For most of the 1980s and early 90s there was only one name anyone needed to know in the college women's distance medley relay: Villanova. Now, after eight years of being out of the top spot, the Wildcats have another plaque, their 10th, to take home. "They were perfect," said coach Gina Procaccio, who won the same event in Villanova jersey in 1987. "They could not have done any better." So is it better to win as a competitor or as a coach? Procaccio beamed as she said proudly she'd rather watch her team win from the sidelines, where she could celebrate more than just her own effort. That her team executed its plan with precision made it even sweeter. Villanova lurked just of the pace of Stanford, who led after the second and third legs. Anchor Marina Muncan, or Serbia and Montenegro, pulled even heading into the final turn of the 10th and final lap. After that, there was nothing Stanford anchor Arianna Lambie could do. Muncan's burst of speed in the final stretch was too much. It was all according to plan. "I kept telling myself to stay behind her until the last 200," Muncan said. The senior finally broke through in her fourth year anchoring the DMR for the Wildcats. "It was going to be hard for her to run down Arianna Lambie," Procaccio said. "If she would have had to make up just three seconds, she couldn't do it." Her coach said Muncan ran the best leg of her career. It helped the team to finish 10:57.03, a almost two seconds better than the Cardinal. Penn held onto the third spot through most of the race, but fell off at the end to finish fifth behind Princeton and Brown. For Villanova, which had not won a relay here since 2000, the win was just a small way of telling the world they are not just a team that used to be good, they're a good team today. Tiera Fletcher, who ran the 400-meter leg, said seeing all the plaques of past Villanova champions was what inspired her. Now she and her teammates have a plaque of their own.Comments powered by Disqus
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