Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cross Women to Compete at Notre Dame | Split Squad to Paul Short

Gina Procaccio will send out her complete "A" squad this Friday at Notre Dame. The team will consist of Sheila Reid, Amanda Marino, Bogdana Mimic, Ali Smith, Sarah Morrison, Callie Hogan, and Emily Lipari. The first four listed ran on Villanova's NCAA championship last year. Hogan and Morrison red-shirted a year ago, and Lipari is a true freshman in her second collegiate meet. This looks to be the season-long top seven, and the field at Notre Dame is packed with the nation's elite programs. The Villanova women went undefeated last year; this meet will place their streak in jeopardy, as five of the top eight teams in the current national rankings will face off at Notre Dame. The rest of the women's squad will compete at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh. Here is the official story from

Villanova Among the Numerous Top Teams Running in Friday's Notre Dame Invitational

Villanova faces its first big test of the season at this week's Notre Dame Invitational.

Sept. 28, 2010

VILLANOVA, Pa.--In just its second competition of the young season, the Villanova women's cross country team will be racing against stiff competition at the Notre Dame Invitational this Friday, as the team entry list consists of a `Who's Who' of the best teams from around the nation. Then again, the large group of nationally-ranked squads competing in this meet is headlined by the Wildcats, who remain the unanimous number one team in the nation.

This early in the year, a race that will feature four of the top five teams in the country and a total of 12 schools ranked in the top 30 of this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll is a great test for defending national champion Villanova.

Not much has changed on the national scene since last November, when the Wildcats brought home the program's eighth national title. The top three teams at last year's NCAA Championships meet - Villanova, Florida State and Washington - just happen to be ranked in that same order in this week's national rankings. And they will all go head-to-head on Friday afternoon, along with No. 5 Oregon and No. 8 Princeton among others.

Head coach Gina Procaccio has an experienced veteran team and will enter a powerful lineup in this week's race. Senior Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.) will be making her season debut and returns to the top of the Wildcat lineup along with classmate Amanda Marino (Jackson, N.J.), who won last week's three-mile race at the Main Line Invitational.

The core of Villanova's returning group of runners is formed by Reid along with Marino, junior Bogdana Mimic (Pancevo, Serbia) and senior Ali Smith (Columbia, Md.). The latter three occupied the top three spots at the season-opening meet last week, with the Wildcats claiming the top six finishers overall (in the three-mile race little more than a minute separated the top six Villanova runners).

Freshman Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) made an impressive collegiate debut last week at Haverford, running with her older teammates for much of the race before coming in fourth. Seniors Sarah Morrison (Chambersburg, Pa.) and Callie Hogan (Bay Shore, N.Y.) complete the Wildcats lineup for the team's upcoming race after placing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Main Line meet.

Friday's meet will be held at the Notre Dame Golf Course on the southwest corner of the Fighting Irish campus. The women will run on a 5K course and Villanova is racing in the Blue Division race, which begins at 4:15 p.m.

Six Team Members to Compete at Paul Short Run

Villanova will have six of its runners in competition at the Paul Short Run on Friday morning at Lehigh. The women's gold race begins at 11:45 a.m. and will cover a 6K course. Included in the contingent of Wildcats that will be running are senior Kaitlin O'Sullivan (Gansevoort, N.Y.), sophomores Shannon Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.), Anna Francis (Brookhaven, N.Y.), Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) and Meghan Smith (Newark, Del.), and freshman Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, Ga.).

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