Josh Phillips climbs ninth in school history in 3,000 meters

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Senior distance runner Josh Phillips (Belrose, Australia) beat eight minutes in the 3,000 meters for the second time this season and posted a lifetime best mark of 7:58.45 competing at the Indoor Music City Challenge on Saturday afternoon. Villanova enjoyed an exciting weekend at the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center on the Vanderbilt campus over the past two days, including great runs from the Phillips trio and redshirt freshmen Liam Murphy (Millstone, New Jersey) and Jack Jennings (Mendham, New Jersey).

The encounter began on Friday evening and produced a first highlight when the middle distance runners Sean Dolan (Pennington, New Jersey) and Charlie O’Donovan (Cork, Ireland) each broke four minutes into the Mile. Dolan ran a PR of 3:56.39 to score the third fastest indoor time in school history. The excitement for the Wildcats continued on Saturday with Phillips moving into the program’s all-time top 10 on the 3,000-meter performance list.

Phillips’ time of 7:58.45 in Saturday’s race lowered the mark of 7:59.46 he recorded in the Sykes & Sabock Challenge at Penn State last month. His new time moved him ahead of Louie Quintana and Jordy Williamsz who previously held ninth and 10and spots on Villanova’s performance list. Phillips now sits ninth in the Wildcats record books and remains third on this year’s BIG EAST performance list.

Two of the promising young distance runners on Villanova’s roster also set personal bests in the 3,000 meters on Saturday. Murphy crossed the finish line in 8:07.96 and lowered his previous high school PR by nearly 30 seconds. It’s been a great few weeks for Murphy, who ran a mile in under four minutes for the first time in his career at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge last month. Jennings posted a time of 8:12.25 in Saturday’s race and crossed the line four seconds faster than his previous mark of 8:16.22 at Penn State on January 29.

Junior middle distance runner Miller Anderson (West Hartford, Conn.) rounded out the Wildcats athlete contingent at the Music City Challenge with a time of 1:53.04 in the unranked section of the 800 meters. Anderson finished 14and in total out of 46 competitors in his race.

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