As soon as Nicky Akande (whose 2:04.X 800 leg was the best leg of the entire race) handed the baton to Sheila Reid, I knew it was over. That's the best way to sum up the last year for Sheila Reid. In track, nothing is ever automatic, but Sheila is automatic in a college race. I think the anchor for Tennessee knew she was a sitting duck. I mean she had to, the way that she slowed the pace down so dramatically against one of the greatest pure kickers in the history of American collegiate track. It's like handing Mariano Rivera the ball in the bottom of the ninth inning with a three run lead, it's a sure thing. That is why Sheila Reid is one of my all time favorite Villanova athletes.
Props goes to Emily Lipari and Christie Verdier, who set an early tone in the race, especially since they were involved in an embarrassing baton mishap last year which cost Villanova a chance at the DMR title. They both kicked ass today, and Verdier's 52.8 400 split is the fastest I can remember a Villanova running that distance.