Villanova is a finalist in the recruiting war for Cornwall, NY's Aisling Cuffe, the #1 prep distance runner in the USA. She ended her junior year in June ranked #1 in the country at 3200 meters and two miles, #2 at 3000 meters, and #3 at 1500 meters. She is currently the #1 ranked harrier over 5000 meters, with a PR (16:40.90) a full 24 seconds faster than the second best national time. Cuffe was a major competitor of Villanova freshman Emily Lipari over the past few years as they battled for state supremacy. Generally speaking, Lipari seemed to get the best of Cuffe at the shorter distances, but Cuffe usually beat Lipari at longer distances. Their competition turned into a solid friendship, something that may give Villanova some advantage in the battle to sign this superlative athlete (click the title of this post to be taken to Cuffe's Milesplit page).
Cuffe has taken two official visits to date: to Duke and to Villanova. She is considering Georgetown, Stanford, Oregon, Providence, and Washington as well. Here is her blog reaction to the VU visit.
After the race, my dad drove me down to Villanova for my 2nd official college visit. On the drive, guess what I noticed! The beginnings of the dreaded head cold! It caught me at last! At least it held up until after the race. Villanova was another great experience, even though the hurricane weather from down south was beginning to creep up into the northeast, in the form of dreary rain. But ignoring the rain, Villanova was another success. All of these great colleges are making my deciding job very difficult!
The Villanova women would seem to ensure their current position as a top-level women's program if Gina is able to turn these former competitors (see below) into Main Line teammates.