared a height of 3.80 meters in the pole vault and headlined a 1-2-3 finish which also included graduate student Bianca Reo (Parsippany, N.J.) as the runner-up and sophomore Virginia LaMacchia (Bloomsburg, Pa.) in third place. They each cleared heights of 3.70 meters in the competition. Wasik's development into a BIG EAST champion has been a steady one. She was All-BIG EAST in the pole vault at the indoor conference meet in each of the past two seasons and earlier this year established a new personal best when she cleared a height of 4.01 meters. Reo's height of 3.70 meters on Friday matched a season best mark.

The field events were rounded out by junior Kathleen McPhillips (Carlisle, Pa.) and sophomore Anne Yahiro (Downers Grove, Ill.) in the long jump, as well as sophomore Alita Ostapkovich (Bensalem, Pa.) in the weight throw. McPhillips and Yahiro were fifth (5.37m) and seventh (5.34m), respectively, in the long jump and Ostapkovich finished seventh in the weight throw with a new personal best distance of 15.08 meters.

 

 

Junior Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Michaela Wilkins (Ellicott City, Md.) ran the first two legs of the DMR, while sophomore Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) took the 800 meters leg and handed off to senior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) for the 1600 meter anchor. It was a two-team race between Villanova and Georgetown, with the Hoyas winning in 10:55.63 and the Wildcats placing second in 10:59.74. By comparison the third place team in the relay, Butler, was nearly 42 seconds off the winning pace.

In the pentathlon freshman Danielle Wheatley (Greenbelt, Md.) scored 3050 points to finish in second place overall. She led the group of pentathlon athletes in both the 60 meter hurdles (9.33) and the 800 meters (2:32.38), while ranking second in the long jump (5.13m) and third in both the high jump (1.43m) and shot put (8.11m).

The other event which was a finals only race on Friday afternoon was the 5000 meters, in which redshirt freshman Caitlin Bungo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and junior Megan Venables (Laurel Springs, N.J.) came in 12th (17:32.60) and 17th (18:10.71), respectively.

Wilkins and senior Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, N.J.) had the top performances in the preliminary heats of the 400 meters and the 800 meters, respectively. Wilkins won her heat and was first overall out of 17 runners with a time of 56.54 in the 800 meters, while Akande is also at the front of a field of 17 in the 800 meters. She posted a time of 2:07.17 in her preliminary heat on Friday, while sophomore Kelsey Margey (Huntington, N.Y.) and junior Leanne Tucker (Tewksbury, Mass.) are second (2:08.67) and 11th overall (2:15.02), respectively.

There will be an opening ceremony at the Armory at 4:25 p.m. on Saturday afternoon to mark the beginning of competition for the day. The first women's running event is the finals-only race in the Mile at 4:50 p.m., while the final running event is the 4x400 meter relay at 8:30 p.m. An awards ceremony begins at 8:50 p.m. after the conclusion of racing and other events in the meet.

NOTES: The top three finishers in each event earn All-BIG EAST honors in that event ... Villanova has at least one athlete entered in each event at the conference championships and is the only team that can make that claim.

DAY 1 TEAM SCORES

Villanova                       48
Marquette                       37
DePaul                          26
Providence                      26
St. John's                      25
Georgetown                      20
Butler                          17
Xavier                          14

COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS

Pentathlon

Danielle Wheatley               2nd of 3                3050 Points

Pentathlon #1 - 60 Meter Hurdles

Danielle Wheatley               1st of 3                9.33

Pentathlon #2 - High Jump

Danielle Wheatley               3rd of 3                1.43m

Pentathlon #3 - Shot Put

Danielle Wheatley               3rd of 3                8.11m

Pentathlon #4 - Long Jump

Danielle Wheatley               2nd of 3                5.13m

Pentathlon #5 - 800 Meters Jump

Danielle Wheatley               1st of 3                2:32.38

5000 Meters

Caitlin Bungo                   12th of 17              17:32.60
Megan Venables                  16th                    18:10.71

Distance Medley Relay

Villanova                       2nd of 8                10:59.74
Stephanie Schappert             1200 Meters
Michaela Wilkins                400 Meters
Angel Piccirillo                800 Meters
Emily Lipari                    1600 Meters

Pole Vault

Alexandra Wasik                 1st of 5                3.80m
Bianca Reo                      2nd                     3.70m
Virginia LaMacchia              3rd                     3.70m

Long Jump

Kathleen McPhillips             5th of 11               5.37m
Anne Yahiro                     7th                     5.34m

Weight Throw

Alita Ostapkovich               7th of 11               15.08m

60 Meters (Preliminaries)

Varonica Johnson                4th of 16               7.60
Kalissa Caesar                  13th                    7.98
Emma Biggs                      15th                    8.19

200 Meters (Preliminaries)

Varonica Johnson                3rd of 18               24.37
Emerald Walden                  9th                     25.40
Kalissa Caesar                  11th                    25.62
Emma Biggs                      15th                    26.34

400 Meters (Preliminaries)

Michaela Wilkins                1st of 17               56.54

500 Meters (Preliminaries)

Mary Bohi                       8th of 15               1:16.62
Veronica Scott                  9th                     1:17.10

800 Meters (Preliminaries)

Nicky Akande                    1st lf 17               2:07.17
Kelsey Margey                   2nd                     2:08.67
Leanne Tucker                   11th                    2:15.02
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