Friday, November 29, 2013

Bobby Curtis Set for Fukuoka Marathon on Sunday

Bobby Curtis will run the second marathon of his career on Sunday in Japan.  Curtis has a 2:16:44 marathon PR (NYC Marathon, 2011) and a 1:01:53 half-marathon PR (Philadelphia, 2011).

Here are the main elite competitors:

Invited Runners (Overseas)
GEBREMARIAM,Gebregziabher [ETH]
[DOB] 1984.10.12
[height] 178cm
[weight] 56kg
[personal best record] 2:04:53 (Boston 3rd / 2011)
[DOB] 1974.10.14
[height] 172cm
[weight] 60kg
[personal best record] 2:07:23 (Tokyo 1st / 2008)
SZOST,Henryk [POL]
[DOB] 1982.1.20
[height] 185cm
[weight] 69kg
[personal best record] 2:07:39 (Lake Biwa 2nd / 2012)
[DOB] 1981.10.11
[height] 172cm
[weight] 57kg
[personal best record] 2:09:28 (London 10th / 2013)
[DOB] 1979.7.29
[height] 173cm
[weight] 62kg
[personal best record] 2:10:55 (Toronto 3rd / 2011)
[DOB] 1982.4.27
[height] 185cm
[weight] 67kg
[personal best record] 2:11:24 (Olympic Trials 6th / 2012)
CRAGG,Alistair [IRL]
[DOB] 1980.6.13
[height] 180cm
[weight] 64kg
[personal best record] 1:00:49 (NYC Half 6th / 2011)

Invited Runners (Overseas)
No. name age height weight personal best record
1 GEBREMARIAM,Gebregziabher 29 178 56 2:04:53 2011 Boston
2 ROTHLIN,Viktor 39 172 60 2:07:23 2008 Tokyo
3 SZOST,Henryk 31 185 69 2:07:39 2012 Lake Biwa
4 LAMDASSEM,Ayad 32 172 57 2:09:28 2013 London
5 COOLSAET,Reid 34 173 62 2:10:55 2011 Toronto
6 CARLSON,Andrew 31 185 67 2:11:24 2012 Olympic Trials
7 CRAGG,Alistair 33 180 64 1:00:49 2011 NYC Half

Participants (Overseas)
No. name
51 TRUJILLO,Carlos
53 CHANG,Chia-che
55 VERRAN,Clint
56 MARTIN,Brendan
58 CURTIS,Robert

Here's the course map and elevation map.

Height Topography

Picture Gallery from Cross Country Nationals

Emily Lipari was 5th overall, earning All American status for the second consecutive year

Senior Nicky Akande was Villanova's #2 in 43rd place

Stephanie Schappert came 91st -- 82 spots better than in 2012

Sydney Harris was 153rd -- Villanova #4 and 56 places better than 2012

Frosh Angel Piccarillo was next, in 218th place

Caitlin Bungo was Villanova's #6

True freshman Julie Williams was one spot behind Caitlin Bungo

Frosh Patrick Tiernan wanted a top-25 finish -- he did more than that by coming 9th overall

Sam McEntee earned All American status by finishing 27th -- 123 spots better than in 2012

Tiernan spent much of the day leading the chase pack and earned a top-10 finish

Emily Lipari dons her All American medal

Tiernan's 9th place finish earned a front-row spot on the podium

Sam McEntee's 27th place finish earned him an All American medal

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lipari & Tiernan Take Top-10 Finishes at XC Nationals
Men Finish 18th, Women 19th

 Highlights from NCAA XC Nationals

Capping a great freshman campaign, Tiernan was 9th overall
On a cold and blustery day in Terre Haute, senior Emily Lipari (5th overall) and freshman Patrick Tiernan (9th overall) led the Villanova women and men to top-20 team finishes at the NCAA Cross Country championships.  Lipari and Tiernan each earned All-American honors, as did Sam McEntee who came 27th overall.  Senior Nicky Akande missed All-American status by a mere 3 spots, finishing 43rd overall. The Villanova men went 8-22-116-130-139-(154)- (170) to finish with 415 places, while the Villanova women finished with 397 places by virtue of a 3-27-65-122-180-(211)-(212) showing. Colorado won the men's team competition, while Providence took the women's team title.

