by Katy Funabashi
The men’s and women’s track teams combined for nine personal bests this past Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Open.
The meet, held at Princeton University’s Jadwyn Gym, featured seven competitors from Nova’s men’s team and 15 athletes from the women’s team.
The men’s team competed in six total events with only one winner. That victory came in the 3000 meters courtesy of junior Robert Hurlburt.
The Rochester, N.Y., native finished first with a time of 8:45.10, outlasting a field of seven fellow runners.
In the only other running event entered by the men’s team, the 60 meter hurdle, sophomore Aaron Sandifer of Harrisburg. N.C., finished fourth in an eight man field with a time of 8.81.
Sandifer’s time in the final heat was an improvement on his performance in the preliminary round earlier that day, when he finished the race in nine seconds flat.
Both members of the ’Nova field team who competed in the weight throw set personal bests.
Senior Drew King and sophomore James Rowan improved on their previous long distances with tosses of 15.06 meters and 13.96 meters.
Rowan also competed in the shot put, where he finished ninth with an 11.57 meter throw.
Junior Ebert Maxwell placed well in the long jump. The Pittsburgh native leaped 7.01 meters, good for third.
In his first meet since posting his personal best height of 4.80 meters last week at the Great Dane Classic, senior Chris Dougherty vaulted a height of 4.65 meters, leading all Wildcats in the pole vault.
Freshman Kolby Koeck also competed in the pole vault and finished seventh with a height of 4.35 meters.
On the women’s side of the meet, ’Nova had a total of seven Wildcats post personal bests.
Leading the charge was redshirt freshman Caitlin Bungo, who won the Mile with a personal best time of 5:06.22, over 10 seconds better than her previous peak.
She was joined at the top by her teammate, freshman Alexandra Russo, who finished the race in 5:07.18, good for second and also a personal best.
A pair of freshmen held their own in the sprinting events for the Wildcats. Kalissa Caesar and Emma Biggs competed in both the 60 and 200 meters.
Caesar was consistent in the 60 meters, posting times of 8.02 (preliminaries) and 8.01 (finals) while finishing the 200 meters in 26.57. Biggs ran her 60 meter preliminary in 8.35, and completed the 200 meters in 26.90.
’Nova fared well in field events as well. In the pole vault, the Wildcats were led by junior Alexandra Wasik, whose height of 3.90 meters placed her second.
Other notable Villanova pole vaulters were sophomore Virginia LaMaccia, who placed fourth with a height of 3.80 meters, and graduate senior Bianca Reo, who came in fifth with a height of 3.70 meters.
There were a pair of Wildcats in the top three for long jump, as junior Kathleen Philips finished second with a distance of 5.41 meters and sophomore Anne Yahiro placed third with a mark of 5.40 meters, a personal best.
Three more personal high watermarks were set by the lady Wildcats in throwing events.
In shot put, sophomore Alita Ostapkovich and freshman Kristen Erickson put up bests of 11.38 meters and 11.21 meters, respectively.
In weight throw, freshman Claudia Tishler posted a personal best of 11.46 meters.
Both the men’s and women’s track teams will compete next at the Penn State National meet during the coming week.