Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Marina Muncan is Villanova Female Runner of the Decade
The 2000-2009 decade produced several national class distance runners on the women's side of the program: Frances Koons, Ioana Parusheva, Sheila Reid and Amanda Marino to name just a few. But the obvious choice for Villanova Female Runner of the Decade is Marina Muncan. Muncan competed for the Wildcats from 2002 to 2005 and achieved numerous noteworthy accomplishments. In cross country, Muncan was a four-time All American by viture of her finishes at the NCAA cross country nationals. Between 2002 and 2005 Marina finished 24th, 16th, 6th, and 23rd at NCAA cross nationals. Frances Koons, perhaps Muncan's closest challenger for title of decade's best, had but one All American finish in cross country, a 20th place finish in 2008. Muncan was a six-time Big East champion. She won four Big East individual titles: 800 meters (2004), 1000 meters indoors (2005), the mile indoors (2005), and 1500 meters (2005). She was part of two Big East championship relays as well: the 2004 4 x 800 and the 2005 4 x 800 indoors. Koons won 7 Big East titles: 3 individual and as part of two relays. Finally, Marina was an NCAA finalist in four individual and one relay events (in 2003, 2004, and 2005 she made the 1500 meter finals, finishing 5th, 3rd, and 9th, respectively; she was a 3000i meter finalist in 2004) and one relay (the 2004 DMR, which finished 4th). Koons was a four-time NCAA individual finalist: 2006 1500 meters (10th), 2009 3000i (9th) and 5000i (2nd), 2009 5000 (3rd).
Since the start of her professional career, Muncan has been a 1500 meter finalist at both the 2008 and 2009 European Indoor Championships (finishing 8th and 9th, respectively) and in July 2009 she won the 1500 meter gold medal at the World University Games, held in Belgrade, Serbia (her native country). Possessing good speed (a 2:02.86 PR at 800 meters) as well as strength, and by virtue of her success in both cross country and track, Muncan is here considered the best Villanova female runner of the past decade.