Monday, February 24, 2014

A Villanova record that deserves recognition

Patrick Tiernan (second from left)
 
This season, Villanova freshman Patrick Tiernan's performance in cross country and indoor track has been a revelation; his ninth place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships being the highest finish since 2008 NCAA Champion 5000 meter champion Bobby Curtis finished fourth at the 2007 edition, and his performances on the track have been equally as impressive, perhaps even more so.

The most significant performance is setting a new school indoor 5000 meter record of 13:37.73 on Valentine's Day in Iowa. This performance by the 19-year-old from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia  broke the existing school record of 13:38.3 set February 6, 1981 by Sydney Maree, who was a two-time Olympian, former World Record holder over 1500 meters, and former American Record holder across various distances. Maree was also a 24-year-old fifth year senior when he set that record. A few years ago, I did a piece on unbreakable Villanova records, and Maree held four records which I deemed to be unbreakable, so it is needless to say that simply approaching a record held by Maree is an incredible feat. At this point, I would probably have to revisit that list, because if Tiernan improves over the next couple of years, he is almost certainly capable of breaking at least one of those records. We'll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully I'll be more motivated to write about track this upcoming season, especially because it tends to generate a lot of traffic for some reason.


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