PHILADELPHIA, PA 4/25/2014 – The Oregon Ducks anchor runner Edward Cheserek pulled away in the last 300 meters of the Distance Medley Relay to take the Championship Wheel back to the west coast. The Villanova Wildcats anchor Jordan Williamsz started his split in fourth place, and finished second in the race. The Ducks won the race in a time of 9:25.40 beating Villanova’s 9:28.93. Williamsz knew he had too much ground to make up.
“I knew one of us was going to go for it,” Williamsz said about how the race unfolded and what he needed to do. “I wondered why Cheserek didn’t go earlier. He had that killer blow. I was still chasing. When you are chasing, you’re just looking at the guy in front of you.”
The relays had four teams chasing one another for the first three legs; Oregon, Stanford, Kentucky, and Villanova. The Wildcats were sixth after the opening 1200 run by Sam McEntee (2:56.03). He passed the baton to 400 meter runner Samuel Ellison whose time of 46.29 moved Villanova into fourth place. Meanwhile, Oregon, Stanford, and Kentucky jockeyed at the front of the pack.
Dusty Solis ran the 800 leg turning in a time of 1:49.36. The Wildcats were in fifth place at that point.
On the 1500 anchor leg Stanford and Oregon moved to the front of the pack gaining a 20 yard lead after the first lap. The pace held after two laps. Meanwhile Williamsz moved Villanova into third place. The leaders began to bunch until there were 300 meters remaining when Cheserek sprinted to the front giving the Ducks control of the race. Williamsz got second place for the mainliners running a split of 3:57.26, which was faster than Cheserek’s time of 3:57.98.
“I was pretty far back, but got us into it a little bit,” said Williamsz. “I was patient. The Kentucky guy took off a bit earlier than I expected. I waited. I knew I could make it home, but it was too late. It happens. You come back here and do it next year.”
The Ducks splits were Mac Fleet (2:53.95), Mike Berry (44.72), Boru Guyota (1:48.77), capped by Cheserek.
Stanford finished third in the event with a time of 9:29.66, and Kentucky was fourth in a time of 9:30.52.
La Salle finished seventh covering the distance in 9:39.31. Nick Ross led off with a 2:58.25. Cris Hunter ran a 48.43 split. Chris Sanders turned in a time of 1:48.35, Alfredo Santana anchored the team with a 4:04.29 effort.
Villanova will try again on Saturday in the 4 x 1500 meter race. Williamsz knows all the Wildcats can do is run the race.”
“Come back tomorrow and put your nose in it,” Williamsz said. You never know what can happen. We might win a wheel or we might not. It’s the fun of the Penn Relays.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian