The Villanova Track and Field program finished its regular season at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Collegiate Invitational. The women won eight events, including Lydia Olivere’s record-breaking performance in the 3000-meter steeplechase, while the men won four events, including Haftu Strintzos’ sub-29-minute performance in the 10,000 meters.
The women dominated the competition, winning eight of 13 events and finishing top three in three of the other five events. Many athletes provided top performances, including Olivere, who broke the school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase. This is the second time she has broken the record in her Villanova career. In other events, Jada Thomas won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.91. Danielle Burns finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.30. Villanova also placed first in both the 4x400-meter relay (3:38.78) and the sprint medley relay (3:49.82). Amari Onque-Shabazz and McKenna Keegan were on both of those relay teams. Keegan won Female Track Athlete of the Week for her efforts in both of those relays, as her 52 second anchor leg on the 4x400 relay erased a large deficit and won the race for the Wildcats.
For field events, Sanaä Barnes won the high jump while tying her school record of 1.82 meters, while Roschell Clayton finished as runner-up. Ashley Preston, who tied for the second best mark in school history at the last meet in the pole vault, won the pole vault this week, clearing 3.85 meters, just shy of last week’s mark. Gracee French went strong finishing first in shot put with a distance of 14.72 meters and second in discus with a mark of 49.47 meters. Emily Galvin finished fourth in the hammer throw and Teresa Rotolo had a third place finish in the Javelin with her personal best throw of 38.63 meters.
The men finished with four winners. In the 400-meter hurdles, Keeghan Hughes took home first with a time of 52.95 and Nicholas Mollica finished fourth with a time of 53.82. Nick Ackerman finished fourth in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:01.64. Patrick Spychalski (14:24.90) and Ben Seiple (14:26.74) finished second and third in the 5000-meters. Both runners posted personal best times. Strintzos had a time of 28:55.55 to win the 10,000 meters. The Wildcats also won the 4x800-meter relay and the distance medley relay. Casey Comber, Sean Dolan and Charlie O’Donovan ran in both relays. The 4x400-meter team finished fourth in its relay. In the field events, Jacob Kelly finished second in the high jump with 2.06 meters. Michael Troup finished third in the long jump with 6.97 meters and Malik Cunningham took fourth with 6.84 meters. Billy Loewen finished second in the shot put with 15.56 meters, which is his personal best. Jadyn Anczarski finished third in the discus with 48.09 meters. Both Anczarski and Alex Telma both had personal bests in the hammer throw with Anczarski throwing it 53.16 meters, and Telma throwing 51.22 meters.
Both the men and women’s teams qualified for the postseason, advancing to the Big East Tournament. The tournament runs from Friday, May 14 to Saturday, May 15 in Geneva, Ohio.