09 Dec 2021 | 10:29 | Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS—For the fourth time since the current format of NCAA regional competition began in 2000 the Villanova men’s cross country team had six student-athletes named Mid-Atlantic All-Region honorees in an announcement made by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday afternoon. Each of the Wildcats recognized tallied top-25 individual finishes at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last Friday.
The all-region honorees from the Wildcats include senior Haftu Strintzos (Melbourne, Australia), redshirt freshman Jack Jennings (Mendham, N.J.), senior Josh Phillips (Belrose, Australia), senior Charlie O’Donovan (Cork, Ireland), redshirt freshman Liam Murphy (Millstone, N.J.) and graduate student Justin Weber (South Milwaukee, Wis.). Villanova was one of two schools in the Mid-Atlantic and 10 nationwide to have at least six members of its lineup earn all-region accolades.
Since the current format of NCAA regional meets began in 2000, the USTFCCCA has awarded all-region acclaim to the top 25 finishers at each of nine regionals around the country. The regional meets returned on a normal schedule eight days before the NCAA Championships this season after not being held during the abbreviated Fall or Spring seasons of competition in 2020-21 due to the COVID pandemic.
The trio of Phillips, Strintzos and O’Donovan has been a mainstay in the Wildcats lineup over the past few seasons. Phillips is a three-time all-region performer with this year’s selection, while Strintzos and O’Donovan earned their second career all-region honor. Strintzos led the group at the Mid-Atlantic Regional by coming in second overall in a field of 174 runners. He covered the 10,000 meter course in 30:13.1, while Phillips (30:38.4) and O’Donovan (30:38.7) were separated by less than half a second in 12th and 14th places at the finish line.
Jennings has come on strong for Villanova in his first season of collegiate competition this Fall. He finished ninth individually at both the BIG EAST Championships and last week’s Mid-Atlantic meet. He was joined in earning all-region acclaim for the first time by Murphy and Weber who placed 21st and 23rd, respectively, at the regional.
Villanova has had a total of 91 all-region performers since 2000 and has earned three or more all-region honors in 19 of the 21 seasons in which the honor has been awarded.