Villanova junior Patrick Tiernan placed second individually at the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships on November 21 in Louisville, KY. It was the best individual finish for a Villanova runner since Donal Walsh finished second in 1970. Tiernan crossed the finish line in 29:11.1 behind Edward Cheserek of Oregon who won the race in 28:45.98. In doing so Tiernan became the 37th Villanovan in cross country and has earned the honor three times.
There were two other Wildcat runners competing. Seniors Rob Denault and Jordy Williamsz competed in the championships. Denault covered the distance in 30:46.1 to finish in 77th place. Williamsz placed 214th with a time of 32:17.1.
Thomas Awad finished in 14th place in the meet turning in a time of 30:06.6. Nick Tuck was in 73rd place turning in a time of 30:44.8. Brendan Shearn and Brendan Smith followed finishing 165th and 175th respectively. Smith recorded a mark of 31:33.3, while Smth clocked in at 31:38.6. Kevin Monogue was in 221st place turning in a time of 32:25.1.
Individual national champion Edward Cheserek became the first person to win three-straight individual titles. Syracuse won the team title with 82 points finishing ahead of Colorado with 91 in a 32 team field.
In Women’s Cross Country Blanca Fernandez became the first-ever All-American in cross country for the Temple. She placed 29th with a time of 20:20.7.
Morgan Szekely set a La Salle mark finishing in 45th place, the best-ever by an Explorer runner. She earned All-American status finishing the course in 20:29.8.
Ashley Montgomery of the University of Pennsylvania capped her season placing 73rd out of 254 runners. She clocked in a time of 20:40.4.
Villanova finished in 30th place as a team paced by Siofra Cleirigh Buttner who finished the the 113th position with a 20:56.7 effort. It was the 27th time that the Wildcats earned a berth in the NCAA Championships and have been selected seven times in the last eight years. Buttner headed a seven-runner Wildcat team. Angel Piccirillo placed 140th covering the distance in 21:07.3. Bella Burda was 175th turning in a time of 21:27.3. They were followed by Villanovan’s Katie Fischer (198th – 21:36.3), Ann Campbell (22nd – 212:00.1), Caitlin Bungo (237th – 22:16.0), and Nicole Hutchinson (240th – 22:18.9).
New Mexico won the team title with 49 points well ahead of second place Colorado (90). Molly Seidel of Notre Dame won the individual title covering the distance in a time of 19:28.6, besting the field by five seconds.