Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dougherty & Douma-Hussar in the OD Mile at Penn Relays

Two Villanova alums competed in the Penn relays Olympic Development 1500 meters race on Saturday. Carmen Douma-Hussar, who owns a 4:26.76 mile PR from 2007, finished 6th in 4:40.57. Recent alum Ellen Dougherty, coming off her solid 2:10.60 800 meter performance at Princeton last weekend, finished in 12th, running 4:44.61.

1 15 Lauren Centrowitz New Balance 4:37.12
2 4 Karly Hamric Riadha 4:37.35
3 1 Elizabeth Maloy New Balance TC 4:37.48
4 3 Pilar McShine Trinidad 4:37.56
5 19 Madeline Chambers Georgetown 4:39.63
6 16 Carmen Douma-Hussar unattached 4:40.57
7 14 Melissa Salerno New Balance 4:40.88
8 11 Annick Lamar NYAC 4:41.77
9 10 Heidi Gregson Iona 4:42.16
10 17 Jesse Carlin unattached 4:42.45
11 12 Ellen Dougherty NYAC 4:44.61
12 6 Lesley Higgins NYAC 4:47.69
13 13 Rolanda Bell NYAC 4:51.04
14 18 Kimarra McDonald Knoxville Elite TC 5:05.18
9 Lauren Borduin Georgetown DNF

Villanova Men 4th at Penn Relays 4 x Mile

The Villanova quartet of Brian Tetreault (4:08.8), Mathew Mildenhall (4:02.3), Carl Mackenzie (4:07.6) and Matthew Gibey (4:07.7) came home a respectable fourth, as Princeton won its first ever Penn Relays Championship of America wheel. Tetreault and Gibney were coming back the day after their particiaption in the winning DMR effort.

College Men's 4 x Mile Championship of America
Event 456
Saturday 1:00 PM


1 Princeton 16:19.98
Chris Bendtsen (4:08.8), Donn Cabral (4:03.1), Kyle Soloff (4:05.3), Mark Amirault (4:02.8) E

2 Arkansas 16:20.42
Eric Fernandez (4:09.0), Thomas Cattin-Masson (4:07.5), Dorian Ulrey (3:58.3), Duncan Phillips (4:05.6) A

3 Indiana 16:22.02
Andy Weatherford (4:07.6), De'Sean Turner (4:01.3), Andrew Poore (4:08.3), Ben Hubers (4:04.8) D

4 Villanova 16:26.40
Brian Tetreault (4:08.8), Mathew Mildenhall (4:02.3), Carl MacKenzie (4:07.6), Matthew Gibney (4:07.7) B

5 Florida State 16:27.19
Jakub Zivec, Alexander Smyth, David Forrester, Ciaran O'Lionaird Q

6 Navy 16:32.59
Cody Rome (4:09.9), Dominic DellaPelle (4:03.9), Jeremy Haney (4:13.9), Andrew Hanko (4:04.9) M

7 Duke 16:39.49
Josh Lund (4:10.6), Domenick DeMatteo (4:06.9), Ryan McDermott (4:07.1), Cory Nanni (4:14.9) C

8 American 16:47.44
Craig Brown, Colin Eustis, Conor Sullivan, Jeff Brannigan O

9 La Salle 16:49.21
Nick Crits, Paul Reilly, Nick Ross, Sean Mallon N

10 Boston College 16:51.97
Ian Thomas, Louis Serafini, Jordan Hamm, Michael Keebler P

11 Michigan 16:55.68
Brendon Blacklaws, Nick Thomas, Dallas Bowden, Craig Forys K

12 Eastern Kentucky 17:11.83
Victor Kemboi, , David Mutuse, Ole Hesselbjerg

DMR Post-Race Press Conference

Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview with Tetreault, Bowers & Gibney after DMR Win

Watch more video of 2011 Penn Relays on

Villanova Men Claim Penn Relays DMR Championship of America

Villanova wins the DMR for the 24th time in Relays history!

Albany’s Christopher Burke set the pace on the opening 1200 leg, then Indiana’s Chris Vaughn took control on the 400. IU’s Daniel Stockberger set the pace for 600 meters of the 800 leg, before being overtaken by Arkansas’ Duncan Phillips and Villanova’s Samuel Ellison. On the anchor leg, Virginia Tech’s Michael Hammond took the early lead with Villanova (Matthew Gibney), Arkansas (Dorian Ulrey), Indiana (Ben Hubers) and BYU (Miles Batty) trailing. Albany’s Paul Lagno joined the leaders with two laps to go and took the lead on the penultimate backstretch. Batty powered into the lead with 200 meter to go, but had no response for Gibney and Ulrey.

Villanova clocked 9:37.93 off these splits: Brian Tetreault (2:57.86), Carlton Bowers (46.89), Samuel Ellison (1:51.03), Matthew Gibney (4:02.16).

Here's what the folks at FloTrack said about the race:

Villanova rode the strong kick of anchor leg, Matthew Gibney, to claim the 2011 Penn Relays DMR title.

Gibney was able to kick past distance studs Dorian Ulrey of Arkansas and Miles Batty of BYU for the 9:37.93 win. Arkansas came in second at 9:38.40, while BYU was third at 9:38.60.

Nova continues a streak of upset victories in the Penn distance relays, as Georgetown and Boston College were underdog winners in the women's DMR and 4x1500 relays earlier in the meet.

The 2011 NCAA Indoor DMR champion BYU Cougars did not quite have enough this time, as Gibney and Ulrey were able to kick past Batty with 150 meters remaining (Batty did receive the baton just back, and still split the second fastest mile time in 4:01.34).

Indiana (2nd indoors) got out to an early lead thanks to a 2:56.5 opening 1200 leg, but could not hold on late (47.4 400 and 4:03 anchor). Surprisingly, the fastest anchor actually went to Providence's David McCarthy, in 4:01.25. That was good enough to propel Providence from 8th to 5th.

But the story was Villanova's unlikely victory. Gibney unleashed a perfectly timed kick to slingshot off the turn and blow past Batty. Batty, having run a 3:36 1500 at Mt. Sac weeks ago, had to have thought the race was in hand with 200 to go. He stormed to the lead with 300 left, looking untouchable. But it was Gibney and Ulrey who had a little left in the tank.


1 Villanova 9:37.93
Brian Tetreault (2:57.86), Carlton Bowers (46.89), Samuel Ellison (1:51.03), Matthew Gibney (4:02.16) AB

2 Arkansas 9:38.40
Thomas Cattin-Masson (3:01.11), Marek Niit (45.82), Duncan Phillips (1:49.05), Dorian Ulrey (4:02.43) AC

3 BYU 9:38.60
Brian Weirich (2:59.14), Cade Lindahl (46.40), Justin Hedin (1:51.74), Miles Batty (4:01.34) AA

4 Indiana 9:39.24
De'Sean Turner (2:56.53), Chris Vaughn (47.46), Daniel Stockberger (1:52.06), Ben Hubers (4:03.20) AD

5 Providence 9:40.99
Julian Matthews (2:56.96), Brian Stannard (49.12), Alex Wallace (1:53.67), David McCarthy (4:01.25) AM

6 Columbia 9:44.91
Adam Behnke (2:58.90), Sam Miner (49.09), Harry McFann (1:51.67), Mark Feigen (4:05.27) AJ

7 Binghamton 9:45.17
Casey Quaglia, Cazal Arnett, Jesse McCormick, Erik van Ingen AO

8 Albany 9:45.62
Christopher Burke (2:58.94), Alie Beauvais (47.05), Nicolas Santos (1:50.98), Paul Lagno (4:08.67) AT

9 Georgetown 9:46.07
Billy Ledder (3:01.38), Toby Ulm (47.81), Theon O'Conner (1:50.30), Andrew Springer (4:06.58) AF

10 Virginia Tech 9:46.70
William Mulherin (2:58.58), Ebenezer Amegashie (49.07), Tihut Degfae (1:50.64), Michael Hammond (4:08.42) AG

11 Rider 9:49.23
Christian Gonzalez (3:47.16), Dave Brown (00.52), Greg Wesh (1:52.80), Mike Soroko (4:08.77) AN

12 Penn 9:49.36
James Finucane (3:02.34), Brian Rosenthal (46.98), Matt Chylak (1:54.02), Michael Cunningham (4:06.03) AP

13 Tennessee 9:52.43
Jordan Chaney (3:00.00), Varick Tucker (48.20), Joe Franklin (1:53.31), Eric Ryan (4:10.93) AH

DNF Dartmouth DNF
Anthony Romaniw, Jalil Bishop, Joseph Woiwode, Tom Robbins AK

Villanova Women 3rd in 4 x 1500 at Penn Relays

According to the Penn Relays website, the race developed this way:

Just as Georgetown was the spoiler in Thursday’s college women’s distance medley relay championship, so Boston College dashed the Hoyas hopes of a distance double in Friday’s 4×1500. Thanks to a thrilling sprint from anchor Caroline King, the Eagles their first ever women’s Championship of America at the Penn Relays.