Comparing the 2012 and 2013 races,  both held on the same course, shows how much tougher conditions were this year.  For example, Emily Lipari actually ran 5 seconds faster (20:05.6) in 2012, when she finished 25th, than she did this year (20:10.8) when she came 5th overall.  Likewise, Nicky Akande's 20:46.5 was good for 95th last year, while her 20:47.9 resulted in 43rd place this year. Overall, only Sam McEntee (by 30 seconds), Brian Basili (by 51 seconds), and Stephanie Schappert (by 3 seconds) ran the course faster in the 2013 championship race than they did in 2012.  Yet, slower times this year generally resulted in better place results.  Sydney Harris, for example, improved 56 places over 2012, despite running the course 6 seconds slower.  So, conditions were difficult this year.  Big improvements in place were garnered over 2012 by McEntee (from 150th in 2012 to 27th this year), Basili (from 234th to 144th), Lipari (from 25th to 5th), Akande (from 95th to 43rd), Schappert (from 173rd to 91st), and Harris (from 209th to 153rd).  

The full race results are HERE.

Villanova Men  415 places   1:43.5 spread
  9.    8.   Patrick Tiernan       30:15.7     All-American
 27.   22.   Sam McEntee           30:36.7     All-American
144.  116.   Brian Basili          31:44.5 
161.  130.   Rob Denault           31:53.2
171.  139.   Harry Warnick         31:59.2
189.  (154)  Alex Tully            32:10.6
206.  (170)  Jordy Williamsz       32:24.1

Villanova Women  397 places    2:04.1 spread
  5.    3.   Emily Lipari          20:10.8     All-American
 43.   27.   Nicky Akande          20:47.9
 91.   65.   Stephanie Schappert   21:16.0
153.  122.   Sydney Harris         21:40.5
218.  180.   Angel Piccirillo      22:14.9
250.  (211)  Caitlin Bungo         23:10.2
251.  (212)  Julie Williams        23:15.5

Lipari leads Sisson and Cuffe mid-race; she finished 5th overall

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Running Times: 5 Minutes with Patrick Tiernan

The Villanova freshman from Down Under talks about the Wildcats’ unexpectedly strong season.

Published November 21, 2013

Villanova freshman Patrick Tiernan

The Villanova Wildcats started the 2013 cross country season ranked No. 27 and this week jumped to No. 14 after winning both the Big East Conference and Mid-Atlantic regional. Keys to the Wildcats’ success have been tight pack running and the precocious performances of freshman Patrick Tiernan, who won individual titles at both championship meets.

Tiernan, 19, arrived at Villanova last January from Toowoomba, Australia and sat out the indoor and outdoor track seasons. His collegiate career began quietly, as he was third man on the team with a ninth-place overall finish at the Big Five Invitational in Philadelphia. He has been the low stick in all five subsequent races, but Villanova Coach Marcus O’Sullivan kept his team out of Pre-Nationals and the Wisconsin Invitational, so Tiernan’s abilities went unnoticed. A trip to Fayetteville, Ark., in mid-October gave a hint of things to come, as Tiernan ran to a fourth-place finish at the Chile Pepper Festival 8K behind All-Americans Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech and Arkansas teammates Kemoy Campbell and Stanley Kebenei. The Wildcats also impressed that day, scoring a close 31-44 second-place finish behind the Razorbacks. But few would have predicted Villanova’s 34-point low score at the Mid-Atlantic regional, which they accomplished by putting five among the first 12 finishers. Now, with nationals at hand and the team peaking perfectly, Tiernan and his teammates have high ambitions for Terre Haute.

Running Times: Congratulations to you on the Mid-Atlantic region victory, and to your team on taking the title. I’m wondering whether you’ve seen the great photo of you racing alongside several teammates, with a big grin on your face. Any recollection of what was going on?

Patrick Tiernan:  I think it was right at the mile marker, and I just remember we were running through a huge crowd of people, five or six hundred just lining the track there, and I just couldn’t believe it. I’d never been in a race with that many spectators or people who were really into cross country like that. So I was overwhelmed by the situation, I guess. There wasn’t anything said or anything like that, I just couldn’t wipe the grin off my face at the time. It was a great moment for me and I’ll always remember it. It was special.

RT: If you think back to August at the beginning of preparations for the season, what was the outlook on how things would shape up for the team?

