The NCAA Division I cross country championship took place in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday. It was cold, rainy and miserable, but none the less the gun went off.
The Villanova Wildcats placed 23rd out of 31 teams.
Redshirt-senior Andrew Marston finished first for the Wildcats and in 79th place overall with a time of 31:46.0.
“Marston was expecting more, but today was an extremely hard race and I know that he put it all out there, Coach Marcus O’Sullivan said.
Sophomore Charlie O’Donovan finished second for the team crossing the line at 32:08.7 in 124th. He was followed by redshirt-freshman, Haftu Strintzos who placed 142nd at 32:17.2.
Redshirt-senior Casey Comber, who has struggled all season with an illness, placed 162nd with a time of 32:28.9 and fourth for the team. Close behind was sophomore Josh Phillips who placed 164th at a time of 32:29.2.
Rounding out the performance was senior-transfer student Nathan Rodriguez (32:53.2) and redshirt freshman Patrick Spychalski (33:12.5) who finished 191st and 206th.
“They had a great season,” O’Sullivan said. “With the conference title and the regional title they have a lot to be proud of.” Even though this was not the nationals the Wildcats expected, they came to Indiana and competed with 31 of the best collegiate cross country teams in the nation.
After an eventful cross country season comes indoor track. “It can be hard because there is hardly a break for them,” O’Sullivan said. “Keeping the momentum from this season will be important as we look to indoor season.We need to put [nationals] behind us and keep moving forward,”
That is exactly what the distance team has to do as they walk away from the cross country season with both the Big East and Mid-Atlantic team titles as well as five All-Big East and Mid-Atlantic All-Region honors.