Nov. 1, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa.--Now that the calendar has turned to November the focus for the Villanova men's and women's cross country teams will turn to the postseason, beginning with the BIG EAST Championships on Saturday at the Wayne E. Dannehl National Cross Country Course in Kenosha, Wis. The men's championship race goes off first and begins at 11 a.m. Central time, while the women's race follows at 11:50 a.m. Central time. Following the two races an awards ceremony is scheduled for 12:40 p.m.
The first four meets of the season for the Wildcats men's cross country teams have put Villanova in excellent position to contend for a conference title. So far this season the Wildcats have won the Princeton Invitational in domination fashion and also earned a runner-up finish at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas.
Freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) has been the BIG EAST Male Athlete of the Week on two occasions this season and was the top finisher for Villanova in each of the team's last three meets. The real strength of the Wildcats however, is their depth. At the Princeton Invitational the quartet of Tiernan, sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia), junior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) and sophomore Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) ran in a tight pack and finished within a second of each other.
On the women's side Villanova has star power at the top of the lineup in seniors Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) and Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.). Lipari is the reigning conference champion and both she and Akande are two-time All-BIG EAST performers. Akande finished in third place at the BIG EAST Championships last season and then went on to win the individual title at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional later in the year.
So far this season the Wildcats have competed in four meets and the team most recently ran in the Pre-NCAA Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. two weeks ago. Villanova opened the season at the Friend Big Five Invitational in Philadelphia and also competed locally at both the Main Line Invitational and the Paul Short Run.
Click on the links at the top of this release to access additional information for Saturday's conference meet. Full results and recaps following the meet will be posted on Villanova.com on Saturday afternoon.