Villanova Men’s Team Place Second, Women’s Team Finishes in Ninth Place in The Penn Relays
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 4/28/2023 –
On the rainy track at Franklin Field the Villanova Distance Medley relay teams did not earn a Championship of America Wheel. The men’s team was in contention throughout, but a late finishing kick by Wisconsin denied Nova their 26th Championship of America. In the women’s event Stanford earned their first Penn Relays Wheel in this event. The Wildcats fell behind early and could not make up the distance.
Men’s Distance Medley Relay
In a tight race hotly contested over the distance, a late charge by Jackson Sharp gave Wisconsin their second DMR Championship of America in the last three years. Eight teams came around the track in close proximity. Anchor runner Liam Murphy took the lead with 200 meters remaining. The pack was so tight he felt it was the time to break away.
“I figured if I didn’t go now I figured I would have got boxed in,” said Murphy. “Usually I am able to hold them off or just get right to where I need to be.”
“Towards the end I think just the rain and whether it was a bit jagged, I just didn’t have it.”
Murphy ran a split of 4:03.65 in the 1600 meter leg. Villanova turned in a time of 9:34.83. Wisconsin won the race in 9:33.82. Virginia placed third in 9:35.60 followed by Georgetown, Ole Miss, Duke, and Oklahoma State all less than 4 seconds apart.
Charlie O’Donovan led off for the Wildcats and was second in the 1200 meter leg. He ran the distance in 2:53.71, very close to Oklahoma State. The race strategy was to start fast and be among the leaders.
“In the indoor championships I got a and start and ended up getting tripped up at the start,” said O’Donovan. “I wanted to make sure I got out in the top three. I handed off the baton in like joint first which is what I wanted and to give Jimmy (Miglie) the best option and the best opportunity.”
Miglie, a freshman, stayed in contention running a :47.96 400 meter split and gave the stick to Sean Dolan in third place. Dolan ran the 800 meters in 1:49.53 which held third place.
“I wanted to hold my spot and not give him a gap,” Dolan said.
Women’s Distance Medley Relay
Stanford earned their initial Championship of America in this event setting a school record time of 10:50.56. The Cardinal is the NCAA Indoor Champion in the DMR. The Wildcats got off to a slow start and finished in ninth place covering the distance in 11:12.22.
Villanova started back in the pack and could not challenge as Boston College and Stanford went to the lead early. In the 400 meters leg the Cardinal got out in front behind Maya Valmon who ran a time of :52.15. Roisin Willis 800 meteres split of 2:04.67 put Stanford firmly in front. Juliette Whittaker brought it home breaking the tape in 4:33.67 in the 1600 meters segment.
The Wildcats team of Maya Dorer ran a 3:26.40 in the 1200 meters. Micah Trusty in to 400 meters turned in a split of :55.77. The 800 meters time was 2:08.34 by Madison Martinez. Lydia Olivere anchored running the 1600 meters in 4:41.72.
Although this is the first title for Stanford, the Cardinal does have a Penn connection. Melissa Tanaka who ran the opening leg won a Penn Relays title with the Quakers who won this event in 2019. The connection for Whittaker is that her sister Isabella runs for the Red and Blue.
Written By: Glenn Papazian