Feb. 21, 2014
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
St. John's 25
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
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
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
Alexandra Wasik 1st of 5 3.80m Bianca Reo 2nd 3.70m Virginia LaMacchia 3rd 3.70m
Kathleen McPhillips 5th of 11 5.37m Anne Yahiro 7th 5.34m
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