Richmond took the lead at the first exchange and held a wide margin halfway through the second leg. But BC’s Jillian King led a strong charge from the chase group to draw even at the exchange. Georgetown’s Renee Tomlin went to the front and slowly extended its lead. On the anchor leg BC’s King and Villanova’s Sheila Reid trailed the Hoyas’ Emily Infeld by as much as 30 meters with a lap to go. A big push from Reid brought the duo within striking distance, and King slingshot off the final curve to close quickly on Infeld.

Boston College hit the tape in 17:25.19, with Georgetown (17:25.65) and Nova (17:28.12) following.

College Women's 4x1500 Championship of America


1 Boston College 17:25.19
Caitlin Bailey (4:25.2), Jillian King (4:18.8), Siobhan Breagy (4:29.0), Caroline King (4:12.2) F

2 Georgetown 17:25.65
Lauren Borduin (4:24.4), Rachel Schneider (4:20.5), Renee Tomlin (4:23.9), Emily Infeld (4:16.9) D

3 Villanova 17:28.12
Ariann Neutts (4:21.7), Emily Lipari (4:26.9), Bogdana Mimic (4:26.1), Sheila Reid (4:13.4) B

4 Princeton 17:50.45
Greta Feldman (4:27.3), Alexis Mikaelian (4:18.7), Alex Banfich (4:32.3), Marisa Cummings (4:32.2) H

5 Richmond 17:58.28
Amy VanAlstine (4:19.7), Nicol Traynor (4:23.2), Jennifer Ennis (4:40.5), Alli Mannon (4:34.9) Q

6 Duke 18:07.70
Gabby Levac (4:27.6), Madeline Morgan (4:24.5), Juliet Bottorff (4:38.4), Rebecca Craigie (4:37.2) G

7 Texas 18:12.17
Betzy Jimenez (4:20.9), Sara Sutherland (4:28.8), Katie Hoaldridge (4:46.8), (4:35.7) I

8 Indiana 18:15.65
Breanne Ehrman (4:27.8), Chelsea Blanchard (4:27.0), Sarah Pease (4:36.1), Caitlin Engel (4:44.8) E

9 Mississippi State 18:27.31
Chloe Phillips (4:27.6), Katie Huston (4:33.1), Haley Greenwell (4:40.5), Katie Huston (4:46.1) O

10 La Salle 18:29.42
Caitlin Storbeck (4:27.6), Stephanie Bearish (4:41.7), Meghan McGlinchey (4:40.2), Wendy Hutchinson (4:39.9) N

DNF Tennessee DNF
Ramzee Fondren (4:34.7), Liz Costello (4:25.8), Brittany Sheffey, Chanelle Price A

The Nerves & Pressure of the Penn Relays

Villanova women’s distance medley relay team member Sheila Reed, left, consoles Emily Lipari, center, and Christie Verdier after the Wildcats finished 13th in the event Thursday afternoon at Penn Relays. (Times staff / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

Strong finish, baton eludes Villanova in Penn Relays

April 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — Villanova women’s track coach Gina Procaccio had a sinking feeling that Thursday was not going to be a good day for the Wildcats.

“I could see it in the paddock,” Procaccio said. “She just didn’t look right.”

“She,” was freshman Emily Lipari, who was running in her first Penn Relays as a collegian. Procaccio noticed that Lipari was not her usual, jovial self.

“She looked tense,” Procaccio said.”

Not a good sign, especially at the Penn Relays.

Procaccio’s fears turned out to be justified as the favored Wildcats fell apart and finished a disappointing 13th in the college women’s distance medley relay Championship of America. Only a strong anchor leg prevented the Wildcats from finishing last in the 14-team field, 35 seconds behind winner and Big East rival Georgetown (10:51.49)

The Hoyas ran the fifth-fastest time in Relays history.

Villanova, well …

“It was just one of those days where everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong,” Procaccio said.

The Wildcats felt that if they could get the baton to Reid in good position, the junior from Canada would have a shot to bring Villanova its first title in the DMR since 2006. She never got the chance.

Lipari started slowly. The 1,200-meter leadoff split was seven seconds behind her best, Procaccio said. She was in 10th place when she handed the baton to Christie Verdier for the 400-meter leg. The race turned into a disaster when Verdier had the baton knocked out of her hands before she hit the first turn.

“It would have been really tough to win seven seconds down at the leadoff,” Procaccio said. “I knew Georgetown was pretty tough, so we kind of had to be with them leg for leg. So then the dropped baton added to it, (and) made it impossible then.”

As for Lipari, she’s not sure what went wrong.

“Things just didn’t fall into place for me,” Lipari said. “From the start I just felt really sluggish. There was nothing I could do about it. You have good days and you have bad days.”

There wasn’t anything Verdier could do, either.

“Before I got the baton one of the teams hit me in the face with the baton while she was passing it to her teammate,” Verdier said. “Then, as I got the baton (from Lipari) that same person kneed the baton out of my hand.”

By the time Verdier retrieved the stick, the Wildcats were 30-to-40 meters behind the rest of the field.

“When it’s that bad, you just laugh,” Procaccio said. “What are you going to do? It was tough at the start and then the baton was dropped. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

“I feel for them. I really think over the last three or four years, we’ve gotten a lot better because Villanova made us better,” Georgetown coach Chris Miltenberg said. “And I’d like to think that we’re making them better, too. But I know for a fact that we’ve gotten to where we have been because they pushed us. I feel for them. Obviously, they’re phenomenal. Since I’ve been coaching at Georgetown, they’ve done nothing but beat us. I have the utmost respect for them and I know they’ll be back.”

Reid already has her sights set on this afternoon’s 4 x 1500-meter championship.

“We race tomorrow [Friday] and we’re racing to win,” Reid said. “We don’t take this to heart. We’re pretty resilient when it comes to recovering after bad races and we’re going to come back to the track tomorrow and hope to make some magic happen.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Villanova Women are Mere "Also Rans" in Penn Relays DMR || Dropped Baton and Slow Start Doom Women's DMR Bid

The Villanova women were beaten thoroughly in today's Penn Relays DMR. Talk of breaking the DMR world record proved to be foolish, as the Villanova quartet of Emily Lipari, Christie Verdier, Ariann Neutts, and Sheila Reid were out of the race early and never threatened. Burdened with high expectations and running what was at bottom a home meet, Villanova was 8+ seconds back and in 11th place after the opening leg, and were dead last after the 400 meter second leg as Christie Verdier dropped the baton early in her leg. At that point the air was out of the balloon. Villanova ultimately finished 13th of 14 teams, a full 34 seconds slower than the 10:52.52 that won this year's NCAA indoor title. Georgetown ran a superlative race and won by almost 5 seconds over Tennessee.

1 Georgetown 10:51.49
Renee Tomlin (3:19.81), Amanda Kimbers (54.54), Chelsea Cox (2:05.58), Emily Infeld (4:31.56) AE

2 Tennessee 10:56.20
Liz Costello (3:24.20), Ellen Wortham (51.64), Chanelle Price (2:04.27), Brittany Sheffey (4:36.09) AA

3 Virginia 10:57.13
Morgane Gay (3:21.68), Ayla Smith (53.64), Lyndsay Harper (2:07.58), Stephanie Garcia (4:34.23) AC

4 Duke 11:02.01
Esther Vermeer (3:26.14), Cydney Ross (54.13), Devotia Moore (2:07.66), Kate Van Buskirk (4:34.08) AG

5 BYU 11:07.22
Katie Palmer (3:23.27), Porshe Giddings (52.59), Lacey Bleazard (2:06.50), Kari Hardt (4:44.86) AF

6 Michigan 11:07.76
Danielle Tauro (3:27.70), Alisha Cole (55.20), Rebecca Addison (2:04.19), Jillian Smith (4:40.67) AD

7 Yale 11:12.08
Kate Grace (3:19.53), Gabriella Kelly (56.34), Annalies Gamble (2:09.45), Nihal Kayali (4:46.76) AJ

8 Dartmouth 11:16.02
Christina Supino (3:25.37), Alexandra Tanner (54.82), Monica Adler (2:14.63), Abbey D'Agostino (4:41.20) AI

9 Indiana 11:17.09
Breanne Ehrman (3:27.09), Ann-Marie Clarke (54.80), Jordan Gray (2:09.27), Chelsea Blanchard (4:45.94) AO

10 LSU 11:20.15
Charlene Lipsey (3:26.78), Siedda Herbert (55.11), Brittany Hall (2:08.65), Laura Carleton (4:49.61) AN

11 Texas 11:20.93
Julie Amthor (3:33.42), Kendra Chambers (54.18), Marielle Hall (2:10.63), Betzy Jimenez (4:42.70) AH

12 Cornell 11:22.15
Alyssa O'Connor (3:27.62), Bryony Bonavita (56.68), Kim Standridge (2:07.97), Janel Parker (4:49.88) AL

