Monday, August 11, 2014

Tom Donnelly into USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame

Pat Devine (l) and Tom Donnelly (r) formed a dynamic duo as track and XC coaches at LaSalle High

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tom Donnelly into USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame

Tom Donnelly winning the 1969 IC4A Steeplechase Title, in 8:50

Here's the release today from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, naming former Villanova All-American Tom Donnelly as a 2014 inductee into its Coaches Hall of Fame

Tom Donnelly

Tom Donnelly
Tom Donnelly
While Tom Donnelly of Haverford has said the impact a coach makes on a student-athlete is "maybe one percent," the long-running thread of successes his Haverford men’s track & field and cross country squads have achieved during his 40-year-and-counting career as the head coach of the Fords says otherwise.
Since taking over at the small liberal arts school of little more than 1,000 students in 1974, Donnelly has become one of the most influential distance coaches in the country. Even though numerous world-class athletes have trained under his tutelage over the years – including sub-3:50 milers Marcus O’Sullivan and Sydney Maree – Donnelly has remained loyal to the program he built in Haverford.
That program-building culminated in 2010 with his cross country team winning the school’s first-ever national team title, led by individual national champion Anders Hulleberg and five All-Americans. The team title is part of a streak of 29 consecutive team appearances at the NCAA Championships, and a overall total of 33 team appearances.
Hulleberg was the second national cross country champion Donnelly coached, along with Seamus McElligott in 1990, and his All-Americans were among 32 different men who have earned the honor in cross country during his tenure.
He has been equally as successful on the track as on the trails, with 66 men having earned outdoor All-America honors and 59 earning the award indoors – including 15 outdoor event champions and 10 indoor champions.
His teams have dominated at the conference level both indoors and out. Since the Centennial Conference was formed in 1994, Donnelly’s Fords have claimed 18 of 21 outdoor track & field team titles and 17 of 21 indoor team crowns.
Those victories were powered by the largest number of event champions in conference history. His men have combined for 106 event wins at the Centennial Conference Outdoor Championships, and 130 indoors.
Before beginning his legendary Haverford coaching career, he contributed to the track & field and cross country legacy of another historic Pennsylvania institution in Villanova. He was a member of a Wildcats program from 1966 through 1969 that won three-straight NCAA cross country team titles and another in track & field.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jen Rhines: Career Highlights

JEN RHINES - Career Highlights

Jen Rhines
• 2000 Olympian - 10,000m
• 2004 Olympian - Marathon
• 2008 Olympian - 5,000m
• 3,000m – 8:35.03 (#6 U.S. performer all-time)
• 5,000m – 14:54.29 (#5 U.S. performer all-time)
• 10,000m – 31:17.31 (#9 U.S. performer all-time)
• 5-time NCAA Champion: XC and 5,000m (3x outdoor and 1x indoor)
• 9th at 2011 World Championships - 10,000m
• 14th at 2008 Olympics - 5,000m
• 7th at 2007 World Championships - 5,000m
• 12th at 2002 World Cross Country Championships

Liverpool High School '92 (Liverpool, New York)
• 2-time New York State Champion - 1,500m
• 2-time Footlocker Cross Country Finalist
• High School Personal Bests: 4:31 (1,500m) and 9:56 (3,000m)

Jen Rhines started running when she went out for spring track in 7th grade. She competed in the 100 and 200 meter sprints, but gradually increased her race distances each season. By the time she got to 9th grade she was racing the 800 and 1500 meter runs. During those years Jen was a three sport athlete. She’d play soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and run track in the spring.

Eventually Jen realized that running was going to be her best sport so when she transferred from Phoenix to Liverpool High School in central New York to start her sophomore year she joined the cross country team. She quickly became one of New York’s top runners. In cross country, Jen qualified for the Footlocker Cross Country Championships her junior and senior years. Her senior year she was 5th at Footlocker. She was the New York State Champion in the 1500 her junior and senior years. She left Liverpool High School with still standing school records in the 1500 (4:31) and 3000 (9:56) meter runs.

With those credentials it isn’t surprising that Jen was recruited by many colleges. However, it was the storied history of the Villanova program that led her to the suburbs of Philadelphia to continue her running. Her start at Villanova wasn’t what she envisioned. Her frosh cross country campaign ended with a 98th place finish at the NCAA championships. The team won but she didn’t contribute to the team score and it bothered her…..a lot. She recognized the problem and made changes. The following year she placed second then her junior year she was the NCAA Cross Country Champion. While at Villanova Jen was a five-time NCAA champion. Added to her cross country title is the outdoor 5000 three consecutive years (1994-1996) and the indoor 5000 in 1995. Jen graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1996.

