April 29, 2014
NEW YORK – Several student-athletes from the BIG EAST shined on the Franklin Field track at the famed Penn Relays last weekend, with three picking up weekly awards from the conference thanks to their performances in Philadelphia. Villanova’s Samuel Ellison and Emily Lipari swept the BIG EAST Men’s and Women’s Track Athlete of the Week nods, respectively, while Butler’s Nigel Spears collected the Men’s Field honor and St. John’s Danette Hinton once again claimed the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week certificate.
BIG EAST Men’s Track Athlete of the Week
SAMUEL ELLISON, VILLANOVA Sr., Dresher, Pa.
Ellison anchored Villanova to its 11th program title in the men’s 4x800 relay at the Penn Relays last weekend and its first since 1992. It also marks the Wildcats’ first Championship of America title since 2011. Ellison and three teammates ran the 4x800 in 7:16.58, which takes over as the top time in the BIG EAST this season. The senior was also part of Villanova’s winning DMR at the Penn Relays in 2011.
BIG EAST Women’s Track Athlete of the Week
BIG EAST Men’s Field Athlete of the Week NIGEL SPEARS, BUTLER Sr., Westfield, Ind.
EMILY LIPARI, VILLANOVA Sr. Greenvale, N.Y.
Lipari anchored a trifecta of winning relay efforts at the Penn Relays last weekend, as the Wildcats picked up titles in the DMF, 4x1500 and 4x800 races. For her efforts, Lipari was named the Women’s Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events along with the Division I National Athlete of the Week honor from the USTFCCCA on Monday. Lipari is the first Villanova woman to anchor five winning relays at the Penn Relays in her career, and the third to anchor three in one year. The Wildcats won the 4x800 in 8:21.49, now the top time in the BIG EAST this spring. Their winning 4x1500 time was 17:16.52, and they captured gold in the DMR in 10:57.35.
Spears took fourth in the men’s long jump at the Miami RedHawk Invitational over the weekend with a personal-best jump of 6.89 meters. His distance now ranks third in the BIG EAST this season with one more weekend left before the BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Villanova.
BIG EAST Women’s Field Athlete of the Week
DANETTE HINTON, ST. JOHN’S Sr., Peachtree City, Ga.
Hinton set her third personal best in the hammer throw this season at the Penn Relays on Thursday. She took sixth in the college event with a distance of 57.07 meters, just more than one meter better than Marquette’s Samantha Kennedy for the best toss in the conference. Hinton sits 70th in the nation.
BIG EAST Notebook
• Providence ran strong at the Penn Relays last weekend. Senior Laura Nagel won the 3,000 meters Thursday in 9:07.90 and is the fastest time in the BIG EAST this season. Teammate Sarah Collins timed a 9:11.97 in the 3,000.
• Fellow Friar Liam Hillery placed sixth in the men’s 10,000 meters. The junior qualified for the IC4As with a personal-best 29:51.31, which is currently sixth in the BIG EAST.
• Xavier freshman Russell Platt finished fourth in the 200-meter dash and seventh in the 100 at the Miami Redhawk Invitational. His 100-meter time (10.85) is second in the BIG EAST and his 200 time (21.98) is fourth. Both are personal bests.
• Junior John Kolibab paced the Musketeer men with a school-record 2.04 meters in the high jump to take second at Miami.
• Kristine Johnston set a personal best with a 25.90 in the 200 meters to take 10th. The Xavier freshman was also part of the 4x100 relay that finished sixth in 49.42.
• Butler junior Nicole Hudec took fourth in the women’s long jump at Miami with a career-best 5.51 meters to move into fourth in the BIG EAST. Meanwhile, Bulldog senior Maddie Cassidy clocked a lifetime-best 58-flat in the 400-meter dash and is tied for 14th in the conference.
• The last regular-season meets before the BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championships presented by New York Life are this week. Butler is scheduled for the Stan Lyons and Peyton Jordan invites, while DePaul is booked for the Billy Hayes Invite. The Blue Demons will be joined by Marquette, while Georgetown will see the Bulldogs at Peyton Jordan. St. John’s will host the Tom Farrell Classic.