Thursday, April 21, 2011
Penn Relays News & Notes
Villanova's Reid needs some help to get Penn Relays watch
By Joe Juliano
Philadelphia Inquirer, April 21,2011
Sheila Reid has won an NCAA cross-country championship as well as all-American awards in indoor and outdoor track during her stellar career at Villanova. What still eludes her is a Penn Relays watch.
That could change this year.
The junior distance runner from Canada has an excellent group of teammates with her in the distance medley relay. The quartet won the NCAA indoor DMR championship last month and is zeroed in on next Thursday's event at Franklin Field.
After a close call last year in the women's 4x1,500-meter relay, when the Wildcats lost to Tennessee by a half-second, Reid is ready to break through.
"She was really disappointed with that finish in the 4x15 last year," Villanova women's coach Gina Procaccio said Wednesday during a news conference about next week's 117th carnival.
"But it's the three girls in front of her that have to put her in the race. Indoors, I told them we put her in the race or we're not going to get it done. . . . I think they're excited this year because we know as a team we'll be able to put her in the race."
Reid outdueled Oregon's Jordan Hasay on the 1,600-meter anchor leg to lead the Wildcats to the NCAA title in 10 minutes, 52.52 seconds.
Reid made her outdoor debut last weekend in the Mount San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., and clocked a personal-best time of 4:11.85 in the 1,500. She finished second, less than two-tenths of a second behind 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalene Flanagan.
"She hung in the back the first two laps and I thought, 'What is she doing?' " Procaccio said. "But on the third lap she made her way up and went after Shalene. She came up a little short, but it was a [personal record] by five seconds, an outstanding start."
The remainder of 'Nova's DMR team - Emily Lipari (1,200 meters), Christie Verdier (400), and Ariann Neutts (800) - is intact, although Reid and Lipari had to deal with strep throat after the end of the indoor season.
Lipari, a freshman who won the Penn Relays high school girls' 3,000 last year, gave the Wildcats a gutty leadoff leg at the NCAAs in her first major collegiate competition, handing off in third place after getting pushed and tripped.
"Sometimes freshmen get into a situation like that and they panic," Procaccio said. "But she stayed calm."
Verdier, a junior, ran a personal-best time of 53.70 seconds for the 400 last week and "is really coming into her own," her coach said. Neutts had a personal record in the 1,500 earlier this season but has yet to run an 800.
Procaccio said the Wildcats women also plan to run in the 4x1,500 and the 4x400 relays.
As for the 'Nova men, coach Marcus O'Sullivan has entered teams in the DMR, 4-by-mile, 4x800 and 4x400, although he admitted "we're not quite sure where we are" on which races to run.
Villanova took seventh in the NCAA men's DMR with two first-time starters - 1,200-meter leadoff Brian Tetreault, a redshirt junior from Cinnaminson High, and 400 runner Carlton Bowers, a sophomore. O'Sullivan was impressed with Tetreault.
"He had never been at that level before," he said, "and he ran magnificently for a guy who's never been at that level. So I'm very comfortable with somebody like that."
The coach added, however, that he won't pick the runners for any of his relay teams until next week.