To say that things got better for Jen after she left Villanova would be an understatement. She went on to qualify for three Olympic Games. In 2000, she qualified in the 10,000 then the marathon in 2004. In 2008, she qualified in the 5000 in an epic battle against Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher in what some say was the greatest women’s Olympic Trials 5000 race ever. Jen’s professional career includes her breaking the elusive 15-minute barrier in the 5,000. Her 14:54.29 makes her the 5th fastest American performer ever at that distance. Her 31:17.31 10,000 makes her the 9th fastest American performer ever. Her 3000 best of 8:35.03 makes her the 6th fastest American performer ever. It’s very difficult to make one Olympic team. It’s rare to make a second. It puts you in a very elite group of people when you make three Olympic teams. In 2011, 15 years after graduating from college, Jen finished 9th at the World Championships in the 10,000 meters. Her success and longevity in this sport is amazing and the envy of other elite athletes. She is truly one of America’s greatest distance runners ever.

Terrence Mahon and Jen Rhines
Jen resides in Boston, MA with her husband Terrance Mahon and two pugs, Bella and Star. Her husband Terrance is an accomplished athlete and coach. He was an All-American at Villanova, has run 2:13:02 for the marathon and qualified for the Olympic Trials in both the 10,000 and marathon. Terrance is also one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He was head coach of the Mammoth Track Club where he coached such greats as Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall, Morgan Uceny, Anna (Willard) Pierce, Amy Hastings and of course his wife. In 2013 he was recruited by the Boston Athletic Association to start and coach their high performance athlete group.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nova Gals Sweep Distance Relays with 4x800 Title

Emily Lipari, Kelsey Margey, Nicky Akande and Angel Piccirillo after repeating as 4x800 Champions


PL School/Affiliation Mark Athletes ID
1 Villanova 8:21.49 Kelsey Margey (2:06.33), Angel Piccirillo (2:06.00), Nicky Akande (2:05.67), Emily Lipari (2:03.50) AA
2 Oregon 8:22.54 Claudia Francis (2:08.20), Samantha Murphy (2:08.42), Annie Leblanc (2:04.07), Laura Roesler (2:01.86) AB
3 Georgetown 8:31.03 Rachel Schneider (2:08.52), Sabrina Southerland (2:06.09), Becca Deloache (2:08.08), Andrea Keklak (2:08.37) AC
4 Tennessee 8:35.22 Alexis Panisse (2:07.63), Kianna Ruff (2:08.05), Brittney Jackson (2:09.94), Amirah Johnson (2:09.62) AE
5 Princeton 8:45.40 Meghan McMullin (2:10.82), Zoe Sims (2:12.22), Molly Higgins (2:13.06), Kim Mackay (2:09.31) AH
6 Fordham 8:50.90 Titi Fagade (2:10.96), Kristen Stuart (2:12.54), Melissa Higgins (2:13.16), Mara Lieberman (2:14.26) AL
7 Charlotte 8:51.18 Rachel Miller (2:12.05), T'Sheila Mungo (2:12.00), Taylor Carcella (2:12.94), Maraya Slatter (2:14.21) AQ
8 Northern Illinois 8:59.14 Ali Olson (2:12.59), Meghan Heuer (2:13.71), Jamie Burr (2:19.02), Julie Cronin (2:13.83) AS
9 Indiana 8:59.23 Samantha Gwin (2:16.30), Kellie Davis (2:14.67), Taylor Wiley (2:15.64), Samantha Ginther (2:12.65) AN
10 Army 8:59.39 Katrina Donarski (2:15.05), Allie Sutherland (2:14.80), Elizabeth Moton (2:19.77), Jennifer Comfort (2:09.78) AR


Gina Procaccio

Coach - Villanova University

"I didn't think lightning would strike twice. I don't know what to say...I decided to go with the exact same relay from last year (2013 Penn Relays 4x800 Champions). I told them to try to channel last year. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain."

Emily Lipari

Anchor - Villanova University

"I know that Laura (Roesler) is a very competitive person and that she was looking to do the same thing to me that I did to her last year (Lipari out-kicked Roesler to win the 2013 Penn Relays 4x800). I had to put a good lead on her, and I could feel her coming...I didn't want to give her an opportunity to edge me out on he the line, so I took off with everything I had left in the tank with 200 meters to go. (My teammates) ran with so much heart."