Tiernan leading at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional

PT: Nationals was always a goal, but I think for us as a team, winning Big East was probably our biggest goal of the year. We wanted to win that because I know the boys said they had a pretty rough race there last year, finishing fifth or something, so I think we were all pretty determined to do well there. And we figured if we could do well there we’d just try to carry our form on and try to do well at nationals. And now we definitely see ourselves as a big threat to other teams, potentially a top 10 team if we all perform at our full potential. We’ll just see how we go, we’ll rock up on the day and give it one hundred percent and that’s all anyone can ask for.

RT: Villanova has surprised a lot of people this month, in part because you didn’t run some of the biggest meets during the regular season—you weren’t at Pre-Nationals or Wisconsin, for example. But were you guys and Coach O’Sullivan confident all along that you had the capability to do well in the late season, and what point did you feel it could all come together like this?

PT: It was Marcus’s plan for the season to keep pretty low-key until the post-season races. And we had a pretty good hit out there at Arkansas, which was our first big race of the year. But I think we worked into it well. Each race we were prepared for by the training we were doing and our training was getting gradually quicker as the season was going along. And I think now we’ve tapped into some systems that they didn’t get into last year as far as aerobic and anaerobic capacity goes. That was a big factor for us and it’s worked out really well and hopefully it pays off in the last race.

RT: You’ve won three races and finished among the top few in three others. Have the results surprised you or did you come in after a really good summer and know you were going to be one of the top guys?

PT: I guess you’re always going to be surprised when you get a win in any sort of race, but I knew I was fit, I knew I had a good base built up during the summer. And I guess just doing a few things differently with a more serious set-up over here rather than back home was a big thing for me this semester. I’ve raced as I usually do, no surprises as far as my tactics have gone whatsoever. But I think definitely the change-up in training for me was a big thing and it’s been probably my best season of running to date. Yeah, it’s definitely been a surprise for me but I think I can get out one more good race for the season.

RT: Was racing the full 10K distance at regionals a lot more challenging than the previous 4-mile and 8K races?

PT: Yeah, it was. I’d done a couple of 10Ks back home but not cross country, they were sort of flat races. So it was a big step up for me but it’s what we’ve been training for the whole season, so we were ready for it.

RT: You’ve got such a deep team, all seven racing so closely together in races. Obviously at nationals it’s going to be a big, talented field and high intensity so do you expect to still work together as a team?

PT: Yeah, I feel we can definitely work off each other in the race. I know that’s what a lot of other teams do when it comes to big races like this. You’ve got to know where you’re at and the only way to do that is to work off the teammates you’ve been training with all year. So I think that will definitely come into play on the day, but honestly I’m not 100 percent sure what the plan is for the race.

RT: Individually what are you looking to do in Terre Haute?

PT: Ideally I’d like to get in the top 25, but we’ll see how the race goes. If I can get in the top 25 anything better is just a bonus.

RT:  And as a team you’re saying top ten is the goal, right?

PT: As a team top ten, definitely. That’s definitely our potential and now it’s just a matter of us applying it on the day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kiwi Blincoe Primed & Fed the New Pipeline to Villanova

Villanova cross country runners, from left, Rob Denault, Patrick Tiernan, Sam McEntee and Jordy Williamsz are all far from home living on the Main Line — Denault is Canadian and McEntee, Williamsz and Tiernan are Australian. (Courtesy photo)

Villanova's Aussies fueling run to NCAA championships

RADNOR, PA — Sam McEntee didn’t have a winter coat when he arrived in the United States to attend Villanova three years ago in January. All he had was a hoodie. Fittingly, it snowed.

“I was freezing,” McEntee said

Sophomore Jordy Williamsz had never seen snow before he came to the U.S., either.

Freshman Patrick Tiernan also had never seen snow before, but thanks to conversations with Williamsz, Tiernan was a little more prepared for life in the states when he arrived at Villanova last January.

The late, great Jumbo Elliott had his “Irish Pipeline,” which helped transform the track and field and cross country programs at Villanova into a national power.

Marcus O’Sullivan, who was one of those Irish imports, has kept that international tradition going in his 16 years as Villanova’s coach. In recent years, though, the pipeline has been connected Down Under rather than to the Auld Sod.

McEntee & Williamsz led the way in 2012
McEntee, Williamsz and Tiernan hail from Australia. McEntee is from Perth. Williamsz hails from Melbourne and Tiernan is from Toowoomba, which is about 80 miles west of Brisbane.

