Meet Records Fall as Wildcats Capture Outdoor BIG EAST Championship
May 11, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A meet record in the 4x800 meter relay for the second straight year was just one of the many highlights for Villanova on Sunday afternoon, as the Wildcats won the outdoor BIG EAST title at Villanova Stadium for the ninth time in program history. Villanova established new meet records with a total of 218 points in the team standings, as well as for margin of victory with a gap of 90 points between the Wildcats and runner-up Georgetown. Head coach Gina Procaccio and her staff were named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year.
Villanova won six individual events during the meet, the same number it won in 2000 when the team last won the outdoor conference title. The 4x800 meter relay squad consisting of junior Leanne Tucker (Tewksbury, Mass.), sophomore Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.), junior Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and senior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) finished in first place with a time of 8:33.36 to eclipse the Wildcats own previous record of 8:34.23 set just last year.
Lipari was also the individual champion in the 800 meters and junior Emerald Walden (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) won the 100 meter hurdles. Senior Samantha Yeats (Califon, N.J.) won the high jump and junior Jamie Klein (Hawthorne, N.J.) led a dominant Villanova performance in the javelin. Overall the Wildcats finished the meet with a combined 18 top-three finishes out of 22 scored events.
Villanova has now won 130 individual events, including relays, in the 23-year history of the conference meet. Procaccio has led the Wildcats to seven BIG EAST team titles during her career, including both the indoor and outdoor crowns this year. Yesterday afternoon junior Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio) won the first outdoor pole vault title for Villanova at the conference meet, while Yeats' win in the high jump today is the Wildcats first since Patty Bradley won the event at the inaugural BIG EAST outdoor meet in 1983.
Villanova boasted the top four finishers and five of the top six performers in the javelin, which was the first event held on Sunday morning. That event started the day off with a bang for the Wildcats, who received 32 team points just in the javelin. Klein threw for a distance of 43.33 meters, while freshmen Caroline Hamilton (Nottingham, Pa.) and Veronica Scott (Plymouth, N.H.) also earned spots on the awards podium by coming in second (39.58m) and third (36.60m), respectively. Freshman Hannah Lee (Scituate, R.I.) added a fourth place finish (34.78m) and junior Alexi Stershic (Yardley, Pa.) placed sixth.
Yeats was one of three scorers for Villanova in the high jump and she cleared the bar at 1.75 meters to claim the win. Sophomore Anne Yahiro (Downers Grove, Ill.) came in fifth with a height of 1.65 meters and senior Victoria Profit (Nissequogue, N.Y.) tied for sixth place (1.60m). Yahiro was also the runner-up in the triple jump with a distance of 12.13 meters. Profit (12.00m) and senior Samantha Francis (Kingston, Jamaica) came in fourth and fifth in the triple jump, respectively, while junior Kathleen McPhillips (Carlisle, Pa.) was eighth (11.12m).
In the final of the 800 meters Villanova and Georgetown accounted for seven of the eight qualifiers. With 300 meters left in the race senior Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was in front of the pack and was being pushed hard for the league by the Hoyas Sabrina Southerland. Lipari was pushed back to fifth overall and was still in that position with less than 200 meters to go. She ran down Southerland on the final straightaway and Akande followed to give the senior teammates yet another memorable 1-2 finish. Lipari had a winning time of 2:05.66, Akande crossed the finish line second in 2:06.87 and Tucker placed seventh in 2:12.70.
The 100 meter hurdles was a finals-only event and Walden was strong out of the starting blocks to quickly take command of the race. She crossed the finish line in 14.15 and freshman Danielle Wheatley (Greenbelt, Md.) finished third in 14.70 to join Walden on the awards stand.
Junior Varonica Johnson (Charlotte, N.C.) had a terrific day for Villanova and was the runner-up in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. She registered times of 11.71 in the 100 meters and 24.16 in the 200 meters to contribute 16 points towards the Wildcats team score.
Villanova also got runner-up finishes from Piccirillo in the 1500 meters and from sophomore Michaela Wilkins (Ellicott City, Md.) in the 400 meters. Piccirillo recorded a time of 4:17.63 in a memorable finish to the 1500 meters. The top three finishers were separated by nine-tenths of a second, while second and third place was not determined until the times were extended out to thousandths of a second. Piccirillo's extended time was 4:17.623, while Andrea Keklak of Georgetown had a time of 4:17.625. Sophomore Kelsey Margey (Huntington, N.Y.) and Schappert placed fourth (4:18.83) and fifth (4:19.50), respectively, in the 1500 meters.
Wilkins recorded a time of 55.16 in the final of the 400 meters. Senior Mary Bohi (Shamong, N.J.) registered a third place finish in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.19, while Scott came in seventh in the event in 1:07.22.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Varonica Johnson 2nd of 8 11.71 Kalissa Caesar 7th 11.95
100 Meter Hurdles
Emerald Walden 1st of 8 14.15 Danielle Wheatley 3rd 14.70
Varonica Johnson 2nd of 8 24.16 Kalissa Caesar 6th 24.90
Michaela Wilkins 2nd of 8 55.16
400 Meter Hurdles
Mary Bohi 3rd of 7 1:03.19 Veronica Scott 7th 1:07.22
Emily Lipari 1st of 8 2:05.66 Nicky Akande 2nd 2:06.87 Leanne Tucker 7th 2:12.70
Angel Piccirllo 2nd 4:17.63 Kelsey Margey 4th 4:18.83 Stephanie Schappert 5th 4:19.50
Sydney Harris 8th of 10 17:57.28
4x400 Meter Relay
Villanova 4th of 8 3:50.74 Emerald Walden Kelsey Margey Nicky Akande Mary Bohi
4x800 Meter Relay
Villanova 1st of 8 8:33.36 Leanne Tucker Angel Piccirillo Stephanie Schappert Emily Lipari
Samantha Yeats 1st of 11 1.75m Anne Yahiro 5th 1.65m Victoria Profit tie-6th 1.60m Virginia LaMacchia 9th 1.55m
Anne Yahiro 2nd of 11 12.13m Victoria Profit 4th 12.00m Samantha Francis 5th 11.90m Kathleen McPhillips 8th 11.12m
Kristen Erickson 7th of 12 11.72m Alita Ostapkovich 10th 11.19m
Alita Ostapkovich 6th of 10 35.96m