NEW ORLEANS--Villanova has earned a national ranking for the first time this season and checks in at No. 22 in this week’s United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top 30 poll. The national poll was released on Tuesday afternoon and follows the new regional rankings published a day earlier. Following a strong team performance at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational last week, the Wildcats moved up three spots to No. 2 in this week’s Mid-Atlantic Region rankings.
The competition at the Wisconsin meet last Friday included four of the top six teams in the country according to the most recent poll released prior to the meet. In all, 24 of the 31 schools that attended the meet were either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. Villanova came in 12th overall at the meet and finished ahead of seven nationally-ranked teams and another five schools that were receiving votes.
Of particular significance to the Wildcats was the opportunity to compete against several other top teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region. Villanova finished ahead of both Georgetown and Penn at the Nuttycombe meet and moved ahead of both teams in this week’s regional rankings.
Senior Angel Piccirillo (Homer City, Pa.) was the Wildcats top finisher in Wisconsin and recorded a 19th place individual finish out of 211 runners. Juniors Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dublin, Ireland) and Katie Fisher (Uxbridge, Ont.) also had strong races to place 32nd and 61st, respectively.
Villanova has had success with a young roster this season and the team has shown steady progress through each of its first three meets of the year. The next full meet on the Wildcats schedule is the BIG EAST Championships which take place on October 28 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York.