All three, along with Canadian Rob Denault and Americans Brian Basili and Alex Tulley, are the reason the 14th-ranked Wildcats are headed to the Saturday’s NCAA cross country championships as a team for the sixth consecutive year.

The Villanova women are also making their sixth straight trip to nationals as a team.

Tiernan was the individual winner as Villanova won the Big East and Mid-Atlantic Regional titles in the same year for the first time since 2002. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year.

McEntee finished second at the regional meet. Denault was ninth. Williamsz finished in 10th place, Basili was 12th and Tulley 23rd. All six earned All-Region honors.

“The school has always reached overseas,” O’Sullivan said. “This school was founded on Irish immigrants coming over and trying to provide them with an education. Jumbo kind of teed off on that and kept it moving. Over the years, we’ve had kids from England and Ireland. And then, in the last 15 years or so, we’ve had kids from Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, you name it.

Blincoe holds the NZ National Record at 5000 meters
“Then, all of a sudden, about 10 or 11 years ago, I got a call from Adrian Blincoe, who’s from New Zealand. I thought it would be a 20-minute conversation and it was a 2½ hour conversation with him. He tells me now that when he hung up the phone he knew this is where he wanted to come. So a big part of why we’re Down Under is because of Adrian. That led into the next area, which is Australia.”

Contrary to popular belief, O’Sullivan did not go to Australia to land Matt Gibney, which eventually led to getting McEntee, Williamsz and Tiernan. Blincoe was the point man there.

McEntee said he received a random message on Facebook from Blincoe, who was an assistant coach at Villanova at the time. One thing led to another and the next thing he knew he was on a plane headed to the States.

“I never really spoke to Marcus until I stepped off the train at Villanova with my dad,” McEntee said.

Williamsz, who met Blincoe in London in 2011, was running in the Australian circuit, but not in school. One day, he had an epiphany.

“I couldn’t sleep one night and said, ‘I want to go to school,’” Williamsz said “I spoke with my coach and he said, ‘Give me an hour.’ He rings me up an hour later and says, ‘You’re going to Villanova, start the paperwork.’”

Like McEntee, Tiernan received a message from Blincoe, who was about to complete his four-year run on O’Sullivan’s staff.

“He actually left here right after he sent it so I had a lot of contact with Marcus in the few months before I came over,” Tiernan said.

Williamsz also had a connection with McEntee and Tiernan. He and McEntee met and roomed together during a camp in Melbourne in 2010 sponsored by Athletics Australian, the governing body for track and cross country in Australia. Williamsz and Tiernan met a year later during a race in Melbourne.

Tiernan is the latest addition from Australia
“He likes to think he’s the reason I came here,” Tiernan said of Williamsz.

“I don’t think, I know I’m the reason you came here,” Williamsz said with a laugh.

Still, leaving home is never easy, especially when that home is roughly 10,000 miles away. It’s not like they can just hop on a plane or a train, like most of their teammates, and head home for the weekend.

Thank goodness for the Internet and cellphones. All three said they talk to their parents at least once a week. That’s a far cry from O’Sullivan, who had to take paper to pen to stay in touch.

“You’d go to the mailbox every day,” O’Sullivan said. “That was the highlight of your day.”

Adjusting to life in the United States was trying. McEntee remembers his first run at Villanova, a 10-mile trek around campus in January. He said he tried to talk to his teammates during the workout. That lasted for about three miles.

“After that, my jaw was just frozen it was so cold,” McEntee said. “After that I said that if I’m ever going home, now’s the time, but I managed through that first week.”

He’s still at Villanova, as are Williamsz and Tiernan, but there are some things they do miss, outside of their families and friends, of course. McEntee and Williamsz both grew up within 400 meters of the beach. Tiernan could go around his entire hometown on his long runs.

But that’s not all.

“(It’s difficult) not having a car,” Williamsz said. “It’s not like we’re bound to the campus, but if you want to go somewhere you have to catch a train and it costs like eight bucks each way. You want to be able to drive off and get out of here for a while.”

“Yeah,” McEntee said. “You lose a little bit of your independence.”

All three, though, are glad they did make the decision to come to Villanova.

“It’s easily the best decision I’ve ever made,” Williamsz said.

“I agree with Jordy,” Tiernan said.

“Me, too,” McEntee said.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beamish Back Building Base

Here's the latest update from Villanova's former Big East 5000 meter champion Hugo Beamish, who in March of this year took his first national title by winning the New Zealand 5000 meter crown.  You can see that race and the results HERE.

