Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nova XC Men Roll at Main Line Invitational

HAVERFORD, Pa. - In its first meet of the season, the Villanova men's cross country team had nine runners (plus 10 mored as unattached) competing at the Main Line Invitational, held on the Alumni Course at Haverford College early Thursday evening. Senior Carl Mackenzie (Lower Hutt, New Zealand) and junior Matt Kane (Fairfield, Conn.) came in first and second, respectively, in the four-mile race with nearly identical times. Junior Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) rounded out the top three runners for the Wildcats.

Mackenzie crossed the finish line first with a time of 19:53.13 and Kane was right with him in 19:53.37. With the majority of its team racing in Thursday's meet, Villanova occupied the top three finishing spots and had nine of the top 14 finishers overall.

It was a good opening race for the Wildcats on a warm and humid afternoon at the course, as the squad continues to prepare for its first big meet of the season next week at Notre Dame. Kane discussed the team's good start to the season following the race.

"I feel really good coming out of today's race," Kane said. "I had a lot of fun out there and everything went according to our plan. Coach [Marcus O'Sullivan] told us to run a relaxed pace between 4:40-5:00 [per mile] and we hit that exactly. I think everyone is happy with how they ran today."

Mildenhall recorded a time of 19:54.45 to finish only a second behind the team's two leading runners. Junior Joseph LoRusso (Oak Hill, Va.) came in sixth place while sophomores Greg Morrin (Hockessin, Del.) and John Pickhaver (Drexel Hill, Pa.) were eighth and 10th, respectively.

The race results for Morrin and Pickhaver were particularly strong, as the duo leads a group of redshirt freshmen who are making their official Villanova debuts this fall after competing unattached during parts of the 2009 season.

Overall, the Wildcats were able to show some of the potential that has them ranked at the top of the Mid-Atlantic Region and No. 14 in the nation to begin the season.

"For someone like me, today's race was a confidence booster," Kane said. "I ran a good 15 seconds or so faster than I did last year and was farther up on the team than I had expected. We are excited to get ready for a fast course at Notre Dame next week. I expect that we will be competitive as a team. I feel that this is the best team we have had since I have been year and I am happy to be a part of it."

Next week's (October 1st) Notre Dame Invitational will begin at 2 p.m. on the Notre Dame Golf Course.

Main Line Invite (4 Miles)

1 - Carl Mackenzie (19:53.13)
2 - Matthew Kane (19:53.37)
3 - Mathew Mildenhall (19:54.45)
6 - Joseph LoRusso (20:13.53)
8 - Greg Morrin (20:16.93)
10 - John Pickhaver (20:21.35)
11 - Keith Capecci (20:22.89)
12 - Matt Wikler (20:33.37)
14 - Brian Long (20:37.04)
15 - Dusty Solis (20:37.30)
17 - Alex Orlando (20:41.80)
18 - Chris O'Sullivan (20:46.73)
19 - Brian Tetreault (20:47.13)
23 - Brian Basili (20:54.56)
24 - Mark Lee (20:58.38)
27 - Chris Williams (21:02.00)
30 - Chris Pietrocarlo (21:15.22)
36 - Mark Hogan (21:24.53)
38 - Dan Harris (21:29.33)
44 - Chris Fitzsimons (21:43.27)
51 - Phil O'Connell (21:50.79)
64 - Joseph Capecci (22:25.94)
65 - Richie Bohny (22:26.22)

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