Alexandra Wasik Leads Villanova Sweep in Pole Vault on First Day of BIG EAST Championships

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Junior Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio) captured the BIG EAST title in the pole vault and Villanova swept the top five spots in the event on the first day of the conference championships. The meet started bright and early at Villanova Stadium with the multi-events on Saturday morning and competition ended for the day just before 11 p.m. due in part to a four-hour lightning delay just after the start of the day’s running events.

Five women’s events have been completed and the Wildcats have pulled out to an early lead at the top of the team standings. Villanova has 41 points and has a narrow lead over Marquette (37) and the rest of the eight-team field, with the majority of points to be awarded tomorrow.

Wasik, sophomore Virginia LaMacchia (Bloomsburg, Pa.) and graduate student Bianca Reo (Parsippany, N.J.) all cleared a height of 3.77 meters in the pole vault. Wasik was the only one of the three who cleared the bar on her first attempt at 3.77 meters. She passed at a height 3.87 meters before missing on her three attempts when the bar was moved to 3.97 meters. LaMacchia and Reo cleared the bar at 3.77 meters on their second and third attempts, respectively.

Sophomore Abigail Nolte (Branchburg, N.J.) came in fourth in the pole vault (3.62m) and junior Kathleen McPhillips (Carlisle, Pa.) was fifth (3.47m). The final tally from the event came out to 33 points for the Wildcats, while athletes from Marquette finished sixth and seventh overall.

Other points for Villanova came from the long jump and the 3000 meter steeplechase. Sophomore Anne Yahiro(Downers Grove, Ill.) recorded a personal best jump of 5.52 meters and finished fourth in the long jump, while freshman Ekiah Lewis (San Bernardino, Calif.) came in eighth (5.24m).

Freshman Julie Williams (Wilmington, Del.) finished seventh in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11:14.36.

The other event to be completed on Saturday was the hammer, in which sophomores Alita Ostapkovich (Bensalem, Pa.) and Claudia Tishler (Medfield, Mass.) came in ninth (41.11 meters) and 11th (34.06m), respectively.

Five running events had preliminary heats on Saturday night and the Wildcats have a total of 10 athletes who have qualified for the final in their respective events. Seniors Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) and Nicky Akande(Lawrenceville, Ga.) were each automatic qualifiers for the final in the 800 meters and junior Leanne Tucker(Tewksbury, Mass.) advanced on time. Akande provided one of the highlights of the preliminary heats for Villanova with a time of 2:04.56. She came in second in her heat and her time matched her personal best which was originally set in the final at the 2012 BIG EAST Championships.

Junior Varonica Johnson (Charlotte, N.C.) and freshman Kalissa Caesar (Port Jervis, N.Y.) advanced to the final in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. Johnson won her preliminary heat in the 200 meters with a time of 24.28 and was ranked second overall out of the 16 entries in the preliminaries.

In the preliminary heats of the 400 meter hurdles senior Mary Bohi (Shamong, N.J.) and freshman Veronica Scott(Plymouth, N.H.) came in fourth and fifth, respectively, in a field of nine runners and both advanced to Sunday afternoon’s final.

Sophomore Michaela Wilkins (Ellicott City, Md.) was the first Villanova runner to get underway on Saturday afternoon. She ran in the first of three heats in the 400 meters and won her heat in 56.47 to advance to the final. The runners for the third and final heat of the 400 meters were on the line when they were called off due to the detection of lightning in the nearby area. The meet wound up being halted for more than four hours before action resumed at 7:30 p.m.


3000 Meter Steeplechase

Julie Williams          7th of 10              11:14.36

Pole Vault

Alexandra Wasik         1st of 7               3.77m
Virginia LaMacchia      2nd                    3.77m
Bianca Reo              3rd                    3.77m
Abigail Nolte           4th                    3.62m
Kathleen McPhillips     5th                    3.47m

Long Jump

Anne Yahiro             4th of 9               5.52m
Ekiah Lewis             8th                    5.24m


Alita Ostapkovich       9th of 11              41.11m
Claudia Tishler         11th                   34.06m

100 Meters (Preliminaries)

Varonica Johnson        4th of 15               12.05
Kalissa Caesar          6th                     12.16
Emma Biggs              14th                    12.92

200 Meters (Preliminaries)

Varonica Johnson        2nd of 16                24.28
Kalissa Caesar          7th                      25.13
Emma Biggs              12th                     25.94

400 Meters (Preliminaries)

Michaela Wilkins        3rd of 17                56.47

400 Meter Hurdles (Preliminaries)

Mary Bohi               4th of 9                 1:03.76
Veronica Scott          5th                      1:04.23

800 Meters (Preliminaries)

Emily Lipari 3rd of 23 2:08.26 Nicky Akande 4th 2:04.56 Leanne Tucker 8th 2:09.21


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