Feb. 4, 2014
NEW YORK - Senior distance runner Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) is the BIG EAST Women's Track Athlete of the Week and junior pole vaulter Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio) is the BIG EAST Women's Field Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference office this afternoon. The pair of Villanova student-athletes each had terrific performances at the Penn State National last weekend.
Lipari won the invitational section of the 3000 meters with a time of 9:09.37 and held off the runner-up from Georgetown by nine-tenths of a second to secure the first place finish. Lipari's time ranks third in the nation this season and was less than half a second off of her personal best in the event.
In addition to her individual race Lipari was also the anchor for the Wildcats distance medley relay on Friday night. Villanova finished third in the invitational section of the race and recorded a time of 11:04.54, which currently ranks fifth in the nation and first in the BIG EAST this season. Sophomore Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) led off the relay for the Wildcats and was followed by junior Varonica Johnson (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) ahead of Lipari on the anchor leg.
Wasik had the best performance of her career in the invitational section of the pole vault at Penn State. She cleared a height of 4.01 meters to establish a new personal best and also finish second in the invitational section of the event. Wasik had cleared 4.00 meters on two previous occasions, once each during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Through her first two years at Villanova, Wasik has earned a total of three All-BIG EAST honors. Her most recent performance is the best in a few years for the Wildcats, as the last member of the team to go higher than 4.01 meters in the pole vault was school record holder Ashlyn Llerandi during the 2011 outdoor campaign (4.05 meters at the BIG EAST Championships held at Villanova).
This week marks the fourth career weekly honor from the conference for Lipari, who also received the award during the 2012 indoor season. This past fall she was the conference athlete of the week twice during the cross country season. Wasik is earning weekly recognition from the BIG EAST for the first time in her career.
Villanova returns to action this weekend to compete in the Armory Collegiate Invitational, which takes place on Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday.