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by Larry Flynn

The Villanova men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their dominant seasons in a winning fashion last Friday, winning the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.

The freshman sensation Patrick Tiernan took the individual title, finishing first overall with a sensational time of 29:37.  Just seven seconds behind Tiernan was junior Sam McEntee, who came in second place overall.

McEntee was followed by the sophomore pairing of Rob Denault (29:58) and Jordan Williamsz (30:10), who finished ninth and tenth, respectively.  Sliding in at twelfth just two seconds behind Williamsz was junior Brian Basili with a time of 30:12.

Rounding up the top seven was senior Alex Tully coming in 23rd with a time of 30:37 and redshirt freshman Harry Warnick who finished 39th with a time of 31:12.

The team posted an impressive 35 second spread between the top-five runners and a 1:35 between the top seven, a testament to the unity of this team.

The Wildcats finished with a total of 34 points, clearly beating out second place Princeton by a 26-point margin and third place Georgetown by a 29-point margin.

The women’s cross country team was equally as successful, with the senior duo of Emily Lipari and Nicky Akande finishing first and second for the Wildcats. They finished with the same time of 19:53, sixteen seconds ahead of the third place runner.

Finishing fourth overall and third on the team was freshman Angel Piccirillo with a time of 20:10.  Piccirillo was followed by eighth place finisher junior Stephanie Schappert in 20:17.  Sophomore Sydney Harris rounded out the top five scoring runners with a time of 20:35.

Freshman Julie Williams and redshirt freshman Caitlin Bungo placed 27th and 77th with times of 20:55 and 21:47, respectively.

The women posted another impressive spread of 43 seconds between the scoring runners, and a 1:56 minute spread between the seven in total.

The Wildcats finished with a team score of 31 points, narrowly fending off Georgetown by four points.  Villanova and Georgetown dominated the rest of the competition, with Penn State finishing third with 92 points.

This Saturday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Championships in Terre Haut, Ind.

Both teams will look to cap off what has been a wildly successful season with a win.

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