Nov. 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Senior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) looked strong from start to finish in one of the top races of her career and that effort led her to a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course on Saturday afternoon. Villanova came in 19th as a team, with Lipari and fellow senior Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.) leading the way at the top of the Wildcats lineup. This is the sixth straight year that Villanova has qualified as a team for the national meet.
Lipari registered a time of 20:10.8 on the 6,000 meter course, which was modified due to wet and muddy conditions. The starting boxes for the race were moved up approximately 150 meters and the race went out at a slow pace. Heavy rainfall and flooding in the area last weekend caused the course to be closed until the championship participants were allowed on yesterday for practice.
At the start of the race Lipari and Akande quickly moved into the front pack of runners, with Lipari never falling far off the pace. Akande finished in 43rd place with a time of 20:47.9, while the other scoring runners for the Wildcats were junior Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.), sophomore Sydney Harris (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and redshirt freshman Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.).
Schappert finished in 91st place with a time of 21:16.0 and was followed by Harris in 153rd place (21:40.5) and Piccirillo in 217th place (22:14.9). Villanova had a team score of 397 points and moved up a spot from its finish at last year's championships.
The sixth and seventh runners for the Wildcats were redshirt freshman Caitlin Bungo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and freshman Julie Williams (Wilmington, Del.), who rounded out the lineup in 249th and 250th places, respectively. Bungo registered a time of 23:10.2 and Williams crossed the finish line in 23:15.5.
BIG EAST member Providence won the team title with 141 points, while Abbey D'Agostino was the individual champion with a winning time of 20:00.3.
Villanova finished the season strong by qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats received an automatic bid to the meet after winning the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last week. Lipari was the individual champion at the meet and the top five Villanova runners all received All-Mid Atlantic Region honors.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Emily Lipari 5th of 253 20:10.8 Nicky Akande 43rd 20:47.9 Stephanie Schappert 91st 21:16.0 Sydney Harris 153rd 21:40.5 Angel Piccirillo 217th 22:14.9 Caitlin Bungo 249th 23:10.2 Julie Williams 250th 23:15.5