Monday, October 4, 2010

The Kiwi Invasion of America

In the last ten years there have been six New Zealanders who have run for Villanova: Adrian Blincoe, Nic O'Brien, Lewis Jenkin, and current runners Hugo Beamish, Carl Mackenzie, and Mathew Mildenhall. Blincoe and O'Brien went on to set new national records after stellar careers for Villanova. While the Irish running pipeline to Villanova has dried up (with Richie Corcoran being the most recent in the illustrious history), the influx of Kiwis to the program has been part of a more general trend in recent years nationwide. Whereas in decades past Villanova and Providence competed tooth and nail over Irish talent, the two school currently have 9 New Zealanders on their respective rosters. In recent years, in addition to Villanova's 6 Kiwis, other schools have also made it a habit to recruit New Zealand hard: Lamar (8), McNeese (8, including Kim Smith), Michigan (3, including Nick Willis), Oklahoma (8), Oklahoma State (9, including Jason Woolhouse), Providence (12, including Hamish Thorpe and -- after a transfer -- Kim Smith), Stony Brook (12), Tulsa (6), Washington State (5), and Western State in Colorado an amazing (18, including Keith Dowland, Rees Buck, and Michael Aish). This is an impressive output for a country with only 4.4 million inhabitants. At least 12 NZ National records are currently held by individuals who matriculated at US colleges and universities. At the Notre Dame Invite cross country meet last weekend, won by the Villanova women, all five of Stony Brook's women scorers were from New Zealand.

There are currently at least 44 New Zealand athletes competing for American colleges and universities; some newcomers may be missing:

Lauren Fayen (UAB)
Daniel Wallis (Colorado State)
Alice Taylor (Concordia)
Daniel Jones (Eastern Kentucky)
Terefe Ejigu (Eastern Michigan)
David Ambler (Florida State)
Rochelle Sceats (George Mason)
Laura Sinclair (George Mason)
TeRina Keenan (Hawaii)
Sarah Saddleton (Hawaii)
Ashley Aitkin (Hawaii)
Jessica Penney (Illinois)
Michael Christmas (Maryland, Baltimore County)
Brendon Blacklaws (Michigan)
Dallas Bowden (Michigan)
Mandy Russ (Nevada-Reno)
Matthew Russ (North Texas)
Dino Bozzone(Portland)
Ruth Croft (Portland)
Sarah Morgan (Providence)
Hayden McLaren (Providence)
Dominic Channon (Providence)
Julian Matthews (Providence)
Laura Nagel (Providence)
Alex Wallace (Providence)
Caden Shields (Purdue)
Simon Rogers (Purdue)
Alice Feslier-Holmes (Purdue)
Camille Buscomb (Purdue)
Simon Bucknell (Rice)
Ayla Gill (SMU)
Olivia Burne (Stony Brook)
Annie Keown (Stony Brook)
Tim Hodge (Stony Brook)
Eric Speakman (Stony Brook)
Lucy van Dalen (Stony Brook)
Holly van Dalen (Stony Brook)
Haley Green (Stony Brook)
Katie Wright (Tulsa)
Paula Whiting (Tulsa)
Melanie Cleland (Tulsa)
Hugo Beamish (Villanova)
Carl Mackenzie (Villanova)
Mathew Mildenhall (Villanova)

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