13 Villanova 11:26.49
Emily Lipari (3:27.18), Christie Verdier (64.73), Ariann Neutts (2:10.76), Sheila Reid (4:43.83) AB

14 Stony Brook 11:31.92
Lucy Van Dalen (3:19.87), Laquasha Hall (57.65), Page Price (2:13.40), Annie Keown (5:01.00)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Villanova's Thursday Schedule at Penn Relays

(1) College Women's 400m Hurdles Championship

Event 101 Thursday, 10:00 AM
Kristen Mahon (24)
Mary Bohi (56)

(2) College Women's High Jump Eastern

Event 502 Thursday, 10:00 AM
Samantha Yeats (44)
Audrey Gariepy-Bogui (55)

(3) College Women's 4x100 Heats

Event 110 Thursday, 1:00 PM
Team CY

(4) College Women's Pole

Event 518 Thursday, 3:00 PM
Ashlyn Llerandi (16)

(5) Pole Vault Championship

Event 518 Thursday, 3:00 PM
Ashlyn Llerandi (16)

(6) College Women's Distance Medley Championship of America

Event 157 Thursday, 5:20 PM
Team AB

(7) College Women's 4x400 Heats

Event 159 Thursday, 5:45 PM
Team BS

(8) College Women's 3000m Championship

Event 207 Thursday, 8:30 PM
Amanda Marino (14)
Summer Cook (16)
Callie Hogan (30)
Alison Smith (4)

(9) College Women's 5000m Championship

Event 208 Thursday, 8:40 PM
Amanda Marino (14)

(10) College Men's 5000m Championship

Event 210 Thursday, 9:20 PM
Keith Capecci (17)
Matthew Kane (25)
Brian Long (3)
Hugo Beamish (5)

(11) College Men's 10,000m Championship

Event 215 Thursday, 10:55 PM
Matthew Kane (25)

Jen Rhines commits to 2011 New York City Marathon

According to Runner's World's racing news section (see below), Jen Rhines will give the marathon another try at the 2011 NYC marathon in early November. Jen let it be known recently that she'll be focusing on the 10,000 meters in her bid to make the 2012 Olympic team (which would be her fourth Olympic team -- she previously made the team at 5000 meters (2008), 10,000 meters (2000), and the marathon (2004)). Whether her commitment to run the NYC marathon reflects a change in plans remains to be seen. Jen has a marathon PR of 2:29:32 from Rome 2006.

Keflezighi, Gebremariam, Rhines, Edna Kiplagat Will Do 2011 New York City Marathon

Gebre Gebremariam and Edna Kiplagat will defend their titles at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon on November 6, while Meb Keflezighi will try and regain the laurels he won in 2009. Jen Rhines, a three-time Olympian, once in the marathon, will also be in the five-borough marathon. "Marathons are always challenging, but I’m challenging myself further with my goal to run both the ING New York City Marathon 2011 and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials," says Keflezighi, who has had second and third place finishes in New York City along with his '09 triumph. "This timing and challenge is very similar to 2004, when I won the silver medal at the Olympic Games and was the runner-up in the ING New York City Marathon 70 days later. This experience gives me, Coach Bob Larsen, and the rest of my team the confidence to pursue the goal of winning the ING New York City Marathon again, and making a third U.S. Olympic team." (See also our item about Keflezighi at Bay to Breakers below)

Gebremariam was third in the recent Boston Marathon in 2:04:53 after taking second in the NYC Half Marathon in March in 1:00:25. Kiplagat was also second in the NYC Half, being a 1:09:00, and she was third in the Virgin London Marathon on April 17 in 2:20:46. her time. Rhines, 36, will be doing her first marathon since a fourth place in Rome in 2006. A marathoner at the 2004 Olympics, she is the 2011 USA Half Marathon and USA 15K titleist. "It is with great excitement and anticipation that I return to the streets of New York this fall," says Rhines, who last ran New York in 2005. "My training this year shows me that I am stronger than ever, and I will be ready to reach a new personal best. I can’t wait to be fighting for a place on the podium this November!"

Is the Women's DMR World Record in Jeopardy at Penn Relays?

Villanova women have shot at DMR record at Penn Relays
April 26, 2011

In 1988, Villanova women's track coach "Uncle" Marty Stern, as only he could, stood up at a pre-Penn Relays press conference and matter-of-factly proclaimed that his distance medley team was going to break the world record. The forks you could hear dropping on the floor were from his four runners, who all had that "Are you kidding us?" gaze in their eyes. But break the record they did. And 23 years later, it still stands.

At last month's NCAA indoor championships the Wildcats won the DMR with a time of 10 minutes, 52.52 seconds, which broke the program mark that also had been established in '88. So it appears the outdoor standard of 10:48.38 could be in jeopardy when Thursday afternoon's marquee event gets under way at Franklin Field at 5:20 p.m.

Even if that's not the stated objective.

"We're just focused on winning," coach Gina Procaccio stressed following yesterday's final workout in West Philly. "That's enough. I mean, Villanova already holds the record."

The Wildcats have won this race nine times, or four more than any other program. But they haven't won it since 2006. And that's the only time they've won it since 1997.

The last 2 years, Villanova has won the national cross-country title. Canada's Sheila Reid, who won the individual title last November, will run the 1,600-meter anchor leg, following Emily Lipari (800), Christie Verdier (400) and Ariann Neutts (1,200).

"I'm at the point where I think I know what it takes to win at Penn," said Reid, who received the Outstanding Amateur Athlete award at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Assocation dinner in January. "The last 2 years I thought we had great teams, with a lot of potential. And we couldn't get it done. But when this group comes together, good stuff happens. Hopefully, we can repeat some of the magic that happened at indoors."

All she wants is a victory lap. The record would be sheer icing.

"It takes something special to win at Penn," she said. "It would just be a vindication of all the hard work we've done, to put us in this position. But you just can't go in there with certain expectations, because anything can happen.

"It's a lot easier to be the underdog. But it doesn't matter. People don't remember who finishes second. It doesn't matter how much you win by. So [the record's] not something we're necessarily shooting for. But it is in the back of our heads, because we know it's possible. Still, you can't go out there after times. That'll drive you crazy. There's a lot of teams that are going to come after us . . .

"In my mind, the Penn Relays is the de facto national championship, since there's no DMR at outdoors. So this is the time to prove what we have. We see all the great names on the wall [at school], every day. They've got Penn Relay champions, and national champions. It's kind of funny to have one without the other. It's something that's very elusive. It would be great to put our names right up there in Villanova history, because it's very hard to do. Penn means the world to us."

The Wildcats will also line up in the 4 x 1,500, a race they haven't won since 2000. That was their eighth victory, or five more than anyone else. But the DMR has usually been the one that stands out from the rest.

Villanova's men have won it 23 times, most recently 2 years ago. Arkansas is next, with 15.

Procaccio duly noted that Georgetown, despite the fact that two of its better runners were redshirting during the indoor season, still managed to stay with her team for the first couple of legs. And the Hoyas hardly figure to be the only ones coming here looking to pull an upset.

"Because we won nationals, the expectations are even higher," Procaccio said. "But Penn is always big for us. I don't see it being any different.

"It's something we really want. But we want it every year. The next thing you know, 5 years have gone by [without a win]. I even started questioning whether I would rather win Penn Relays or a national championship. I'm sure for every other school it's the national championship. For me, I don't know. That's how important the Penn Relays are for Villanova . . .

"For the first time in a long time, we just have four really mentally tough competitors. They don't get rattled. None of them. They don't care who's out there [with them]. They don't care what they've done, or what anyone else has done recently. They just go out and do their jobs. But those days of being way out there by ourselves are over. It's just evolved. It used to be if one team broke 11 minutes, they were the greatest in the world. Now you might have four or five."

But will one go where no quartet has ventured before? Wonder what Uncle Marty would say.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Results for the Widener Invitational

This list from the official website. Interestingly, running unattached in his first outdoor meet was Chris FitzSimons, who won the 800 meters in 1:53.37. He owns an open 800 PR of 1:48.83.


