Women’s track found success in two meets on Saturday. The first, the Sykes and Sabock Challenge hosted by Penn State, saw 15 athletes compete and the second, the NYRR Millrose Games in New York, featured a standout performance by senior sprinter Trudy-Ann Williamson.
It was a successful day overall for the Wildcats competing in the Sykes and Sabock Challenge. Highlights include performances from freshman Madison Martinez and sophomore Ashley Preston. Martinez’s 600 meter time of 1:31.95 earned her fourth place at the meet, and was the third fastest time in school history. Preston cleared a height of 3.98 meters in pole vault, finishing fifth overall of 26 entries, and leading the three Wildcats competing in the event.
Other runners also impressed this weekend. Besides Martinez competing in the 600 meters was fellow freshman Nikki Merrill, who opened her season finishing seventh with a time of 1:34.88. In the 800 meters, senior Amari Onque-Shabazz (2:12.76) and freshman Brynne Sumner (2:13.19) placed in the top three of the event, recording second and third place finishes in a field of 21 competitors.
Freshman Alexis Martin (58.80) and senior Adrianna Letros (59.22) notched personal bests in the 400 meters, while Lydia Olivere placed first in the 3000 meters with a time of 9:38.59, 15 seconds ahead of second place. Martin, Martinez, Onque-Shabazz and Merill teamed up for the 4x400 meter relay, finishing in 3:52.32.
For the field athletes, junior Amanda McNelis recorded her career best in pole vault by clearing a height of 3.83 meters. McNelis placed ninth while junior Cala Lejman placed 17th, clearing 3.53 meters. Sophomore Liv Morgan competed in the 60 meter hurdles (8.92, personal best), the 200 meters (25.96) and the long jump (5.39, season best).
Other multi-sport athletes in action included junior Jennifer Barbour and freshman Faith Robinson who competed in the 60 meters and the long jump. Barbor clocked a time of 8.07 in the preliminaries of the 60 meters but logged her personal best of 5.17 meters in the long jump while Robinson ran the 60 meters in 8.16 and jumped 5.17 meters. Finally, in the triple jump senior Gloria Donou jumped 11.09 meters and senior Katie Ciccarone recorded her season best jump of 10.76 meters.
Saturday also marked an impressive outing from senior sprinter Williamson, who competed at the 113th NYRR Milrose Games at The Armory. Williamson equaled her own school record and lifetime best of 7.37 seconds in the 60 meter dash in a race where she was the only collegiate entry in a field of eight runners. That field included six-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary American sprinter Allyson Felix, World U20 gold medalist Briana Williams of Jamaica, former collegiate national champions Hannah Cunliffe and All-Americans Javianne Oliver and Morolake Akinosun. The race was aired nationally on NBC.
Williamson was the fastest of the heat getting out of the starting blocks and would go on to tie the school record she set in the final of the indoor Big East Championship in 2018. The five-time Big East Champion and seven-time All-Big East sprinter is now tied for 37th nationally, leads the Big East and holds the 16 fastest times in the Villanova record book in the 60 meters.
The Wildcats are back in action with a split team and two meets this weekend where athletes will compete at both the National Invitational at Ocean Breeze and the David Henry Valentine Invitational in Boston.