by Nick Fattori
Six members of the track and field team set personal bests during the two-day New York Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City last week.
The ’Cats had a solid showing on both of the men’s and women’s 14 events and were consistently in the mix.
On Friday, junior distance runner Brian Basili broke his best-ever time in the 5000 meters by nine seconds with a time of 14:25.44.
That time was good enough to put him in eighth place out of 13.
Two women also broke personal bests on Friday while racing in the 60 and 500 meter events.
Freshman sprinter Kalissa Caesar posted a 7.88 in the 60 meters and eclipsed the eight second mark for the first time. That performance elevated her to 25th out of 69 participants.
Fellow freshman sprinter Veronica Scott followed her classmate up by running a personal best time of 1:17.67 in the 500 meters.
The performance was good enough for 26th place and just ahead of senior sprinter Mary Bohi who finished just .6 of a second behind her.
After a good start on Friday the men continued their great performance and set three more personal bests on day two.
The highlight of the day was redshirt freshman distance runner Harry Warnick who placed fourth out of 16 in the 5000 meters with a record time of 14:36.35.
A trio of fellow Villanovans was not far behind and all finished within eight seconds of Warnick.
Junior distance runner Robert Hurlbut and redshirt freshman distance runner Kevin Corbusier ran personal bests of 14:39.39 and 14:43.85 to put them in seventh and 13th place respectively.
Finally, sophomore distance runner Tom Trainer was sandwiched in between them with a time of 14:43.38.
Graduate student distance runner Mike Palmisano also had a terrific day as he placed fifth out of 73 in the 800 meters.
His time was 1:53.09, which is only .6 seconds off his personal best, which he set in 2010.
The women finished their weekend off strong as well and as a team were very dominant in the mile.
Senior distance runner Nicky Akande is known for being one of the best cross country runners in the nation, but on this day she was outdone by another Wildcat.
Junior distance runner Stephanie Schappert set a personal best in the mile with a time of 4:39.45, which was good enough for second place in the 14 person field.
Akande was not far behind as she finished sixth with a time of 4:45.19.
This season, the women’s Track and Field team has registered solid performances, whether it is individual competitors setting personal bests or the team placing second overall in every event that has had team scoring.
The women’s team will return to the Armory this weekend for the Wanamaker Mile at the Milrose Games, where All-American senior distance runner Emily Lipari will look to lead the ’Cats to another solid showing.
The men’s team has off this upcoming weekend, but next week they will return to the Armory with the women, as both teams look to capture the Big East Championship.