400 Meters
Christopher Kearney - 4th of 54 (49.43)

400 Meter Hurdles
Stefan Goodridge - 1st of 30 (54.40)

800 Meters
Chris FitzSimons - 1:53.37 (1st of 79) (unattached)

1500 Meters (all Unattached)
Brian Basili - 4th of 77 (3:55.05)
Chris O'Sullivan - 5th (3:56.28)
Chris Pietrocarlo - 11th (4:01.02)
Mark Lee - 14th (4:02.02)
Richie Bohny - 21st (4:05.90)
Dan Harris - 25th (4:08.16)

Pole Vault
Chris Dougherty - 4th of 18 (4.10m)

Long Jump
Lazaro Tiant - 10th of 37 (6.06m)

Triple Jump
George Bodziock - 8th of 18 (12.56m)

Frank Anuszewski - 2nd of 47 (45.36m)
Drew King - 18th (35.56m)

Frank Anuszewski - 3rd of 34 (46.49m)
Drew King - 24th (28.32m)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Curtis, Rhines (10,000) & Koons (5000) Ready for Payton Jordan Invite

Here is the list of accepted entries for the 10,000 and 5000 meter races involving Villanova alumni at Stanford this upcoming weekend. Curtis (27:33.38 on May 1, 2010) and Jen Rhines (31:17.31 on April 29, 2007) are returning to the track where they set their 10,000 PRs. Koons owns a 15:43.78 PR (April 23, 2010) for 5000 meters.

Event 21 Men 10000 Meter Run
Name Year School
1 Marco Anzures McMillan Eli
2 Nick Arciniaga Adidas/McMil
3 Bolota Asmerom Saucony
4 Juan Luis Barrios nike - Mexic
5 Scott Bauhs Adidas
6 John Beattie Boulder Wave
7 Brandon Birdsong Adams State
8 Matt Bond Adams State
9 Aaron Braun adidas/McMil
10 Kevin Chelimo OTC
11 Jesse Cherry Zap Fitness
12 Robert Cheseret US Army
13 Michael Crouch Queens (N.C.
14 Robert Curtis Melbourne Tr
15 Mark Draper New Balance
16 Rory Fraser New Mexico
17 Amado Garcia guatemala
18 Keith Gerrard New Mexico
19 Jimmy Grabow ICR
20 Brendan Gregg Stanford
21 Stephen Haas New Balance
22 Takayuki Hamaguchi Unattached
23 Jason Hartmann Nike/Kimbia
24 Yusuke Hasegawa S&B
25 Kevin Havel Stanford
26 Jordan Horn adidas/McMil
27 Mohamud Ige Arizona
28 Takaya Iwasaki Unattached
29 David Jankowski Zap Fitness
30 Bedan Karoki S&B
31 Michael Kilburg Bowerman Ath
32 Jacob Korir Riadha
33 Leonard Korir Iona
34 Christo Landry Unattached
35 Matt Llano Richmond
36 Bobby Mack Unattached
37 Takayuki Matsumiya Konica Minol
38 Ryo Matsumoto Unattached
39 Brian Medigovich Hansons Broo
40 Luke Meyer BAA
41 Tomoyuki Morita Kanebo
42 Tim Nelson Nike/Kimbia
43 David Nightingale Unattached
44 Yoshinori Oda Toyotabw
45 Tony Okello Unattached
46 Brian Olinger Reebok
47 Scott Overall Adidas
48 Julio Cesar Perez Mexico
49 Byron Piedra ecuador
50 Luke Puskedra Oregon
51 Israel Erick Pérez Mexico
52 Sean Quigley Puma/Kimbia
53 John Raneri North Caroli
54 Tim Ritchie BAA
55 Chris Rombough Team Usa Min
56 Juan Carlos Romero Mexico
57 Aron Rono Unattached
58 David Rooney McNeese Stat
59 Matti Oskari Räsänen Unattached
60 Stephen Sambu Arizona
61 Amos Sang Abilene Chri
62 Yuki Sato Nissin
63 Jake Schmitt Bay Area Tra
64 Charlie Serranno ICR
65 Ryan Sheehan Hansons-Broo
66 Daisuke Shimizu Kanebo
67 Michael Skinner Asics
68 Scott Smith adidas/McMil
69 Alexander Soderberg Iona
70 Chris Solinsky Nike/Kimbia
71 Ben St Lawrence Melbourne Tr
72 James Strang Unattached
73 Bouabdellah Tahri Unattached
74 Yusuke Takabayashi Toyotabw
75 Kensuke Takezawa S&B
76 John Deivis Tello Zuñiga olimpica col
77 Chris Thompson OTC
78 Ben True In the Arena
79 Carlos Trujillo Adidas
80 Tsuyoshi Ugachi Konica Minol
81 Jussi Utriainen Nike
82 Ryan Vail Unattached
83 Armen Vartanian Adidas Trans
84 Brent Vaughn Nike/Kimbia
85 Teodoro Vega Mexico
86 Dylan Wykes Praire Inn H

Event 56 Women 10000 Meter Run
Name Year School
1 Nicky Archer Unattached
2 Meghan Armstrong Team Usa Min
3 Renee Metivier Baillie Nike
4 Amy Begley Nike Oregon
5 Annie Bersagel New Balance
6 Rachel Booth New Balance
7 Addie Bracy Carrboro Ath
8 Maria Elena Calle Unattached
9 Lineth Chepkurui Nike/Kimbia
10 Kim Conley Unattached
11 Taylor Crosson Virginia Tec
12 Nathalie De Vos Golazo Sport
13 Rebecca Donaghue New Balance/
14 Erin Dromgoole Unattached
15 Megan Duwell McMillan Eli
16 Jeannette Faber BAA
17 Nicole Feest Boulder Runn
18 Shalane Flanagan Nike/Kimbia
19 Kayoko Fukushi Wacoal
20 Kathya Garcia UTEP
21 Heather Gibson Asics Aggie
22 Zoila Gomez Unattached
23 Allison Grace Zap Fitness
24 Natalie Gray New Mexico
25 Kaitlin Gregg New Balance
26 Megan Hogan Team Usa MN
27 Molly Huddle Saucony
28 Miho Ihara Shikoku Elec
29 Diane Johnson Asics
30 Reilly Kiernan Nyac
31 Sally Kipyego OTC
32 Sally Kipyego Unattached
33 Courtney Laurie Guelph
34 Kristen McGlynn Adams State
35 Alissa McKaig Zap Fitness
36 Teresa McWalters Unattached
37 Nicole Mericle Rice
38 Felicity Milton Oklahoma Sta
39 Catha Mullen New Balance
40 Katherine Newberry NYAC
41 Madalyn Nuckols Virginia Tec
42 Kumi Ogura Shikoku Elec
43 Sarah Porter Western Wash
44 Jen Rhines Adidas
45 Dulce Ma. Rodriguez Padilla's TE
46 Marisol Guadalupe Romero Mexico
47 Sonia Samuels Great Britai
48 Yuko Shimizu Sekisui Chem
49 Cassie Slade Boulder Runn
50 Kara Storage Infinite Run
51 Tara Storage Infinite Run
52 Kayo Sugihara Denso
53 Kristina Vegh Sun Elite
54 Eloise Wellings Melbourne Tr
55 Alisha Williams Boulder Runn
56 Megan Wright New Balance

Event 53 Women 5000 Meter Run -
Name Year School
1 Elizabeth Anderson Vanderbilt
2 Renee Metivier Baillie Nike
3 Alice Baker San Francisc
4 Angela Bizzarri Brooks
5 Nicole Bowler San Francisc
6 Dawn Charlier Nike
7 Jamie Cheever Team Usa Min
8 Abby Chesimet Oregon State
9 Rachel Cliff Speed River
10 Taylor Cloy Lamar
11 Caitlin Comfort Wisconsin
12 Andie Cozzarelli North Caroli
13 Julie Culley Asics
14 Lyndy Davis Portland
15 Tiffany Dinh Cal Poly Pom
16 Courtney Dobbs Virginia Tec
17 Danielle Domenichelli Adidas-McMil
18 Rebecca Donaghue New Balance/
19 Erin Donohue Nike/Kimbia
20 Samantha Dow Virginia Tec
21 Krista Drechsler UC Davis
22 Jessica Engel Oklahoma
23 Tara Erdmann Loyola Marym
24 Shalane Flanagan Nike/Kimbia
25 Alyse Goldsmith Abilene Chri
26 Alia Gray Chico State
27 Alison Greggor California
28 Lillian Greibesland North Caroli
29 Michelle Guzman Texas Tech
30 Adrienne Herzog Unattached
31 Ashley Hinther Nac - Victor
32 Tone Hjalmarsen Oklahoma Sta
33 Delyth James New Mexico
34 kellyn Johnson Adidas-Mcmil
35 Lia Jones Oakland
36 Lavinia Jurkiewicz Wisconsin
37 Allie Kieffer Sun Elite
38 Kyra Kilwein Kansas
39 Risper Kimaiyo UTEP
40 Hannah Kiser Idaho
41 Lauren Kleppin Western Stat
42 Lisa Koll Nike Otc
43 Frances Koons New Balance
44 Kathy Kroeger Stanford
45 Jane Larson Club Northwe
46 Lisa Lewis Unattached
47 Sandra Lopez Mexico
48 Sarah Lyle Western Stat
49 Jennifer Macias Oregon State
50 Cally Macumber Kentucky
51 Stephanie Marcy Stanford
52 Nicole Mericle Rice
53 Amanda Miller Kansas
54 Felicity Milton Oklahoma Sta
55 Cassie Mitchell Adams State
56 Rachel Mitchell Sacramento S
57 Dana Morgan Portland
58 Caroline Mullen New Balance
59 Hazel Murphy Unattached
60 Erin Nehus-Vergara Athletic Ann
61 Kate Niehaus Stanford
62 Vanessa Ortiz New Mexico
63 Nicole Peters Colorado St.
64 Stephanie Pezzullo Sun Elite TC
65 Allison Pye Rice
66 Ashley Quintana Adams State
67 Dulce Ma. Rodriguez Padilla's TE
68 Toni Salucci In the Arena
69 Kendra Schaaf North Caroli
70 Camille Schultz New Mexico S
71 Courtney Schultz New Mexico S
72 Ruth Senior New Mexico
73 Nicole Sifuentes Saucony
74 Jana Stolting San Francisc
75 lindsay sundell Unattached
76 Rowena Tam California
77 Marit Tegelaar Portland
78 Maor Tiyouri San Francisc
79 Jessica Tonn Stanford
80 Tori Tyler Chico State
81 Becky Wade Rice
82 Sarah Waldron New Mexico
83 Miranda Walker Arkansas
84 Samantha Walkow Lamar
85 Taylor Wendler Kentucky
86 Kara Windisch Kansas
87 Shawna Winnegar New Mexico
88 Jaime Winslow Adidas-McMil
89 Christin Wurth-Thomas Unattached
90 Mika Yoshikawa Panasonic
91 Tanya Zeferjahn Bowerman AC

