April 27, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The schedule and entry lists are complete for this week's 117th Penn Relays at Franklin Field and the Villanova women's track & field team will have athletes competing in nine different events from Thursday through Saturday. The Wildcats are riding the momentum of an already impressive season going into the Penn Relays and will look to add to their history of success at the world's oldest and largest track relay meet.
Highlighting the list of entries for Villanova is the distance medley relay Championship of America race on Thursday at 5:20 p.m. During the recent indoor season the Wildcats won an NCAA title in the DMR with a lineup that included freshman Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.), junior Christie Verdier (Baldwin, N.Y.), sophomore Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) and senior Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.).
The DMR is also where Villanova has achieved its greatest successes at the Penn Relays, as the Wildcats have tallied 10 of their all-time 29 Championship of America titles in the DMR. The last Penn Relays championship won by Villanova was the DMR in 2006, while the Wildcats 10 titles in the event are the most of any collegiate program.
Thursday's opening day of the relays will be a busy one for Villanova, which begins the day with senior Kristen Mahon (Robbinsville, N.J.) and freshman Mary Bohi (Shamong, N.J.) each competing in the 400 meter hurdles at 10 a.m.. At the same time senior Audrey Gariepy-Bogui (Potomac, Md.) and freshman Samantha Yeats (Califon, N.J.) will be taking part in the high jump. During the afternoon senior Ashlyn Llerandi (Ridgewood, N.J.) competes in the pole vault at 3 p.m. to round out the Wildcats field events for the day.
Following the DMR race will be the preliminary heats of the 4x400 Meter Relay starting at 5:45 p.m. Later in the evening, senior Amanda Marino (Jackson, N.J.) races in the 5000 meters at 8:40 p.m.
On Friday morning the action continues with freshman Samantha Francis (Kingston, Jamaica) and sophomore Marie Minasi (Park Ridge, N.J.) each competing in the triple jump. Both athletes are in the Eastern section of the event, which begins at 11 a.m.
The featured events for Friday both take place in the afternoon, as the Wildcats will run in the 4x1500 meter Championship of America relay at 1:30 p.m. Villanova is an eight-time champion in the relay, with the most recent title coming back in 2000. Later in the day, junior Shericka Ward (Leesburg, Fla.) runs for the Wildcats in the preliminary heats of the 100 meter hurdles at 3:50 p.m.
Villanova wraps up its stay at the relays on Saturday with the finals of the 100 meter hurdles at 3:20 p.m. and the finals of the 4x400 meter relay. The relay finals will be contested between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m., depending on which finals section the Wildcats advance to.
During its incredible history Villanova has won 29 Championship of America watches at the Penn Relays, with at least one title in five different events. All but two of the championships have come in the distance medley relay, the 4x800 meter relay and the 4x1500 meter relay.
Below are additional notes on each of the events that the Wildcats will compete in this week.
College Women 400 Meter Hurdles
** Senior Kristen Mahon is ID #24 in the event and freshman Mary Bohi is ID #56
** Mahon's top time this season is 1:00.27 at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational on April 16
** Bohi's top time this season is 1:03.39 last week at the Widener Invitational on April 22
College Women High Jump (Eastern)
** Freshman Samantha Yeats is ID #44 in the high jump and senior Audrey Gariepy-Bogui is ID #55
** Gariepy-Bogui had a season-best jump of 1.70 meters last week at the Widener Invitational
** Yeats registered a mark of 1.65 meters outdoors at the 46th Colonial Relays on April 27, 2011
College Women Pole Vault
** Senior Ashlyn Llerandi is ID #16 in the pole vault
** Llerandi eclipsed 4.00 meters for the fifth time in her career last week at the Widener Invitational
** Her height of 4.01 meters is her top mark of the current outdoor season
** Placed ninth at the Penn Relays last season
College Women Distance Medley Relay
** Villanova is ID #AB for the relay
** Villanova set the Penn Relays and recognized outdoor world record of 10:48.38 back in 1988
** That relay quartet consisted of Kathy Franey, Michelle Bennett, Celeste Halliday, Vicki Huber
** 10 Villanova titles in the DMR (1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2006)
** No other program has won more than five titles in the DMR (Tennessee - 5)
** Wildcats won NCAA indoor championship this season (Lipari, Verdier, Neutts, Reid)
** Villanova holds four of the top six times ever run at the Penn Relays
** Most recent Villanova title came in 2006 (F. Koons, T. Fletcher, A. Vargas, M. Muncan)
College Women 4x400 Meter Relay Heats
** Villanova is ID #BS for the relay
** The top eight teams advance to the Championship of America final (Saturday, 5:45 p.m.)
** The next eight ECAC teams advance to the ECAC final (Saturday, 5:40 p.m.)
** The next eight teams advance to the College final (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.)
** Villanova's top time this outdoor season is 3:41.23 at the Hurricane Alumni
Invitational on April 16
College Women 5000 Meters
** Senior Amanda Marino is ID #14 in the race
** Top outdoor time this season is 16:22.13 at the 46th Colonial Relays on April 2
** Last season finished second at the Penn Relays in the 5000 meters and was an NCAA All-American
College Women Triple Jump (Eastern)
** Freshman Samantha Francis is ID #58 and sophomore Marie Minasi ID #67 in the triple jump
** Francis had a distance of 12.44 meters at Hurricane Alumni Invitational on April 16
** Minasi had a mark of 11.39 meters at Franklin Field in Big Five Invite on March 26
College Women 4x1500 Meter Relay
** Villanova is ID #B for this relay
** Eight Villanova titles in the relay (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000)
** Villanova has the most titles in the event of any program (Stanford is second with three titles)
** Wildcats were second last year with fifth-fastest time ever at the Penn Relays (17:15.41)
** Villanova has three of the 10 fastest times ever run at the Penn Relays (ranks #5, #7 and #10)
** Last Villanova title was in 2000 (L. Awtrey, C. Tollefson, K. Nicolini, C. Douma)
College Women 100 Meter Hurdles
** Junior Shericka Ward will wear ID #6 in the 100 meter hurdles
** The top two finishers in each heat plus the next three overall advance to the finals on Saturday
** Ward finished in sixth place at the Penn Relays last season
** Her top time this season is 13.41 at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Miami on April 16
COMPLETE VILLANOVA WOMEN'S SCHEDULE
Thursday, April 28
10:00 AM - College Women 400 Meter Hurdles (Kristen Mahon, Mary Bohi)
10:00 AM - College Women High Jump (Samantha Yeats, Audrey Gariepy-Bogui)
3:00 PM - College Women Pole Vault Championship (Ashlyn Llerandi)
5:20 PM - College Women DMR Championship of America
5:45 PM - College Women 4x400 Meter Relay Heats
8:40 PM - College Women 5000 Meter Championship (Amanda Marino)
Friday, April 29
11:00 AM - College Women Triple Jump Eastern (Samantha Francis, Marie Minasi)
1:30 PM - College Women 4x1500 Meter Relay Championship of America
3:50 PM - College Women 100 Meter Hurdles Heats (Shericka Ward)
Saturday, April 30
3:20 PM - College Women 100 Meter Hurdles Championship Finals
5:40 PM - College Women ECAC 4x400 Meter Relay