Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sheila Reid Wins Philly Outstanding Amateur Athlete Award (Again!)

Villanova’s Sheila Reid wins Outstanding Amateur Athlete at Philadelphia Sports Writers Banquet

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Neither a cold nor a late class could keep Villanova’s Sheila Reid from making it to the 108th annual Philadelphia Sports Writers banquet on time Monday night.

Reid and Villanova women’s coach Gina Procaccio arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel just in time for the start of the festivities. What else would you expect from an athlete who has become famous for her last-minute kick? Besides, being the first female to be named Outstand Amateur Athlete in back-to-back is a big deal to the 11-time All-American from Newmarket, Ont. She wasn’t about to miss the banquet for the world, even though she was in the infirmary at Villanova Sunday night and had a late Italian class Monday.

“I feel I’ve grown really close to the whole Philadelphia sports community,” said Reid, the first back-to-back winner of the award since golfer Jay Sigel in 1982-83. “While I won’t be able to represent Villanova after this year, it’s kind of nice to know that I can come back to Penn Relays and have some connection to Philadelphia.”

Reid will go down as one of the best runners in Villanova history and that’s saying something. She won her second straight NCAA individual cross country title last November. Five months earlier, Reid became the first woman to win the 1,500- and 5,000-meter titles in the same year at the NCAA Championships. Along the way, Reid has been named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Year twice, National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a four-time Big East academic all-star.

Yet for all of her accomplishments and awards, one thing is missing from her resume. She has not won a Penn Relays title, either as an individual or as part of a relay team. She will get one last chance to break that drought when the 118th Penn Relays Carnival gets under way April 26 at Franklin Field.

“Oh man, it’s a monkey on my back,” Reid said. “It’s pretty crazy that with all the success that I’ve had an the team has had I still can’t seem to tie down a Penn Relay’s wheel, but we’re working on it this year and we’re going to get it together for sure this year.”

Reid has more than a Penn Relays wheel on her wish list. She’s also training for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. She will get that opportunity at the Canadian Olympic team trials are June 27-30 in Alberta.

“I’ll be there,” she said. “I have to run really fast for them to want me on that team, but I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m setting myself up for a really good opportunity.”

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