November 28th a Good Day for Villanova Track: Happy Birthday to Sonia O'Sullivan & Bobby Curtis
Two of Villanova's all-time track heroes share November 28th as a birthday.
On this day in 1969 three-time world champion Sonia O'Sullivan was born in Cobh, Country Cork, Ireland. After winning two NCAA cross country individual titles (1991, 1992) as well as two NCAA 3000 meter titles (both indoors and outdoors in 1990) on the track for Villanova, O'Sullivan represented her native Ireland at four consecutive Olympic Games (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004). She won a silver medal over 5000 meters at the 2000 Games in Sydney, where she ran a blistering PR of 14:41.02. She won two world cross country titles (executing a rare short- and long-course double in 1998) as well as the 1995 world title in the 5000 meters on the track. She won a silver medal over 1500 meters as well at the 1993 World Championships. O'Sullivan was a three-time European Champion (over 3000, 5000, and 10,000 meters) and set World Records over 2000 meters (5:25.36 in July 1994), 2 miles (9:19.56 in June 1998), and 5000i meters (15:17.28 in January 1991). She is by virtually all accounts the greatest runner ever produced by the country of Ireland.
November 28th is also the birthday of Villanova's most recent male individual NCAA champion. The new 28 year old won the NCAA 5000 meter title in 2008 and his time of 13:33.93 was the 10th fastest time ever run by a US collegiate athlete over that distance. He was Villanova's first NCAA outdoor male champion since 1981. Curtis had been the 5000 meter runner-up at the 2007 NCAA championships. Curtis was a 2-time Big East cross country champion (2004, 2007), won the 2007 NCAA Mid-Atlantic cross country regional, and finished as high as 4th (2007) at cross country nationals. He was a 2-time All-American in cross country. After graduating from Villanova, Bobby Curtis has developed into an international-class 10,000 meter runner and his 27:24.67 PR is the 7th fastest time ever run by a native-born American.