Cross Country - Home
Incredible Team Performance Leads Wildcats to NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Title
Emily Lipari and Nicky Akande were the top two finishers at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional as Villanova earned a team bid to next week's NCAA Championships.

 
Emily Lipari and Nicky Akande were the top two finishers at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional as Villanova earned a team bid to next week's NCAA Championships.
 

Nov. 15, 2013

Complete Results

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The entire Villanova lineup stepped up in a big way as the Wildcats won both the team and individual titles at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday afternoon. In a race that will go down as a memorable one in the storied history of the Villanova program seniors Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) and Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) crossed the finish line first and second overall in a dead heat, while redshirt freshman Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) was fourth in the field of 207 runners.

The entire Villanova lineup stepped up in a big way as the Wildcats won both the team and individual titles at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday afternoon. In a race that will go down as a memorable one in the storied history of the Villanova program seniors Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) and Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) crossed the finish line first and second overall in a dead heat, while redshirt freshman Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) was fourth in the field of 207 runners.

If there was any separation between Lipari and Akande as they came down the final straightaway - comfortably in front of the rest of the pack - it wasn't discernible to the naked eye. They each finished with times of 19:53 on the 6,000 meter Lehigh Cross Country Course, with Lipari winning the individual title. The team scores were nearly as tight in a battle between longtime BIG EAST foes.

The winning team score for the Wildcats was 31 points, while Georgetown was in second with 35 points. The other 27 teams were well off the pace, with Penn State (92) coming in third, West Virginia fourth (124) and Princeton fifth (135). This is the fourth time in the last five years that Villanova has won at least a share of the team title at the regional meet, while Lipari extends the Wildcats streak of individual regional winners to six consecutive seasons. Akande was the individual winner last year.

 

 

Villanova finished atop the team standings as the result of a true team-wide effort. Junior Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) recorded an eighth place finish (20:17) and sophomore Sydney Harris (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was 12th (20:35). Each of the Wildcats five scoring runners earned All-Mid Atlantic Region honors.

"From watching our training this season I knew we were good," Villanova head coach Gina Procaccio said. "There are a lot of talented girls on the team. Their training and hard work demonstrated to me what they were capable of and winning today is a result of that. When you run as if you don't have a choice but to win, that makes it easier to get it done. Angel brings a fire that gets the entire team going."

Piccirillo had not run since the Pre-NCAA Meet last month and missed the BIG EAST Championships two weeks ago. She returned with arguably the best race of her collegiate career and held off two Georgetown runners that were on her heels near the finish line. Only 43 seconds separated the Wildcats top five. The split from one through seven was less than two minutes (1:56).

Freshman Julie Williams (Wilmington, Del.) came in 27th overall (20:55) and redshirt freshman Caitlin Bungo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished in 77th place (21:47).

Villanova will run in the NCAA Championships next Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. The race will be held on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course near the Indiana State campus.

COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS

Women's Race

Emily Lipari                   1st of 207                 19:53
Nicky Kande                    2nd                        19:53
Angel Piccirillo               4th                        20:10
Stephanie Schappert            8th                        20:17
Sydney Harris                  16th                       20:35
Julie Williams                 27th                       20:55
Caitlin Bungo                  77th                       21:47

Team Standings (Top Five)

1. Villanova                   31
2. Georgetown                  35
3. Penn State                  92
4. West Virginia               124
5. Princeton                   135
    Facebook Twitter YouTube foursquare Instagram Mobile Photo Galleries Tickets GameTracker Video Audio