April 1, 2011
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--Senior Ali Smith (Columbia, Md.) shattered her own meet and Zable Stadium record in the 3000 meter steeplechase at the 46th Colonial Relays on Friday night, winning the event with a time of 10:24.52 to pace a field of 18 runners. Villanova had a number of strong performances on its first day of competition in the meet at William & Mary, as senior Kristen Mahon (Robbinsville, N.J.) and junior Shericka Ward (Leesburg, Fla.) won the 400 meter hurdles and the 200 meters, respectively. In addition, junior Julia Arduini (Fairfield, Conn.) tied for first place in the javelin.
Smith broke the meet and venue record in the 3000 steeplechase by nearly 10 seconds as she easily eclipsed the previous mark of 10:34.34 that she herself established last year. That race last season marked the first time in her career that Smith had run the event and she went on to earn All-BIG EAST honors in the steeplechase later in the year. Her time in tonight's race is a new personal best, as she crossed the finish line nearly two seconds faster than the time she recorded at last spring's conference meet.
Joining Smith with good showings for the Wildcats in the steeplechase was fellow senior Sarah Morrison (Chambersburg, Pa.), who came in third overall with a time of 10:47.53. Classmate Kaitlin O'Sullivan (Gansevoort, N.Y.) was 17th (12:13.54).
Mahon cruised to a win in the 400 meter hurdles and finished with a time of 1:00.99, good for first overall out of 46 entries. She beat a runner from Monmouth by 1.61 seconds in Section 1 of the event, with the rest of the field two or more seconds behind. Freshman Mary Bohi (Shamong, N.J.) came in eighth overall and fifth in her section with a time of 1:04.79.
The other individual win for Villanova came from Ward in the 200 meters. She finished with a time of 24.30 in the first section of the event and wound up with the fastest overall time out of 69 runners in the field. Ward is also currently first in the 100 meter hurdles after registering a time of 13.91 in Friday's preliminary heats. She will run in the finals at 11:45 on Saturday morning.
Junior Christie Verdier (Baldwin, N.Y.) was fourth overall in the 200 meters (24.96), while junior Ashley Dunbar (Manchester, N.J.) and freshman Marie Yuille (Columbia, Md.) came in with times of 25.56 and 26.24, respectively. Dunbar and Yuille each placed third in their respective sections.
Arduini was terrific in the javelin for the second straight week and tied for first place out of 25 individuals with a distance of 43.53 meters. She and Laura Rycek of Bucknell tied for first at the top of the championship flight and the pair came out on top of the overall field. No other throwers surpassed 41.00 meters in the event.
In the 5000 meters race senior Amanda Marino (Jackson, N.J.) was the runner-up in a field of 57 competitors in her first race of the outdoor season. Marino was second overall and led a group of four Wildcats with a time of 16:22.13. She was followed by sophomore Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) in eighth place (16:46.42), while senior Callie Hogan (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and sophomore Meghan Smith (Newark, Del.) were 11th (16:57.45) and 24th (17:47.08), respectively. All four runners raced in the championship section of the race.
Another event where Villanova had success was the 1500 meters, in which the team had three runners in the championship section. Freshman Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) led the way with an impressive fourth place overall showing in a field of 105 individuals. She registered a time of 4:26.15 in the race and narrowly beat junior teammate Bogdana Mimic (Pancevo, Serbia), who was eighth overall (4:27.61). Sophomore Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) was 17th (4:35.55) and freshman Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was 31st (4:42.48). Akande came in 10th in her individual section.
Below are complete Villanova results from the action on Friday, while the links at the top of this release will direct you to full information on the entire meet. Ward will be the first Wildcat athlete in action on Saturday when she races in the finals of the 100 meter hurdles at 11:45 a.m.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
100 Meters (Preliminaries)
100 Meter Hurdles (Preliminaries)
Shericka Ward - 1st of 55 (13.91) (1st of 6, Heat 1)
Shericka Ward - 1st of 69 (24.30) (1st of 6, Section 1)
Christie Verdier - 4th (24.96) (3rd, Section 1)
Ashley Dunbar - 14th (25.56) (3rd of 7, Section 3)
Marie Yuille - 38th (26.24) (3rd of 8, Section 7
400 Meter Hurdles
Emily Lipari - 4th of 105 (4:26.15) (4th of 15, Section 1)
Bogdana Mimic - 8th (4:27.61) (8th, Section 1)
Ariann Neutts - 17th (4:35.55) (15th, Section 1)
Nicky Akande - 31st (4:42.48) (10th of 16, Section 2)
3000 Meter Steeplechase
Amanda Marino - 2nd of 57 (16:22.13) (2nd of 27, Section 1)
Summer Cook - 8th (16:46.42) (8th, Section 1)
Callie Hogan - 11th (16:57.45) (11th, Section 1)
Meghan Smith - 24th (17:47.08) (24th, Section 1)
Julia Arduini - tie-1st of 25 (43.53m) (tie-1st of 12, Flight 1)