March 26, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.--Villanova opened the outdoor track & field season on Saturday afternoon at the Big Five Invite and the team registered first place finishes in eight different events at Franklin Field, including wins by senior Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.) in both the 800 meters and the 1500 meters. In all the Wildcats won two sprints, two middle distance races and four field events in their opening event of the spring.
Reid was running her first official races since the NCAA Championships at the end of the cross country season. She won the 1500 meters with a time of 4:23.12 and also crossed the finish line with a time of 2:09.74 in the 800 meters. Her times in both events were among the fastest in the nation during the opening weekend of the outdoor season. Although she was running her first race of the year Reid posted a faster time in the 1500 meters than her winning time from the BIG EAST Championships last May. She was also running her first individual 800 meters race in a Villanova uniform since the 2010 BIG EAST Championships.
In the 1500 meters the Wildcats had a contingent of 12 runners in competition and accounted for the first four finishers, as Reid was followed by junior Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.), freshman Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) in the second through fourth spots. Neutts crossed the finish line in 4:30.90, Schappert registered a time of 4:31.54 and Akande finished in 4:32.58.
Those same four runners were also combined to finish in the top five of the 800 meters, where Akande came in second (2:10.61), Schappert finished third (2:12.28) and Neutts placed fifth (2:15.45). Freshman Leanne Tucker (Tewksbury, Mass.) also ran strong races in each event, finishing eighth in the 800 meters (2:16.47) and 11th in the 1500 meters (4:42.04).
In the sprint events freshman Varonica Johnson (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Christie Verdier (Baldwin, N.Y.) came in first and second, respectively, in the 100 meters. Johnson tallied a time of 12.26 and Verdier was just five-hundredths of a second behind with a time of 12.31. Freshman Emerald Walden (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) took first place in the 100 meter hurdles and had a winning time of 14.39.
Villanova has a good mix of veteran performers and new faces in the field events and the depth of the team's talent was on display in Saturday's competition. Senior Julia Arduini (Fairfield, Conn.) won the javelin with a throw of 43.67 meters, while freshman Jamie Klein (Hawthorne, N.J.) was a close runner up with a distance of 43.05 meters.
In the pole vault freshman Kathleen McPhillips (Carlisle, Pa.) tied for first place by clearing a height of 3.65 meters on her second attempt. In the progression of the pole vault competition she cleared heights of 3.35 meters and 3.50 meters on her first attempts.
The other two wins for the Wildcats came in the triple jump and the high jump. Sophomore Samantha Francis (Kingston, Jamaica) tallied a mark of 11.76 meters in the triple jump, while junior Marie Minasi (Park Ridge, N.J.) and sophomore Victoria Profit (Nissequogue, N.Y.) came in third (11.22m) and fourth (11.13m), respectively.
In the high jump sophomore Samantha Yeats (Califon, N.J.) produced a winning height of 1.75 meters and freshman Katherine Petruzzellis (Annandale, N.J.) tied for third with a mark of 1.60 meters. Petruzzellis, who competed in the pentathlon during the indoor season, also competed in the 100 meter hurdles (fourth, 15.48), javelin (seventh, 27.29m) and long jump (ninth, 5.13m).
Villanova will send athletes to two different meets during the coming weekend, including the Texas Relays as well as the local Danny Curran Invitational.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Varonica Johnson 1st of 22 12.26 Christie Verdier 2nd 12.31 Dominique Campbell 16th 13.41
100 Meter Hurdles
Emerald Walden 1st of 14 14.39 Katherine Petruzzellis 4th 15.48
Qualitra Brown 11th of 23 26.18 Emerald Walden 12th 26.23 Dominique Campbell 18th 27.29
Qualitra Brown 4th of 14 59.58
400 Meter Hurdles
Faith Dismuke 5th of 13 1:04.22 Mary Bohi 7th 1:05.29
Sheila Reid 1st of 37 2:09.74 Nicky Akande 2nd 2:10.61 Stephanie Schappert 3rd 2:12.28 Ariann Neutts 5th 2:15.45 Leanne Tucker 8th 2:16.47 Erin Ryan 14th 2:18.96 Shannon Browne 15th 2:19.68 Anna Francis 16th 2:20.03 Amanda Borroughs 26th 2:22.08 Meghan Smith 35th 2:28.99 Megan Venables 36th 2:34.62
Sheila Reid 1st of 42 4:23.12 Ariann Neutts 2nd 4:30.90 Stephanie Schappert 3rd 4:31.54 Nicky Akande 4th 4:32.58 Summer Cook 9th 4:41.65 Leanne Tucker 11th 4:42.04 Courtney Chapman 12th 4:42.56 Meghan Smith 16th 4:46.48 Megan Venables 18th 4:49.77 Amanda Borroughs 21st 4:53.08 Shannon Browne 23rd 4:53.64 Erin Ryan 26th 4:55.98
4x400 Meter Relay
Villanova 3rd of 6 3:57.69
Julia Arduini 1st of 8 43.67m Jamie Klein 2nd 43.05m Alexi Stershic 6th 28.00m Katherine Petruzzellis 7th 27.29m
Kathleen McPhillips tie-1st of 7 3.65m Melissa Meggiolaro tie-3rd 3.50m Kim Logoyda 6th 3.50m Erica Litvak 7th 3.05m
Samantha Yeats 3rd of 14 5.26m Alexandria Reo tie-4th 5.24m Kathleen McPhillips 6th 5.19m Katherine Petruzzellis 9th 5.13m
Samantha Francis 1st of 6 11.76m Marie Minasi 3rd 11.22m Victoria Profit 4th 11.13m
Samantha Yeats 1st of 6 1.75m Katherine Petruzzellis tie-3rd 1.60m