PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/26/2014 – The University of Oregon Ducks successfully defended their Penn Relays 4 x Mile Championship recording the fourth best time in race history with a time of 16:09.67. Stanford finished second (16:17.83) with Villanova placing third with a time 16:19.98. Kentucky finished fourth at 16:20.58. The La Salle Explorers finished in 11th place running the distance in 16:33.50.
They’re a class squad, so deep,” Villanova anchor runner Jordan Williamsz said about the Oregon team. “They have as many as ten guys who can do this as well. They have eight or nine sub-four minute milers. We’re back here next year, we’ll get after it.”
“Today wasn’t our day,” Villanova lead runner Sam McEntee said. “It’s tough to get four guys firing in the same day. We’re a team, we preach team. We are going to care for each other. We will come back better and stronger next year. We’ll be in good shape.”
The Wildcats started well in the race as McEntee took the lead. He planned to not have a repeat of the Distance Medley Relay where he found himself having to catch too many runners. He charged out to control the pace doing so with a split time of 4:11.0. Sam Prackel of Oregon was .4 seconds behind.
“I handed off in the front, but wanted to give Robert (Denault) a chance as Cheserek (Oregon runner Edward Cheserek) was chasing him, he’s a phenomenal athlete, so it would be hard for him to hang on to Cheserek” said McEntee. ”
In the second leg the lead pack continued to be Villanova, Stanford, Oregon, and Georgetown. In the third lap of the leg Chesrek put Oregon in control of the race blowing by the competition. His split was 3:56.4. Villanova fell to fifth place as Robert Denault turned in a time of 4:04. Patrick Tiernan got the Wildcats back to third was a 4 minute mile split, Eric Jenkins of Oregon went the distance in 4:01.5.
Mac Fleet running the anchor leg for Oregon left no doubt about who would take the championship. The NCAA Indoor Champion lengthened the lead for the Ducks running the mile in 4:00.4 crossing the line about 3 yards ahead of Stanford. Williamsz ran a 4:04.9 for Villanova
“Mac Fleet is a tremendous athlete,” said Williamsz. “To spot him a 60-70 meter lead it’s hard to run him down. It was a little too much today. ”
Villanova is competing in the 4 x 800 in addition to this race. Coach Marcus O’Sullivan advised Williamsz if the gap was too great to overcome, save energy for the later race.
The La Salle team was made up of Zach Sullivan, Nick Ross, Vince Perozze, and Alfredo Santana.
Written By: Glenn Papazian