PHILADELPHIA, PA – 4/27/2012 – A day after winning the 2012 Penn Relays Distance Medley Relay Championship of America, Villanova got a third place finish in the 4 x 1500 College Women’s Championship of America. The University of Oregon took the title pulling away in the middle legs of the race to win in a time of 17:29.00. Georgetown took second place catching Villanova down the stretch posting a time of 17:40.99. The time for Villanova was 17:41.12. Villanova was not able to ride the momentum into a second title. The Wildcat Women and their leader Sheila Reid posted a win and a loss leaving Reid with mixed feelings.
“Bittersweet,” said Reid. “It would have been great if we ended with a win. If we flipped the days there may have been a little more justice. I feel we came out with two wheels, but it is still something to be proud of. I got a least one wheel, so that is a big accomplishment for the program.”
the opening leg for the Wildcats matching Oregon’s Melanie Thompson trailing by a mere seven tenths of a second. The second leg of the race saw Oregon begin to pull away as Alex Kosinski ran a 4:17.1. Emily Lipari ran a 4:22.7 split, and trailed Kosinski by 6 seconds.
“I wanted to get in position to give Anne (Kesselring) as big a lead as I could,” said Kosinski.
Kosinski did. Villanova was fourth at the handoff. Anne Kesselring ran third for Oregon. Nicky Akande got Villanova back into second, however the Oregon lead was 12 seconds.
“We have four sound people, and no weak links,” said Kesselring.
The lead allowed anchor runner Becca Friday to run a relaxed race. Sheila Reid took the baton for Villanova. Friday moved out to a lead as large as 17 seconds as Reid and Emily Infeld of Georgetown faced the prospect of chasing down the leader in windy conditions at Franklin Field. Infeld and Reid did cut the deficit, but never threatened Oregon who won their first Championship of America at the Penn Relays. Friday turned in a time of 4:23.1, Infeld 4:20.0, and Reid ran the leg in a time of 4:20.1.
“I knew it was going to take a special split,” said Reid. “It’s hard to run in the wind like that by yourself, especially with someone like Emily (Infeld) on your back. I tried to make up as much ground as possible, but it was a tough position to get the baton in.”
“We had a big lead and I didn’t to take chances,” said Friday. “We had a good setup. I tried to stay smooth and finish strong.”
“This is the first one for Oregon (Penn Relays Women’s Championship),” Kesselring said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Villanova and Reid came into the second day of competition with one championship, and expected another. That did not happen. The Oregon team had four good runners, and were too far ahead. The issue was not in doubt as the anchor runners took the baton.
“It’s hard to come off the high, and not be competitive,” said Reid. “We needed to run with a lot more heart than that. You have to come with your best. I wanted more from us.”
“I felt before the race that we could run with them,” said Villanova Coach Gina Procaccio. “I’m disappointed, but this year we did come away with a win.
Written By: Glenn Papazian