Villanova Men Seize Penn Relays 4 x 800 Crown


PL School/Affiliation Mark Athletes ID
1 Villanova 7:16.58 Josh Lampron (1:51.80), Dusty Solis (1:49.45), Jordan Williamsz (1:48.77), Samuel Ellison (1:46.58) AB
2 Penn State 7:18.99 Wade Endress (1:53.35), Za'Von Watkins (1:48.97), Ryan Brennan (1:49.73), Brannon Kidder (1:46.96) AA
3 Georgetown 7:19.27 Ryan Manahan (1:51.42), Billy Ledder (1:50.68), Amos Bartelsmeyer (1:48.59), Ahmed Bile (1:48.60) AE
4 Wake Forest 7:20.49 Simon Holden (1:51.36), Thomas Bojanowski (1:50.50), Kyle Eager (1:49.78), Kyle Graves (1:48.87) AG
5 Stanford 7:24.99 Scott Buttinger (1:53.14), Justin Brinkley (1:51.57), Marco Bertolotti (1:50.89), Luke Lefebure (1:49.40) AD
6 Georgia Tech 7:25.44 Jeremy Greenwald (1:52.13), Zack Fanelty (1:54.70), Shawn Roberts (1:48.74), Brandon Lasater (1:49.88) AC
7 Columbia 7:25.90 Denzel Woode (1:53.84), Harry McFann (1:51.04), Rob Napolitano (1:51.04), Connor Claflin (1:49.99) AF
8 Monmouth 7:27.16 Andrew Langille (1:51.86), Domenick D'Agostino (1:54.80), Alex Leight (1:52.12), Dylan Capwell (1:48.41) AN
9 Texas A&M 7:27.84 Gaines Kinsey (1:53.57), Josh Hernandez (1:51.82), Cameron Cardwell (1:52.68), Hector Hernandez (1:49.78) AJ
10 Brown 7:27.90 Tyler Benster (1:53.25), Matt Bevil (1:52.81), Colin Savage (1:51.80), Henry Tufnell (1:50.05) AH
11 Princeton 7:36.48 William Paulson (1:53.16), Luke Brahm (1:56.67), Michael Williams (1:54.52), Bradley Paternostro (1:52.14) AI
12 Cornell 7:41.73 Hong Cho (1:55.08), Will Weinlandt (1:51.06), Eric Bice (1:54.38), John Schilkowsky (2:01.23) AM


Sam Ellison

Anchor - Villanova University

"Unbelievable. You can't really find words for it. This environment is very special. You can't really get a crowd like this anywhere else in the world, whether it's the Olympics, World Championships; there's nothing like the Penn Relays. They're kind of the Super Bowl of our sport." "Our coaches always tell us 'run for the vest,' run for the jersey. In our field house we just have a hallway full of wheels, and we take it very seriously. For us to have all of the talent we have on this team, it's kind of weird that we haven't won one yet, but sometimes it just takes the right day, the right time, the right guys, to come together." "Certainly we were all trying to be like Emily (Lipari) today. She's an unbelievable athlete. We're certainly proud of her." "You just want to be a part of it and bring one home for your team, your coaches, and your school."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Villanova Women Go 2-2: Take Penn Relays 4x1500 Crown


PL School/Affiliation Mark Athletes ID
1 Villanova 17:16.52 Stephanie Schappert (4:22.3), Angel Piccirillo (4:17.4), Nicky Akande (4:20.4), Emily Lipari (4:16.4) AB
2 Stanford 17:16.74 Claudia Saunders (4:22.6), Amy Weissenbach (4:17.4), Jessica Tonn (4:20.1), Aisling Cuffe (4:16.6) AC
3 Dartmouth 17:20.87 Abby Markowitz (4:27.4), Dana Giordano (4:16.4), Margaret Donovan (4:29.1), Abbey D'Agostino (4:08.0) AE
4 New Mexico 17:35.25 AI
5 Columbia 17:56.59 Olivia Sadler (4:24.4), Waverly Neer (4:22.0), Anna Williams (4:33.5), Trina Bills (4:36.7) AH
6 Georgetown 18:02.84 Hannah Neczypor (4:26.6), Haley Pierce (4:31.3), Annamarie Maag (4:27.5), Kirsten Kasper (4:37.4) AD
7 Mississippi State 18:08.45 Rhianwedd Price (4:22.8), Katie Huston (4:32.9), Cornelia Griesche (4:28.9), Emma Neigel (4:43.9) AM
8 Tennessee 18:13.47 Amirah Johnson (4:24.0), Chelsea Blaase (4:38.8), Kelsey Kane (4:38.3), Alexis Panisse (4:32.4) AF
Texas A&M DNF Hillary Montgomery, Grace Fletcher, Ashley Chamberlain, Katie Willard AN
Indiana DNF AP
UConn DNF Emily Durgin (4:27.4), Abby Mace (4:53.9), Lauren Sara (4:36.1), Lisa Zimmer

Penn Relays DMR Three-Peat for Villanova Women

Emily Lipari out-kicked Aisling Cuffe to anchor the win


PL School/Affiliation Mark Athletes ID
1 Villanova 10:57.35 Stephanie Schappert (3:25.00), Michaela Wilkins (54.40), Nicky Akande (2:04.51), Emily Lipari (4:33.44) AA
2 Stanford 10:57.64 Amy Weissenbach (3:24.83), Kristyn Williams (52.37), Claudia Saunders (2:04.58), Aisling Cuffe (4:35.86) AB
3 Georgetown 11:06.14 Andrea Keklak (3:25.43), Amanda Kimbers (53.52), Sabrina Southerland (2:04.86), Rachel Schneider (4:42.33) AD
4 Dartmouth 11:06.31 Dana Giordano (3:29.60), Elizabeth Markowitz (54.32), Megan Krumpoch (2:07.29), Abbey D'Agostino (4:35.10) AE
5 Oregon 11:06.89 Megan Patrignelli (3:26.34), Chizoba Okodogbe (52.65), Samantha Murphy (2:03.63), Laura Roesler (4:44.27) AC
6 Texas 11:16.76 Connor Ward (3:37.18), Danielle Dowie (53.56), Katie Hoaldridge (2:06.16), Marielle Hall (4:39.86) AJ
7 Duke 11:18.29 Anima Banks (3:28.94), Madeline Kopp (53.42), Abby Farley (2:09.56), Haley Meier (4:46.37) AF
8 Harvard 11:18.59 Kieran Gallagher (3:31.74), Olivia Abbate (55.89), Erika Veidis (2:06.55), Molly Renfer (4:44.41) AK
9 Columbia 11:18.85 Olivia Sadler (3:28.84), Jaycee Parker (55.43), Trina Bills (2:08.54), Waverly Neer (4:46.04) AH
10 N.C. State 11:22.88 Megan Moye (3:30.73), Denae Ford (55.51), Kenyetta Iyevbele (2:06.45), Ryanna Henderson (4:50.21) AO
11 Mississippi State 11:25.06 Katie Huston (3:32.59), Keisha Wallace (55.51), Ocian Archer (2:14.31), Rhianwedd Price (4:42.65) AM
12 UConn 11:26.57 Laura Williamson (3:35.62), Paris Taft (56.97), Faith Dismuke (2:09.50), Brigitte Mania (4:44.48) AN
13 New Mexico 11:31.02 Calli Thackery (3:31.55), Hannah Riker-Urruita (57.05), Chloe Anderson (2:10.74), Suzi Boast (4:51.68) AI
14 Princeton 11:45.69 Zoe Sims (3:36.42), Emily Broyles (59.47), Kristin Smoot (2:11.16), Molly Higgins (4:58.64) AP



Gina Procaccio

Coach - Villanova
Opening Statement: "This is the relay I was the most worried about... Oregon always scares me. They have incredible athletes... I always tell them it"s our turf. I don't care what anybody's doing it's our turf and we know how to win." On Confidence in anchor: "I know emily has the kick. She opened up a little bit but I was still pretty confident that Emily could run her down."

Emily Lipari

Anchor - Villanova
CW Distance Medley COA
On Mindset: "I was definitely relaxed. All the girls that were out there before me were out there being really tough and for me to not to give that same toughness would have been a shame." On Most Confident Point In The Race: "Coming down the stretch. She (Stanford Anchor) was looking really strong but I knew I had to give it everything I had."

Stephanie Schapperd

1st Leg - Villanova
CW Distance Medley COA
On Leading Off: "I was just thinking about lead-off leg so, if I put us out it's not going to look good for the future legs. I just really wanted to go out there and hand off as close to the lead as I could."

Nicky Akande

3rd Leg - Villanova
CW Distance Medley COA
On Handing Off: "I know Emily has a great kick so I felt confident. Handing off to her I could see the lead so I was definitely confident." On Watching Anchor: "we've watched her run so many times I didn't doubt her."