PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Villanova women’s distance medley relay team captured the NCAA title and helped Villanova finish 12th as a team at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held in College Station, Texas on March 11-12. The Wildcats were the top BIG EAST team on the women’s side with a total of 18 points, while the Connecticut men were the top team on the men’s side in 26th-place with eight points.
Villanova’s distance medley relay team of freshman Emily Lipari, sophomore Ariann Neutts, junior Christie Verdier and senior Sheila Reid took the event title with a time of 10:52.52, outpacing the team from Oregon by just .38 seconds. The victory highlighted a day that saw seven BIG EAST teams or athletes finish in the top five. Reid went on for a top-five individual finish in the 3,000-meter run, where she finished second with a time of 9:13.86.
West Virginia senior Chelsea Carrier led the Mountaineers to a tie for 18th by scoring nine points in her two events. Carrier, the 2011 BIG EAST Champion in the 60-meter hurdles and the pentathlon, finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.08 and fifth in the pentathlon with 4,128 points.
Connecticut placed 23rd with 11 team points. Junior Heather Wilson placed fourth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:05.18. Junior Victoria Flowers took fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 22.24 meters.
Louisville scored six team points to place 30th. Senior D’Ana McCarty, the 2011 BIG EAST Champion in the weight throw, placed third in the weight throw with a distance of 22.28 meters.
Georgetown rounded out the scoring teams for the BIG EAST with two points in the distance medley relay after placing seventh in the event.
The men’s side had two top-five finishes. Connecticut led all BIG EAST teams with eight points to place 26th. Senior Michael Rutt had the highest individual finish of any BIG EAST male athlete, placing second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:48.37.
Notre Dame had the only other top-five finish, as the Irish distance medley relay team of junior Johnathan Shawel, freshman Patrick Feeney, senior Jack Howard and sophomore Jeremy Rae place fourth with a time of 9:30.16. The Irish placed 39th as a team with five points.
Villanova and Providence also scored in the meet. Villanova’s distance medley relay team placed seventh to give the Wildcats two points, while junior David McCarthy placed eighth in the 3,000-meter run for PC to score one point for the Friars.