May 25, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--Senior sprinter Shericka Ward (Leesburg, Fla.) automatically advanced to the national quarterfinals in the 100 meter hurdles, running a time of 13.23 in her first round heat at Hodges Stadium on Friday evening. Ward was one of five Villanova athletes competing on the second day of the NCAA East Regional being held on the University of North Florida campus.
The top three finishers in each of six first round heats in the 100 meter hurdles moved on to Saturday night's quarterfinals and Ward comfortably placed second in her heat with her second-fastest time of the season. Ward returned to action looking very strong in her first race since the Penn Relays last month and has the 12th fastest time overall in the field of 48 hurdlers that made up the first round of competition.
In the national quarterfinals of the 400 meters senior Christie Verdier (Baldwin, N.Y.) came in seventh in her heat with a time of 53.94. She had automatically advanced to today's race after running a personal best time of 53.28 yesterday night. Her time on Friday ranked 21st in the field of 27 runners and wraps up a terrific season for Verdier, who established new personal bests in the 400 meters in both open and relay competition.
The final running event for the Wildcats on Friday evening was the 800 meters, in which sophomore Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) ran in the national quarterfinals after advancing on time in last night's first round. In the first quarterfinal heat Akande recorded a time of 2:12.80 and finished ninth in her heat. She concludes a season in which she emerged as a key contributor for Villanova both at the BIG EAST level and nationally, including setting personal bests in the 800 meters on three occasions.
Sophomore jumper Samantha Yeats (Califon, N.J.) was also in action on Friday in the high jump and freshman Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio) competed in the pole vault. Yeats finished in a tie for 23rd place in the high jump with a height of 1.72 meters. She cleared the starting height of 1.67 meters, as well as the next progression of 1.72 meters on her first tries before being eliminated when the bar was raised to 1.77 meters.
Wasik tied for 35th place in the first round of the pole vault with a height of 3.65 meters. She cleared that starting height on her first try and was eliminated at the height of 3.80 meters. As a freshman this season Wasik scored team points at the BIG EAST Championships during both the indoor and outdoor seasons, and cleared a season-best height of 3.90 meters in the Championship section of the Penn Relays last month.
Villanova will have five athletes in competition on Saturday night at the East Regional meet, beginning with sophomore Samantha Francis (Kingston, Jamaica) competing in the first round of the triple jump at 4:30 p.m. The first running event for the Wildcats is the quarterfinals of the 1500 meters at 6:45 p.m.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS FROM FRIDAY
Alexandra Wasik tie-35th 3.65 Meters
Samantha Yeats tie-23rd 1.72 Meters
100 Meter Hurdles
Shericka Ward 12th of 48 13.23 Heat 5 (2nd)
Christie Verdier 21st of 27 53.94 Heat 1 (7th)
Nicky Akande 25th of 27 2:12.80 Heat 1 (9th)
VILLANOVA SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY
Triple Jump Samantha Francis First Round
1500 Meters Emily Lipari Quarterfinals
100 Meter Hurdles Shericka Ward Quarterfinals
5000 Meters Sheila Reid Semifinals Bogdana Mimic