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NCAA Outdoor Top 95 Performance List

Here are the Villanova T&F athletes who are currently (as of April 24) in the top 95 on the NCAA performance list in their event:

Villanova Women

400 meters
30. Christie Verdier

800 meters
81. Emily Lipari

1500 meters
1. Sheila Reid
56. Bogdana Mimic
71. Kelley McElroy
72. Ariann Neutts

5000 meters
4. Bogdana Mimic
18. Ali Smith
46. Amanda Marino

100 meter hurdles
33. Shericka Ward

400 meter hurdles
76. Kristen Mahon

3000 meter Steeple
30. Ali Smith
51. Sarah Morrison

4 x 400 meters
68. Villanova

Pole Vault
38. Ashlyn Llerandi

Villanova Men

1500 meters
44. Matt Gibney

5000 meters
24. Mathew Mildenhall
50. Brian Long
71. Keith Capecci

400 meter hurdles
68. Nicoy Hines

4 x 400 meters
91. Villanova

Triple Jump
82. Robert Sainvil

Princeton Larry Ellis Friday Night Races

Here are the Villanova results from Friday night's races at Princeton's Larry Ellis meet.
Men's 800 meters
Jason Apwah 1:51.33
Joe Capecci 1:54.44
Matthew Wikler 1:55.09
Chris Williams 1:57.91
Mark Hogan 2:01.90

Men's 1500 meters
Matt Gibney 3:44.95
Sam McEntee 3:47.77
Carl Mackenzie 3:47.98
Brian Tetreault 3:48.07
Joe LoRusso 3:52.63

Men's 5000 meters
John Pickhaver 14:47.07

Men's 3000 meter Steeple
Greg Morrin 9:37.13

Women's 800 meters
Marina Muncan 2:06.03 (New Balance)
Emily Lipari 2:09.10
Ellen Dougherty 2:10.60
Ariann Neutts 2:10.61
Kelly McElroy 2:11.42
Shannon Browne 2:12.96
Anna Francis 2:15.49

Women's 1500 meters
Frances Koons 4:19.26 (New Balance)
Callie Hogan 4:37.48
Nicky Akande 4:47.54

Women's 5000 meters
Meghan Smith 18:08.74

Women's 3000 meter Steeple
Sarah Morrison 10:34.67
Kaitlyn O'Sullivan 12:17.01

Saturday, April 23, 2011

O'Sullivan Recalls Penn Relays Past

A love-hate relationship with Penn Relays
April 23, 2011

With the Penn Relays scheduled for next week, Inquirer staff writer Joe Juliano talked Thursday with Marcus O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan has seen the Relays from three perspectives - as a runner for Villanova, as an Olympic Development competitor and now as the Wildcats' director of track and field and men's head coach.

The four-time Irish Olympian won six watches competing for Villanova from 1981 through 1984 and three more for winning the Olympic Development 5,000 meters.O'Sullivan, 49, in his 13th year as head coach on the Main Line, likes to say he has a "love-hate" relationship with the carnival, the pressure of being a Villanovan contrasted with the immense feeling of satisfaction when his team does well there.

Question: What was your first memory of the Penn Relays?

O'Sullivan: I didn't know what the Penn Relays was until I got to the U.S. As a freshman, and with the dynasty we had then, I wouldn't have anticipated that I was going to run. But [Villanova head coach Jumbo Elliott] threw me on. All I had to do was put my head down and run hard and not worry about too much else because we had upperclassmen to carry the load. I ran two relays, and we won, and it was luxurious in the sense that I was part of something immediately and really didn't know what I was a part of.

Q: You accepted much of the blame for Villanova's shutout in 1983 [when he was a junior] but you came back strong the next year, anchoring two winning relay teams. What happened?

A: It was a part of my college career where I had lost commitment. I had lost what I was there for. It was one of those years where I was anchoring everything, and we lost everything. That's why Penn is love-hate for me. I will never say I love Penn [Relays]. I will never say I hate it because I know how important it is to one's life. But the reason why Penn is so significant to me is: That was my wake-up call that basically said, "Accept responsibility. You came here for a reason."

The next year, for the first time in my life, I found intense commitment in myself. I couldn't wait for Penn to come. I was dying for it to come back. I wanted to be ready. It's amazing that one year captured my whole maturing process. That's why I'm very fond of Penn - it's a love-hate relationship - because it forced me into seeing who I was and deciding who I wanted to be. It means a tremendous amount to me.

Q: Standing outside Franklin Field during the Penn Relays, you've compared the roars inside with those that might have been heard at the Colosseum in ancient Rome. Can you explain?

A: When I was a junior, I was stretching outside and noticed Franklin Field has this kind of Colosseum look about it. I called it the arena because the image I had was of the Christians and the lions. You hear this roar that something happened, and all I'm thinking about it some poor Christian in there getting eaten by a lion. Obviously it's somebody getting run down. I had this kind of image where you needed to be a gladiator to go in there to fight your way literally, not necessarily metaphorically.

Q: Did the Penn Relays change for you after you became Villanova's coach?

A: My biggest regret when I was an athlete for 15 years was that I didn't enjoy it. I didn't really savor it the way I should. So when I got done running, I said that the next job I have, I'm going to relax, try to enjoy it more. I think as you mature in coaching, it becomes clear why you're in the job and why you're doing it, and it becomes far more enjoyable. Penn is a report card. It's something you've got to get. It doesn't mean everything, but it means a lot.

Q: Villanova has won more men's Championship of America relays (89) than any other college. How much pressure is on Villanova at Penn?

A: You have this paranoia that everyone is expecting you to do something. Everyone knows who you are. Because of the Villanova shirt, it's pressure. I have tremendous admiration for teams that can get it done in their hometown. We're of the understanding that we have to be there and be ready every year as best we can.

Q: What do you do to prepare for a race at Penn?

A: We warm up on the lower fields on the grass and then we kind of pitch ourselves across [33d Street] from the pens. We can see the pens, and that helps a lot. But you're on the concrete outside so you don't want to put on your spikes too early. You're trying to time it as best as you possibly can to warm up and keep them warm so they can run as best they can. But everyone is in the same situation, and you understand that.

Q: How have you seen the evolution of the Penn Relays, from your time as a college athlete to now?

A: I think it's great. It's something that's Philadelphia always. It almost becomes a rite of passage on the track. It's all different levels of what it means to so many different people. Jim Tuppeny [former carnival director and 'Nova assistant coach] used to say, "It's good to be at the dance." Once you get into the dance, you don't know what's going to happen, but it's good to be there. You have to be proud of it because there's nothing like it. So therefore, for me [laughs], it's love-hate.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marina Muncan Breaks Down B.A.A. Elite Mile Win

Bobby Curtis After B.A.A. 5K-- Marathoning in Future

More hints that Bobby Curtis has plans to move up and give marathoning a try. He previously mentioned in interviews that he might make his marathon debut this fall. Next up for Curtis is the 10,000 at Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Penn Relays News & Notes

Villanova's Reid needs some help to get Penn Relays watch
By Joe Juliano
Philadelphia Inquirer, April 21,2011

Sheila Reid has won an NCAA cross-country championship as well as all-American awards in indoor and outdoor track during her stellar career at Villanova. What still eludes her is a Penn Relays watch.

That could change this year.

