Villanova men’s and women’s cross country teams advance to NCAA championship meet
The Wildcats won the men's team championship and finished second in the women's competition. Villanova's Lydia Olivere captured the women's individual title.
With its five scorers all finishing in the top 13 Friday, Villanova won the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bethlehem, Pa., and advanced to the national championship meet next Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Wildcats women’s team also qualified for nationals, finishing second to Penn State in the team competition at Lehigh. Sophomore Lydia Olivere won the individual title in a time of 20 minutes, 2.0 seconds over 6,000 meters.
Sophomore Josh Phillips led the way for the Villanova men, taking third on the 10,000-meter course in 30:02.0. He was followed by freshman Haftu Strintzos, fourth in 30:02.9, and senior Nathan Rodriguez, seventh in 30:10.6. Seniors Andrew Marston and Casey Comber crossed the line 10th and 13th, respectively.
Junior Anthony Russo of Penn took ninth place in 30:13.2 and moved on to nationals as an individual qualifier. The Quakers finished fifth, one slot behind No. 4 Temple, and La Salle captured ninth place.
Freshman Maggie Smith (third in 20:15.8) and senior Anne Campbell (fourth in 20:21.3) also starred for Villanova’s women. Penn finished sixth, Temple seventh and La Salle eighth in the team competition.
The NCAA will select 13 at-large teams and two individuals from Friday’s regional competitions for both the men’s and women’s championship.