In this update, we find that Hugo, who owns a 13:47 PR at 5000 meters, has been set back by injuries and some bad luck, but is now back on the road to reclaiming fitness.

Hugo Beamish: “Drama”

Folks, blog number one.

Unfortunately this blog comes after a devastating team loss at NZ road relay champs. In hindsight, it is lucky we even managed to field a team as the ongoing Wellington injury saga took its toll. I had very moderate expectations coming into the race as it was to be workout number 1 after several months of sporadic running. So after running quite terrrrribllyy, my performance served as a nice reality check and provided some motivation to get fit again. The weekend was not a total loss however. Several highlight runs from within the Scottish Team meant we were still in with a chance come the final lap. Other highlights included evening mini putt in Akaroa, where the owner left us to shoot hole in ones and lock up as he boosted off on his electric skateboard. Then there was the 35 dollars I won at the casino.

My state of fitness was due to an aborted cross country season that was beginning to look quite good. I managed a race at North Islands off the back of some good training. Big ups to the winter crew who made the jogs and sessions entertaining. Mile repeats after work with newly purchased headtorches imported from a lady in China.

Then there was the day I was running along the river bank, came around a blind corner, had a head on collision with a kid on a push scooter, flew across the ground, banged my knee on the ground.


Having a sore knee six weeks later was frustrating.

And here we are now. Getting back into a routine of 80+ miles, tempo runs, 6xmile repeats, and protein shakes. This will be the plan for the next few months.

 Watch out for kids on scooters.

Look after your fascia.

Amen to daylight savings.

Stay cool.

Go Nike.

Nova Sweeps Regional Athlete & Coach of the Year Awards

As might be expected when the program executes a double-triple (team championship + individual champion + individual runner-up for both men and women) at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, Villanova today swept the USTFCCCA awards for regional Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year.

Division I Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year Announced

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA


Marcus O’Sullivan, Villanova
After lying low from major competitions for much of the season, O’Sullivan’s Wildcats pounced on the post-season competition with Big East and Mid-Atlantic Region titles. In his 16th season as the head coach of the men’s program, O’Sullivan guided freshman Patrick Tiernan to individual titles at both meets as the Wildcats won the Mid-Atlantic over Princton, 34-60, and the Big East over Providence, 36-49.
Patrick Henner, Georgetown
Patrick Henner, Georgetown
Steve Dolan, Princeton
Patrick Henner, Georgetown
Patrick Henner, Georgetown


Gina Procaccio, Villanova
Procaccio, in her 14th season as the head coach of the women’s program at Villanova, guided her Wildcats to arguably the biggest upset of the regional championships weekend as they defeated No. 4 Georgetown, 31-35, for the Mid-Atlantic title. Winner Emily Lipari and runner-up Nicky Akande led four finishers in the top eight as the previously unranked Wildcats took the team title. Her squad finished fourth at the Big East Championships.
Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State
Gina Procaccio, Villanova
Gina Procaccio, Villanova
Gina Procaccio, Villanova
Sean Cleary, West Virginia


Patrick Tiernan, Villanova
Tiernan, a freshman from Toowoomba, Australia, continued a strong 2013 campaign with a Mid-Atlantic Region title, completing the 10K course at Lehigh in 29:36.90. His time was just over six seconds faster than runner-up teammate Sam McEntee, leading the Wildcats to the team title and an NCAA Championships berth. The individual crown came on the heels of a Big East title and is his third of the season.
Recent Winners
Travis Mahoney, Temple
Donn Cabral, Princeton
Ayalew Taye, Georgetown
Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetwon
Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetown


Emily Lipari, Villanova
Lipari, a senior from Greenvale, N.Y., defeated defending champion — and now-teammate — Nicky Akande by .05 seconds to claim the Mid-Atlantic Region title. She completed the 6K course at Lehigh in 19:52.65, leading the Wildcats to an upset of No. 4 Georgetown for the team title, 31-35. This was her second win of the year, and she finished runner-up at the Big East Championships. She also posted top-10 showings at both the Paul Short Run and the Pre-National Invitational.
Recent Winners
Nicky Akande, Villanova
Sheila Reid, Villanova
Sheila Reid, Villanova
Sheila Reid, Villanova
Francis Koons, Villanova