The junior distance runner from Canada has an excellent group of teammates with her in the distance medley relay. The quartet won the NCAA indoor DMR championship last month and is zeroed in on next Thursday's event at Franklin Field.

After a close call last year in the women's 4x1,500-meter relay, when the Wildcats lost to Tennessee by a half-second, Reid is ready to break through.

"She was really disappointed with that finish in the 4x15 last year," Villanova women's coach Gina Procaccio said Wednesday during a news conference about next week's 117th carnival.

"But it's the three girls in front of her that have to put her in the race. Indoors, I told them we put her in the race or we're not going to get it done. . . . I think they're excited this year because we know as a team we'll be able to put her in the race."

Reid outdueled Oregon's Jordan Hasay on the 1,600-meter anchor leg to lead the Wildcats to the NCAA title in 10 minutes, 52.52 seconds.

Reid made her outdoor debut last weekend in the Mount San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., and clocked a personal-best time of 4:11.85 in the 1,500. She finished second, less than two-tenths of a second behind 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalene Flanagan.

"She hung in the back the first two laps and I thought, 'What is she doing?' " Procaccio said. "But on the third lap she made her way up and went after Shalene. She came up a little short, but it was a [personal record] by five seconds, an outstanding start."

The remainder of 'Nova's DMR team - Emily Lipari (1,200 meters), Christie Verdier (400), and Ariann Neutts (800) - is intact, although Reid and Lipari had to deal with strep throat after the end of the indoor season.

Lipari, a freshman who won the Penn Relays high school girls' 3,000 last year, gave the Wildcats a gutty leadoff leg at the NCAAs in her first major collegiate competition, handing off in third place after getting pushed and tripped.

"Sometimes freshmen get into a situation like that and they panic," Procaccio said. "But she stayed calm."

Verdier, a junior, ran a personal-best time of 53.70 seconds for the 400 last week and "is really coming into her own," her coach said. Neutts had a personal record in the 1,500 earlier this season but has yet to run an 800.

Procaccio said the Wildcats women also plan to run in the 4x1,500 and the 4x400 relays.

As for the 'Nova men, coach Marcus O'Sullivan has entered teams in the DMR, 4-by-mile, 4x800 and 4x400, although he admitted "we're not quite sure where we are" on which races to run.

Villanova took seventh in the NCAA men's DMR with two first-time starters - 1,200-meter leadoff Brian Tetreault, a redshirt junior from Cinnaminson High, and 400 runner Carlton Bowers, a sophomore. O'Sullivan was impressed with Tetreault.

"He had never been at that level before," he said, "and he ran magnificently for a guy who's never been at that level. So I'm very comfortable with somebody like that."

The coach added, however, that he won't pick the runners for any of his relay teams until next week.

Penn Relays Press Conference: Marcus & Gina

Penn Relays Press Conference Starts Build to 117th Carnival
04/20/2011 - The Penn Relays Office

PHILADELPHIA - The first of two Penn Relays press conferences featured Penn women's head coach Gwen Harris, and coaches from national track and field powerhouses including Villanova, BYU and Tennessee on Wednesday. The second press conference is scheduled for Monday featuring Penn men's head coach Charlie Powell, and coaches from LSU, Virginia, Texas, BYU and Texas A&M.

Florida Head Coach Mike Holloway

Opening Statement:

"The only relay I've never won at Penn Relays is the 4x100. Obviously, we'd love to put our best foot forward and win that. But there are some great schools there with (Texas) A&M and LSU and FSU and TCU and Baylor and the list goes on and on. We're going to run that. We're going to run the 4x200, the sprint medley, the shuttle relay, and high jump."

On not running in the 4x400 this year:

"We've been running the 4x400 at Penn forever, and due to logistical things such as travel this year, and also Tony McQuegg is a little dinged up. We'd love to run that relay. I think honestly that's almost like you come to Penn to be a part of the 4x400. We're just not ready and healthy to do that this year. And I have to be smart. We're in the title hunt for the NCAA title here in about eight weeks and I have to think about that also."

Villanova Men's Head Coach Marcus O'Sullivan

Opening Statement:

"Just a few comments in terms of the relays we're going to run. The 4xMile, the distance medley and 4x800. Traditionally we enter those every year, but more often than not we run two of them. Obviously, you have to enter them early enough and we're not quite sure where we are a lot of times because for many of us, it's the first competitive part of the whole season. We're just coming in under the wire."

On some of his top local athletes running at the meet:

"A lot of kids, haven't raced yet. But we've had some good showings earlier for some of the athletes that we've had on the team. Primarily I'm dwelling on these for the local aspect of things. Sam Ellison from Upper Dublin (Pa.), is a great kid that just joined us this year and ran 46.0 in the 4x400 last week in Miami. Carlton Bowers a little farther away but from the Pingry School, in the mid-Jersey area. He should be running this particular weekend at Penn. Obviously Matt Gibney, who will open up on Friday, and Brian Tetreault, another relatively local young man, but a senior, from Cinnaminson in South Jersey."

Villanova Women's Head Coach Gina Procaccio

Opening Statement:

"Here we are again, five years since we've won. So it's always an anxious week for us, but this year I think we've had the best team we've had since we won five years ago. Definitely for the DMR. That's kind of the big relay that we're focusing on. We are also entering the 4x1500 and have a really good 4x400-they just ran a 3:41. The sprint group is really coming along, and we have a short hurdler, and a couple kids that can do some of the distance events. Our big focus, we won the indoor NCAAs in the DMR, so we think that's our best shot at winning next Thursday."

On Freshman Emily Lipari

"She's pretty seasoned but I thought she did a tremendous job at (indoor) NCAA's because there's nothing like the NCAA meet, and somebody as good as her is used to being in control and kind of out in front and knowing she's that much better, and all of a sudden she's thrown into a situation where she really got knocked around. She got pushed, she got tripped on the rail, and I thought she did a tremendous job. In high school, she ran a 28.9 in the last 200 to win the 3,000. She ran down the girl in front. So I'm just going to tell her to have that 200 in her mind this year. She's at a new level, so the pace is probably going to be tougher where she can't pull out a 28."

Tennessee Head Coach J.J. Clark

Where Tennessee lines up strongest:

"I know the competition is very strong in the DMR but we have a good DMR and some good runners who are able to run around 2:07 or better indoors."

How soon do you set lineups:

"It depends on what I see in practice. Sometimes people can say the wrong thing at the wrong time to get them on the relay or off the relay."

On how he will select the lineups:

"I don't know what other coaches do, but I don't necessarily go on merit. Just because you ran well indoors doesn't mean you'll get the spot, I want the person who is hot like right now."

On Chanelle Price:

"Last year she came into Penn Relays a little banged up and this year she is not. She ran last week and considering the weather I thought she did well."

BYU Women's Head Coach Patrick Shane

His thoughts on BYU's team one week out from the Relays:

"I think we're going to be competitive in the 4x800 and the DMR. We're kind of day-by-day in the 4x1600 right now with health issues. I think we're probably one person short on the 4x1600 and we thought we'd be a little better in the 4x800. We're redshirting a 2:04 girl, [Natalie] Stewart, from last year, that would really make me excited in that event."

How do you line up that 4x800

"Obviously, we have Katie Palmer and Lacey Cramer-Bleazard. They are two of the top four in the country right now on paper. Bleazard was a two-time national indoor champion and was second to Phoebe Wright from Tennessee last year, sandwiched between her two national championships. She's a tremendous athlete and then we have a couple other young ladies that have run 2:07; a couple of them last year, one's repeated it this year. They are both ready to run 2:06 this year and I think both of them are ready to run PR's at this point. I think we'll be competitive, but boy is it a tough field."

On BYU Coming to the Penn Relays

"The Penn Relays experience is like nothing else and my girls never leave me alone. Every year I receive an amazing amount of pressure from them, 'Are we going to Penn this year,' and my response is, 'If I think we can be completive,' and this year we can and next year we can. I just feel like if we have a chance to represent our school well and a chance to maybe win an event. So we should be there."

What BYU's Local Runner, Porshe Giddings Brings to the Team

"Porshe [Giddings] is overjoyed to be going to Penn. Of course her whole family is going to be there and it is a big, big deal. Of all the girls on the team she been there and no one here has been there before and she knows what it is like and has created a lot of enthusiasm amongst the other girls."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nova Adds NC Sprinter Varonica Johnson to Recruiting Class

Sprinter more than just 1 step ahead of pack
By Jay Edwards
Charolotte Observer

Varonica Johnson is the first girl in North Carolina in more than 30 years to win 100-, 200- and 400-meter state titles in the same year.

Varonica Johnson
Age: 18.
School: Providence Day.
College commitment: Villanova.

2011 stats: MVP of Blue Devil Invitational at Mooresville High; broke school records in 100-meter dash (11.9 seconds), 200-meter (24.70) and 400 meters (58.5) as well as 4x100-meter relay this season.

