PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/26/2014 – The Villanova men won the 4 x 80o relay for the first time since 1992, just after the women won the event. The Wildcats posted a time of 7:16.58 in taking the Championship of America at the Penn Relays. The Wildcat men had not won a Championship of America since getting the DMR in 2011. They were in danger of not winning one in this Carnival, but responded winning the last relay in which they were to compete.
Coach Marcus O’Sullivan was pleased in the way his team got better with each runner. The squad responded to get the first men’s title of the weekend. The Wildcats responded to the challenge.
“I am really proud of these guys,” said O’Sullivan. “In my mind they are outstanding students and outstanding people. For them to be out there today strategically running to try get Sam (Ellison) the lead showed that we could get this done on the last relay of the weekend when we were getting shutout really proved that we could run under pressure. This means a lot to me, more than you can imagine. As the years go on they will understand more and more the pressure that Villanova comes in with here. Villanova comes in here to defend, this is our local home. For them to step it up today really means a lot to me.”
Villanova competed in the 4 x Mile event earlier in the day, but this was the event the team felt it could win and pointed themselves in that direction. The Wildcats led with Josh Lampron who ran a 1:51.80 split. He passed the baton to Dusty Solis who posted a 1:49.45 time. Jordan Williamsz, who also ran in the earlier race took the third leg running a 1:48.77 split. He gave the baton to Samuel Ellison who crossed the finish line in 1:46.48. Penn State finished second covering the distance in 7:18.99.
The win was very special to the senior Ellison in his final relay carnival running for Villanova. A venue that has meaning to the athlete and the school.
“There is something about the Penn Relays,” said Ellison. “It’s the greatest place to run in the world. For me to start my collegiate career with a Wheel in 2011, it’s been a while. We needed some luck for this to come together. This is the best time we’ve had in a while. I wouldn’t change it.”
“It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian