NEW YORK - On the heels of winning its record 15th indoor BIG EAST title over the weekend, Villanova had 14 student-athletes combine to earn 23 All-BIG EAST honors in an announcement made by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. Last week’s championship performance by the Wildcats included winning six events at the meet, with three individual conference champions in addition to a sweep of the three relays. Villanova has won three of its 15 indoor conference crowns in the last five years.
Junior middle distance runner Kaley Ciluffo (LeClaire, Iowa) led the Wildcats with three all-conference honors, while senior Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dublin, Ireland) and junior Nicole Hutchinson (West Vancouver, B.C.) each combined an individual BIG EAST title with an appearance on one of the team’s winning relays. Cleirigh Buttner set a meet record in winning the 800 meters with a time of 2:03.89 and also anchored the 4x400 meter relay to a winning time of 3:42.01 thanks to a split of 54.18 on the anchor leg of the relay. Hutchinson won the Mile in 4:39.13 and ked off the 4x800 meter relay with a split of 2:11.96. Ciluffo was the runner-up to Hutchinson in the Mile, while also running legs on both the distance medley relay (2:08.69 for 800 meters) and the 4x800 relay (2:10.45).
Five other athletes earned two All-BIG EAST honors, one for an individual event and one for a relay. Freshman middle distance runner Rachel McArthur (Bristow, Va.) was the runner-up in the 800 meters with a time of 2:06.43 and also had a split of 2:08.42 on the anchor leg of the 4x800 relay. Sixth-year senior Kelsey Margey (Huntington, N.Y.) rounded out a 1-2-3 sweep of the 800 meters – finishing third in 2:08.09 – and ran the third leg of the 4x800 relay with a split of 2:13.44. Freshman Lauren Ryan (South Yarra, Australia) finished third in the Mile with a time of 4:44.76 and earlier anchored the distance medley relay with a time of 4:54.82 on the 1600 meter anchor leg.
Sophomore sprinters Danielle Burns (Phoenix, Ariz.) and McKenna Keegan (West Grove, Pa.) each ran on the 4x400 relay in addition to finishing as the runners-up in their individual events. Burns came in second in the 60 meter hurdles with a personal best time of 8.63 and led off the 4x400 relay with a split of 57.92. Keegan finished second in the 400 meters with a time of 55.17 and ran the second leg of the 4x400 relay in 54.57. The other member of the relay was sophomore Amari Onque-Shabazz (Plainfield, N.J.), who ran the third leg in 55.36. Sophomore Trudy-Ann Williamson (Kingston, Jamaica) set a school record in winning the BIG EAST title in the 60 meters with a time of 7.37. She broke her own previous mark of 7.41 which she had recorded as a freshman last season.
Rounding out the champion distance medley relay squad were freshman Alex Harris (Stony Point, N.Y.) and junior Erin Jaskot (Blauvelt, N.Y.). Harris led off the relay with a split of 3:32.07 for the first 1200 meters, while Jaskot ran the 400 meter leg in 58.12. Also earning individual all-conference honors were sophomore Bella Burda (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) and freshman Amanda McNelis (Commack, N.Y.). Burda placed third in the 5000 meters in 16:27.83, while McNelis made her BIG EAST debut with a runner-up finish in the pole vault. She cleared the bar at 3.75 meters to notch her best height of the season.
Since the indoor BIG EAST meet started in 1983, the Wildcats have won 166 events and earned 550 all-conference honors at the meet.
VILLANOVA ALL-BIG EAST HONORS
Bella Burda: 5000 meters
Danielle Burns: 60 meter hurdles, 4x400 relay
Kaley Ciluffo: Mile, 4x800 relay, distance medley relay
Siofra Cleirigh Buttner: 800 meters, 4x400 relay
Alex Harris: distance medley relay
Nicole Hutchinson: Mile, 4x800 relay
Erin Jaskot: distance medley relay
McKenna Keegan: 400 meters, 4x400 relay
Kelsey Margey: 800 meters, 4x800 relay
Rachel McArthur: 800 meters, 4x800 relay
Amanda McNelis: pole vault
Amari Onque-Shabazz: 4x400 relay
Lauren Ryan: Mile, distance medley relay
Trudy-Ann Williamson: 60 meters