Accomplishments: Holds five school running records in outdoor track; first girl to win 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash in same NCISAA state meet in more than 30 years.

Varonica Johnson wants to be faster every time she steps on the track.

The Providence Day senior sprinter has been the fastest during most of her final season as a Charger, breaking a personal or school record nearly every time she races.

Johnson, 18, who has been running since she was 5 years old, is ultra-competitive whether she is running against the nation's best or against herself in practice.

"I do make it a competition with myself every time I run, whether it is in practice or in a meet," Johnson said. "Even if I win and don't run my best, I am disappointed. I have high standards for what I think I should do."

Vanessa Johnson, Varonica's mother, agrees with her daughter after watching her compete on a daily basis for more than 13 years.

"Varonica wants to be faster every time she runs," Vanessa said. "She doesn't just say or think that, she has worked and trained harder than ever this past year. As a result, her times have been dropping almost every meet."

Johnson has lived up to her own standards most of the year, setting personal bests in the 100-meter dash (11.9 seconds), 200-meter dash (24.7 seconds) and the 400-meter run (58.5 seconds) last week in a CISAA meet at Charlotte Christian. Johnson also recently was named MVP of the Blue Devil Invitational at Mooresville High School in a field that included many of best runners from 3A and 4A public schools.

Johnson hopes to be even faster still, as the CISAA conference meet, the NCISAA 3A state meet and Nike Nationals in Greensboro all occur in the next few months.

"I do want to make my final mark at Providence Day," said Johnson, who is also an A and B student in the classroom. "But I am always aiming higher. I am always thinking of the next thing, the next race, the next accomplishment."

At states last year, Johnson became the first girl to win the 100, 200 and 400-meter state titles in the same year in more than 30 years.

This year, Johnson is looking to repeat her feat, but by the end of the race she already will be thinking about her training for the Nike Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro on June 16-18.

"I definitely want to be at my best at Nationals," said Johnson. "When you get an opportunity to run against the best (sprinters) in the country, you want to show that you belong."

Johnson recently committed to Villanova University, where she will go to school and run track the next four years.

Johnson picked the Wildcats over Harvard, Iowa, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, to name a few. In the end, Johnson felt Villanova gave her the best chance to succeed as a student-athlete and sprinter.

"I think I have a great chance to improve myself as a student and as a sprinter at Villanova," Johnson said. "When I visited there earlier this month, I just felt like I fit in, and it felt like the right place for me."

Johnson, who holds at least five Providence Day School records on the track, usually fits in wherever she goes because of her hard work, talent and desire to get better.

"Varonica always thinks she can do something bigger and better," Vanessa Johnson said. "In her mind, she hasn't gotten to her full potential. There is more to come, more that we haven't seen.

"She always wants to get to that next level. I think that is what makes her so good all of the time."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Catching Up with 5x NCAA Champion Carrie Tollefson

Down the Backstretch
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Carrie Tollefson: "I have a lot on my plate these days"

Down the Backstretch: It’s nice to see somebody actually using their college degree. Seriously, what gave you the incentive to do the website and the various media projects you are doing?

Carrie Tollefson: Thanks. I value my education from Villanova so much, and I have always tried to keep my passions on and off the track alive. I realized early on in my life that being well rounded is crucial for everyone.

I have learned so much from experimenting with different avenues, and I am so thankful my parents encouraged us to try everything. That is how I have lived my life. I love to run, but things happen and really, an injury can end a career fast, so I always wanted to stay in tune with the "real world" as well.

Running will always be a part of my life, and I hope it will stay a part of my career, but there comes a time when a professional runner can't run professionally anymore. Life after athletics can be tough so I am trying to keep both my athletic career and my other passions in check.

I have a lot on my plate these days. First and foremost, I am a Mom!!! I love it so much. Ruby is the best thing Charlie and I have ever done in our lives, and being home with her is the best job in the world. She comes with me to Lifetime Fitness for two hours a day and plays in their day care while I work out; and then another day or two a week I will have her go to a family friend's home so I can work on my camps, CTolleRun, my speaking gigs, my Minnesota Grown commitments, and when I travel for NYRR and the Daily Cool Down.

So to answer your question, I have always worked outside of running. I started doing a little radio during college, and then right after I graduated from Villanova, I started doing TV commentary for Elite Racing. They had me doing color commentary for various marathons and for the NCAA cross country championships.

This has led to many things and CTolleRun just really came about last year. John Magnuson, with Mtec results formally known as ChampionChip Minnesota, approached me about the show and asked if I would be interested. We thought it would be a fun thing, and we are just really learning what people like to see and are really open to anything.

We love endurance sports and what they do for athletes on all levels and think it is neat to just bring out the fun in being physically fit. My director and producer, Julie Magnuson, and my cameraman, Tim Bornholdt, have been great to work with and it has been a joy taking this new journey.

DtB: How did the Daily Cool Down(DCD) program for the NY Road Runners happen? Did they ask you? Did you approach them?

CT: The New York Road Runners approached me to do the Daily Cool Down. Mary Wittenberg has always been such a huge supporter of American Athletes and she always tells me that she thinks I should move to New York so I can be on air there. She wants us all to reach for the stars and her support and encouragement means so much to all of us athletes.

The Daily Cool Down is the "behind the scenes" of our sport, kind of like Entertainment Tonight. Not only do we like to hear about the elite athletes but we want to find out more about everyone else that is running the race or helping our sport. It has been really fun and I hope it continues to grow.

DtB: Is the DCD a collaborative thing where you are part of a team generating the ideas and working out the format and content of the programs?

CT: I have a team that helps me with this. We work together but they build the show before I get there, and then, once I arrive, we talk and let it come together. Zach Starr is the producer and my cameraman, for the DCD and he is so much fun to work with.

He and NYRR work together before to find who and what we are going to cover and then once he and I start working we just go for it. He helps me with my lines but we really just live in the moment and let things happen.

Nothing is memorized and if you have seen any of the shows, you can see I sort of fly by the seat of my pants. We have a lot of fun and they really like me to just be me. A bit crazy, but still a down to earth Minnesota girl, I guess. Sort of like my CTolleRun episodes.

DtB: There seems to be a mix of the serious with the “lighter” stuff on the DCD, such as the interview with the World Trade Center bombing and 9/11’s family and then doing a diaper changing challenge with Adam Goucher. Is there a set mix you’re trying to have for the program or is it more “organic” in picking up things as you go along and pulling them all together for a program?

CT: Exactly, we have a few people that we interview and we know the content and how we are going to build the show but then, with things like the diaper changing challenge, that was an idea I had randomly.

We wanted to show the public that elite athletes are normal runners and people just like everyone else, and we like having fun as well. Sometimes I think people have no idea who we are except when we are running really fast and then they recognize the name.

Adam Goucher is a great athlete, one of the gutsiest runners I have ever met, but he is also a really good guy. Really fun, happy, and is obviously really excited about being a father, so I thought this would be a fun way to remind the world that he does more than just run.

DtB: What was the reason for What are you attempting to do with the site?

CT: Well, with, we are trying to create a show that would appeal to runners of all abilities. With my crazy and upbeat personality, we are stepping outside the box by trying to educate, inspire, entertain, and really just have some fun with the running world and those that are interested in living a healthy life.

We have been doing episodes around the country and even internationally featuring different races and events. It has been a great adventure and we hope it continues, so check us out and send your episode ideas to

DtB: Watching the programs, one would think that you’ve changed your first name to Olympian, as in Olympian Carrie Tollefson. How are things going in terms of that becoming two-time Olympian…?

CT: Well, as far as saying Olympian Carrie Tollefson, I sometimes wonder the same thing. Not so sure about changing my name but it is one of the titles in my professional career that I am honored to be able to call myself. I think for the rest of my life that will be one of my biggest accomplishments, so I will most likely, always say it. Plus, both producers asked me to say it so I follow what they say. They crack a hard whip!

In terms of trying to make my second Olympic team, I would love to. I have had a little challenge with my plantar ever since January but I am back training again and hope to be racing on the roads in five to six weeks, and maybe even the track later this spring, early summer. There is still a fire in my belly when it comes to running, and until that goes out, I will be trying as hard as I can to get to the finish line first!!!!

DtB: What sort of perspective does being a parent give you in regards to your various endeavors? How has it impacted your life?

CT: I love every minute of it. We can't wait to have more children, but it is hard trying to juggle everything. I would be lying if I said that I am having an easy time figuring it all out. Ideally I would be home full time with Ruby, able to take her on every run, and to every workout, bring her with me to every gig I have, let her be with me at my youth camp or my adult camps, and travel all over the world with her and Charlie, but that doesn't seem to work.

I am very blessed to have my husband, Charlie’s, help. He is a great dad and gets to have Ruby to himself quite a bit. Charlie is an Architect and he loves what he does as well, but I could not do what I do without such a supportive husband. We are celebrating her one year birthday on April first and really, this has been the best year of our lives. She has brought so much joy and love to us.

