Sunday, October 14, 2012

US Prep 800 Meter Champ Ben Malone Picks Villanova

Ben Malone picks Villanova for college career
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The Record

It’s Villanova.

Pascack Valley’s All-American middle distance runner Ben Malone chose the track powerhouse over Georgetown on Saturday night, ending a recruiting battle that had narrowed down to the two Big East powers.

“Every time I found myself sitting down to make a list, I kept finding excuses to make it come out for Villanova,” said Malone, who won the indoor 800-meter national championship last winter and set the Bergen County 1,600-meter record outdoors. “I just went with my gut that this was the right place for me.”

Villanova is coached by Marcus O’Sullivan, a three-time indoor World Champion at 1,500 meters and a four-time Olympian representing Ireland. The Wildcats have had more than 100 All-Americans and have won more Penn Relays plaques than any other collegiate team.

“I really like Marcus a lot and I liked the school a lot, too,” said Malone, who admitted he was leaning towards the Philadelphia-area school from the beginning. “But I had an amazing visit to Georgetown and it made it very tough for awhile.”

Coincidentally, Malone made his decision and communicated it to the coaches on the same day his immediate cross-country season might have been placed in jeopardy.

Running at the Eastern States Championship earlier in the day, Malone was moving up after a typical slow start when he felt something in the left hamstring area.

“I passed about 15 or 20 kids going into the first downhill and I sort of rolled my ankle, but I felt it in my hammy,” said Malone, who limped his way to the finish line. “I iced it and took some Advil, and it feels a lot better, but I’m going to go to the doctor Monday and have it checked out.”

With the Bergen County meet set for next Saturday, Malone is questionable and if he doesn’t run, he wouldn’t be eligible to defend his Lou Molino Bergen Meet of Champions title Oct. 27. Malone, who was third in the state Meet of Champions last fall, is the individual favorite to win this year’s title.

“I think I’ll be OK, but we’ll see.”

No comments:

Post a Comment