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by Pat Ralph

Valentine’s Day weekend was a fine one for the Villanova men’s and women’s track teams, as several Wildcats posted personal bests as they competed across the country this weekend. From New York City to Ames, Iowa, the Nova Nation was in full force.

Several runners put up great performances in the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City Saturday at the Armory.

The highlight of Saturday’s performances was senior Emily Lipari, who participated in the world-famous Wannamaker Mile.

Lipari posted a personal best time of 4:35.24, more than two seconds faster than her previous personal best. Lipari finished eighth in the race and closed strong after being pushed towards the back of the pack.

She bested the time of 4:37.43 that she had run two years ago and posted a time that ranks 10th in the nation this season. Even more impressive, Lipari was only one of two collegiate runners in the race.

In addition to Lipari’s strong showing, the men’s 4×800 meter relay team took second place in the Byron Dyce college men’s 4×800 meter relay.

The relay team, which consisted of senior Chris O’Sullivan, graduate student Mike Palmisano, redshirt freshman Josh Lampron and freshman Ben Malone, posted an impressive time of 7:31.57 in the race.

O’Sullivan opened with a personal best split of 1:54.7 on the first leg of the relay and Palmisano ran a personal best 1:52.5 on the second leg.

After Malone followed up with a split of 1:53.9, Lampron ran the anchor leg in a personal best split of 1:50.5.

Meanwhile in the Midwest, several members of the men’s track squad participated in the Iowa State Classic on the campus of Iowa State University this weekend.

On Friday night of the Classic, freshman distance runner Patrick Tiernan set a meet record and finished with the nation’s second-best time in the 5,000 meter race by taking second place in the event with an excellent time of 13:37.73.

“Pat did most of the work in the race so I thought it was a great effort by him,” Wildcats Coach Marcus O’Sullivan said after the meet to Villanova.com.

Along with Tiernan’s strong performance on the Friday night, Villanova’s distance medley relay took first in the event and finished with the fifth-best time in the nation of 9:35.08. The DMR team consisted of sophomore Dusty Solis, senior Sam Ellison, junior Chris FitzSimons and senior Sam McEntee.

However, things would only get better for the Wildcats on the second day of the Classic. On Saturday, sophomore sensations Jordy Williamsz and Rob Denault both made history by running sub-four minute miles to finish first and seventh, respectively.

Williamsz’ time of 3:56.84 earned him first place honors and he ranks second in the nation for the mile.

Denault’s time of 3:59.86 is not too shabby either, as it currently stands as this year’s 16th-best time in the country.

Ellison was also back out on the track on Saturday, as he took fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48.40.

Ellison ran in the second heat of the race and won his heat by less than two-thirds of a second.

Next up for both the men’s and women’s teams is the Big East Championships next weekend at the New York Armory.

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