Running is important, and my career is important, but being a loving mom and wife is by far, the most important and best job I have ever had.

To visit Carrie's "C Tolle Run" webpage and watch her running videos, click the title of this post.

Penn Relays Looming on the Villanova Horizon

Here's a teaser on the Penn Relays from Frank Bertucci in today's Philadelphia Daily News

Record in Sight for Sheila Reid and Villanova?

Frank Bertucci
Daily News, Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The record has been on the Penn Relays and world books for 23 years, Villanova's distance medley relay time of 10:48.38 run by Kathy Franey, Kameisha Bennett, Celeste Halliday and Vickie Huber.

And maybe this is the year that it comes off the books.

Villanova's women (Emily Lipari, Christie Verdier, Ariann Neutts, Sheila Reid) won the DMR (10:52.52) at the indoor NCAA championship meet in March, and broke the school indoor record for the event set by the 1988 team. Four seconds...

"There's room for each girl to improve (their indoor times) by a second or two," said Reid, the anchor who won the NCAA cross country championship in the fall, leading the Wildcats to the team title. "It depends on the nature of the race. Everybody's there to run fast.

"If we need to go faster we could, but 10:48 is no joke. But the Penn Relays is all about the win. We want to take a victory lap around the track with those big wheels."

Reid's referring to the Championship of America plaques, which she's familiar with seeing at Villanova. But she's never been on a relay team to add to the track teams' collection. In fact, the last Villanova Championship of America winner at Franklin Field was the men's DMR team in 2009; the last women's winner was the 2006 distance medley relay.

But with Reid on the anchor of both relays, Villanova's women are among the favorites in both the distance medley and 4x1500-meter relays. They'll be pushed by Virginia, Michigan, Georgetown and Tennessee, but unfortunately not by Oregon.

Villanova and the Ducks, with Jordan Hasay on the anchor, ran the spectacular indoor DMR race. Oregon finished .38-second behind Villanova, but won't be running at Penn.

"That's definitely disappointing," Reid said. "That was a great battle indoors. Me and Jordan pushed each other. I wanted an opportunity to race her on the anchor again.'

Reid is off to a good start to the outdoor season, running a personal-best time of 4:11.85 for 1500 meters last weekend at the Mt. Sac meet in California. It was an NCAA-best time for this outdoor season, and was her first competitive race of the season.

And Verdier, a junior who'll run the 400-meter leg on the DMR, ran a personal-best time of 53.70 for the 400 in a meet at Miami last week, so maybe those four seconds from the DMR world record can be cut down.

Reid will graduate with a degree in English in May, but she'll still be running for Villanova as a grad student. She has no indoor eligibility remaining, but will compete once more in cross country and outdoors, and at Penn.

"This is the national championship of all relays," Reid said of Penn.

And what the Penn Relays could use this year is a new meet record - and world record - in the women's distance medley relay.

Monday, April 18, 2011

All-Time Best Collegiate 1500 Meters

At the Mt Sac Relays this past weekend, BYU's Miles Betty ran 3:36.25 for the 1500 meters, a 6.17 second PR (see results of the race below). That time placed Batty at #5 all-time for collegiate runners. This latter list is still headed -- almost 30 years later -- by Villanova's Sydney Maree, who ran 3:35.30 in June 1981. Also on the top 10 collegiate list is Villanova's Eamonn Coghlan, who went 3:37.01 in June 1976 (at the time, it too was the collegiate record).

Mt. SAC 1500 (4/15/11)

1. Russell Brown (Oregon TC) 3:35.70 (old PR 3:36.89)
2. Chris Solinsky (Oregon TC) 3:35.89 (old PR 3:37.27)
3. Miles Batty (BYU) 3:36.25 (old PR 3:42.42)
4. Duncan Phillips (Arkansas) 3:39.87 (old PR 3:44.93
5. Tommy Schmitz (Saucony) 3:39.90 (old PR 3:41.46)
6. Matt Tegenkamp (Oregon TC/Nike) 3:40.06

The all-time collegiate 1500 meter list (' = foreigner):
1. 3:35.30  Sydney Maree' (Villanova)    6/06/81
2. 3:35.79 Abdi Bile' (George Mason) 6/06/87
3. 3:35.84 Joe Falcon (Arkansas) 4/16/88
3. 3:35.84 Brian Hyde (William & Mary) 5/13/95
5. 3:36.25 Miles Batty (BYU) 4/15/11
6. 3:36.48 Joaquim Cruz' (Oregon) 6/02/84
7. 3:36.62 Kevin Sullivan' (Michigan) 5/15/98
8. 3:36.92 Matthew Centrowitz (Oregon) 5/02/09
9. 3:37.01 Eamonn Coghlan' (Villanova) 6/05/76
0. 3:37.05 Bryan Berryhill (Colorado St) 6/02/01

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Marina Muncan Wins B.A.A. Elite Mile in Photo Finish

The BAA women's elite mile was just as close as the men's race, with Anna Pierce, Marina Muncan, and Treniere Moser all battling for the win in the final straight.

After Charlotte Browning led the first two laps, the field began to pick it up, tired of the extremely slow pace. With the finish in sight, Muncan took the outside, Moser the middle, and Pierce the inside. The three would stay three-wide until after the tape. Similar to the men's race before, fans, athletes, and reporters had to wait to hear who was the victor.

Eventually it was announced Muncan had won in 4:58.7, with Pierce and Moser a tenth of a second behind. The 28-year-old Muncan's win marks her third of this year in Boston -- indoors she won the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, as well as the 800m in a national record at the Boston University Valentine Invitational.

"I guess you could say this is my lucky city," said Muncan.

1. Marina Muncan 28 Ardmore,PA 4:58.7
2. Anna Pierce 27 Mammoth Lake, CA 4:58.8
3. Treniere Moser 29 Austin, TX 4:58.8
4. Brie Felnagle 24 Tacoma, WA 4:59.1
5. Charlotte Browning 28 Great Britain 5:02.6
6. Erin Bedell 23 Flagstaff, AZ 5:04.0

Bobby Curtis 2nd in Tactical B.A.A. 5K in Boston

In very windy conditions, Ben True outsprinted Bobby Curtis to the finish at today's Boston Athletic Association 5K road race. Given the windy conditions, no one had a vested interest to lead the race. As a result, it came down to the final sprint among four runners.

5k Ben True Over Bobby Curtis ad Ben St. Lawrence
By Tom Davis and Jess Barton,
April 17, 2011

The 5k was up first at 8am and was won by Dartmouth grad Ben True in 14:07. The men’s race went out fairly slow through the first two miles (4:41 and 9:20) but the top runners finished strong, with Ben True crossing the line first in 14:07 and Bobby Curtis(14:07) and Ben St Lawrence (14:09) finishing second and third respectively. “I have been sick all week so my coach (Tim Broe, the top American 5000m runner from 2003-2005) told me don’t do anything and just kick. So at the start I was leading, I was like ‘oh no.’ I was jogging, so I knew it would be a cat and mouse game, and sure enough it turned out to be. “I think it was the wind and nobody wanted to take the lead.” True said of the race. But it was True who showed that he had the strongest kick of the day as he battled it out with Curtis at the end. “I have to admit I was a little nervous. He [Curtis] went at the three mile mark, and I was a little nervous because he got a quick jump on me, but I was able to reel him back in. So it’s nice to know that the fitness is there.”

True attributed the wind and nobody wanting to take the pacing duties to the slow opening miles, “I think they were looking at me to take the lead, but I wasn’t going to take the lead. Nobody wanted to do anything and that was a problem,” said True. “We were just crawling around the course and we just started jockeying for position the last 400.” True is using the BAA 5k as a tune-up for his 10,000m debut at Payton Jordan in two weeks. Former NCAA 5000m Champion Bobby Curtis and Ben St Lawrence, the Aussie who recently ran 13:10.08 for 5000m beating Chris Solinsky, have been training at altitude together and also used this race as a tune-up for the Payton Jordan 10,000m. They are currently training at an altitude of 6,000 feet in the mountains of Southern California. Curtis was pleased with his race performance, “It was good until the last 50 meters for me,” said Curtis. “It was fine, it was a windy morning, but overall I thought it was a pretty good result.”

Place Name City State/Province Official Time
1 Benjamin True Hanover NH 14:07
2 Bobby Curtis Louisville KY 14:07
3 Ben St. Lawrence Australia 14:09
4 John Korir Kenya 14:09
5 Ben Bruce Springfield OR 14:14
6 Lucas Meyer Ridgefield CT 14:19
7 Jarrod Shoemaker Maynard MA 14:23
8 Jonathan Pierce Mammoth Lakes CA 14:24
9 Nicholas Arciniaga Flagstaff AZ 14:24