by Jack Belanger ’21
The cross country season is long over, but as the Providence College Track and Field Team heads into the midst of the winter track season, records are still being broken, and one runner has been making headlines. While it was Abbey Wheeler ’20 who dominated in the fall, placing first in multiple races and being named both NCAA XC Division I National Athlete of the Week twice, Millie Paladino ’18RS has led the team this winter.
During the John Thomas Terrier Invitational on Jan. 25, running on the indoor track at Boston University, Paladino broke the school record for the 1,000-meter run where she finished with a time of 2:42:13. Not only did her time break the 29-year-old school record, she also broke the New England Collegiate Record and her time is good for 10th best all-time in the NCAA.
Her time is also a huge improvement from last season. At the University of Rhode Island Sorlien Memorial Invitational on January 20, 2018, Paladino finished the 1,000-meter at 2:51:01. Earlier in the winter season she also set a personal best in the 800-meter run during the Penn Challenge, finishing at 2:08:94.
Two other Friars also came in first for their individual events. Brianna Ilarda ’18RS won the 3,000-meter race with a time of 9:12:58. Regan Rome ’18GS and Maria Coffin ’21 were among the leaders for the entire 5,000-meter race. Rome managed to separate herself from the rest of the pack and win with a time of 16:27:34. Coffin finished strong, placing sixth with a time of 16:46:94.
This meet was the second time this winter that Ilarda and Rome have come first for a respective events. At the Penn Challenge, Illarda won the mile while Rome won the 3,000-meter race.
On the men’s side, the Friars found their most success in the 1,000-meter run. Two Friars, Ryan Jendzejec ’21 and Nick Carleo ’19, finished in the top-20 as Jendzejec finished 0.02 seconds before Carleo. With times of 2:28:39 and 2:28:41, respectively, both runner qualified for the IC4A Championships.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to Boston University this weekend to take part in the Valentine Invitational. The team will have two more meets after the invitational to prepare for the Big East Championship at the end of the month.