Saturday, May 28, 2011

Off to Nationals for Reid (x 2), Mimic, Ward & Gibney

Four Villanova runners qualified for the NCAA national championship meet at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (June 8-11).

Sheila Reid qualified in two events. She won her 1500 meter heat in the fastest time of the day, running her second-best time of the season in 4:16.81. Reid earned all-american status in the 1500 at last year's national championships, finishing 4th in the finals. Reid also qualified today for the national meet at 5000 meters. She finished 4th in her heat, in 16:17.77.

Joining Reid in the 5000 meter competition in Des Moines will be Bogdana Mimic. Mimic, like Reid, is going to second straight national meet, and the two women finished together in the 5000 race today. Mimic was 5th in the same heat at Reid, in 16:17.96 -- a fifth of a second behind her teammate. The top 5 finishers in each of two heats automatically qualified for nationals; the next two fastest non-auto qualifiers also will go to nationals.

Finally on the women's side, Shericka Ward finished third in her 100 meter hurdles heat in 13:19, gaining an automatic qualifier for nationals. Ward also returns to the national meet for the second straight year.

The sole male representative for Villanova at the national meet will be Matt Gibney. Unleashing his patented kick off a slow pace, Gibney won heat #1 in the 1500 meters today in 3:46.29. His was the fastest 1500 time of the day across two heats. Gibney made nationals in 2009, earning all-american status by finishing 5th in that meet. He red-shirted during the 2010 outdoor season, recovering from injury.

Hugo Beamish and Mathew Mildenhall came up just short of qualifying in the 5000 meters. The top 12 finishers are guaranteed a spot at nationals, and Beamish and Mildenhall finished 13th and 15th, respectively. The final qualifier in the 5000 meters ran 14:08.43 -- Beamish was next at 14:10.09 and Mildenhall was a second slower, running 14:11.16.

Others who competed today in the up-or-out day of the East Regional were Emily Lipari, who finished 22nd (4:33.30) in the women's 1500 meters, Brian Tetreault, who was 24th (3:59.73) in the men's 1500 meters, Ali Smith, who finished 25th (16:54.69) in the 5000 meters, and Brian Long, whose 14:29.87 was good for 23rd in the men's 5000 meters. The women's 4x400 meters relay tandem of Kristen Mahon, Shericka Ward, Christie Verdier, and Jessona McDonald finished 19th in 3:40.17.

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