As the student body returns to campus for the start of the 2013-14 academic year, the 2013 cross country season is right around the corner. Here's a look at some key members of Villanova's incoming class of cross country and track & field athletes.
(Hillsdale, New Jersey)
Ben Malone is Villanova's top middle distance recruit in the 2013 class. He brings his 2013 USA #2 1500 meter PR of 3:46.97 (a New Jersey state prep record) and 4:05.59 mile PR to the Main Line, as well as a 2012 national prep indoor title over 800 meters, when he ran the USA all-time #2 prep time of 1:49.94. Malone's recent exploits in 2013 include a victory in the Millrose Games prep mile and a win over University of Oregon-bound Edward Cheserek over the mile distance at the Loucks Games in New York. Malone adds additional depth from 800 meters through 3000 meters, joining redshirt freshman Josh Lampron and veterans Sam McEntee, Jordy Williamsz, Rob Denault, Sam Ellison, and Chris FitzSimons. Malone will be valuable right away in relays as well, as he can be plugged into any DMR distance, including 400 meters. He is one of the most anticipated local recruits to Villanova in some time.
Tiernan is Villanova's most significant bona fide distance recruit in many years. He is a true cross country/distance man -- not a converted miler running beyond his optimal distance: he views the 5000 as his prime distance. Tiernan is especially accomplished in cross country. He's a 3-time Australian national XC champion (U-12, U-18, and U-20) and in 2012 took home three Australian titles: cross country, 1500 meters, and 5000 meters. He also claimed a road win at the 2012 Southern Cross University 10K. He brings impressive PRs of 3:50.67 (1500) 8:11 (3000), 14:40 (5000), 30:34 (10K). Tiernan, who enrolled at Villanova in January, could break into Nova's top 5 in cross this season.
(Long Island, New York)
Ayo Obadare comes to Villanova from Elmont Memoral high school on Long Island as a 400 meter specialist. He won that event at the 2013 Loucks Games, where he ran his PR of 48.03. Obadare also took the 400 win indoors in January at the New Balance Games at the Armory. His PRs are 22.66 (200), 34.40 (300), 48.03 (400) and 1:26.10 (600).
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
The son of Irish Olympian and two-time world indoor 3000 meter champion Frank O'Mara, Colin O'Mara (bib 159, left) will run under the tutelage of Marcus O'Sullivan this fall. O'Mara hails from the same high school as Villanova teammate Alex Tully. He brings PRs of 4:21.67 (mile), 9:02.94 (3000), 9:49.94 (3200) and 16:24.80 (5K XC). In fall 2012, O'Mara finished 9th in the 7A Arkansas state cross country championship meet. He covered the 5K distance in 16:24.80 -- up from his 12th place finish at the 2011 state meet.
Jule Williams comes to Villanova from nearby Wilmington, Delaware, where she ran at the Tatnall School. A versatile runner from 800 meters to cross country, Williams finished 5th in the mile at the 2013 Nike Outdoor Nationals, setting a new PR of 4:51.37. In December 2012 she ran 11:05.57 over two miles, at the time the #4 indoor mark in the USA prep ranks. She was Delaware state runner up in cross country in 2012 and qualified for Nike Cross Country Nationals in 2011. During the 2012 cross country season, Williams was 23rd at the Great American XC Festival in North Carolina and 18th at the Nike Cross Country Southeast Regional. She boasts the following PRs: 2:14.40 (800), 4:32.06 (1500), 10:50.56 (2 mile), 9:53.87 (3000) and 18:15.50 (5K XC).
(Manlius, New York)
2013 New York state runner-up in the 1500 meters, Katie Brislin joins former prep teammate Courtney Chapman on Villanova's squad. She hails from the cross country powerhouse at Fayetteville-Manlius high school, which is riding a 7-year run as USA national champions. In December 2012, Brislin finished an impressive 29th at Nike Cross Country Nationals in San Diego. In June of this year, Brislin finished as New York state runner over over 1500 meters in a new PR of 4:29.25. She brings with her the following PRs: 2:13.80 (800), 2:57.00 (1000), 4:29.25 (1500), 10:18.41 (3000), and 17:51.40 (5k XC).
(Port Jervis, New York)
Kalissa Caesar will bring her sprint talents to Villanova this fall. A 100/200 meter specialist, Caesar finished 14th in the 100 meters at the 2013 New York state outdoor meet, after finishing 9th at the 2012 meet. Her PRs are 7.45 (55 meters), 12.34 (100 meters), and 25.50 (200 meters). She is also a 14' 4" long jumper.
The conference 200 meter champion (and school record holder at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School), Emma Biggs will bring added sprint talent to Villanova this fall. Biggs has PRs of 7.75 (55 meters), 11.54 (55m hurdles), 13.13 (100), 25.82 (200), and 43.16 (300).