2023 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships

Five Events To Watch At The 2023 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships

Five Events To Watch At The 2023 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships

Mid-distance powers will collide at the 2023 BIG EAST Championships.

May 10, 2023 by FloTrack Staff
Five Events To Watch At The 2023 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships

The 2023 BIG EAST Championships kick off on Thursday, May 11th at Villanova Stadium . The meet will feature some of the best distance and mid-distance runners in the country, with Georgetown, Villanova and Providence all aiming for conference titles. 

On the team side, UConn will be looking to repeat after sweeping the men's and women's team titles in 2022.

Watch the 2023 BIG EAST Championships live on FloTrack (May 12th and 13th)

Here are five running events to watch:

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

Angelina Ellis of Butler is looking for her first 3000m steeplechase conference title. Ellis, who won the indoor 3000m and the distance medley relay at the Big EAST Indoor Championships in February, is one of the top steeplers in the nation. Her 9:44.57 at the Bryan Clay Invitational puts her third in the nation and 12 seconds ahead of her next fastest conference opponent, Lydia Olivere of Villanova. 

Ellis has aspirations beyond the conference meet. In 2021, she made the semifinals of the national meet, but this year she is in a solid position to finish All-American and perhaps challenge for a national title in a wide open women’s steeplechase field. 

Women’s 1500m

Providence will be riding high after their upset victory in the 4x1500m at the Penn Relays. The Friars went 1-2 last year, with Shannon Flockhart and Kimberley May leading the way. Flockhart went on to place seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

Both women were on the relay team at Franklin Field that ran 17:11.35 and beat Oklahoma State, Washington, Georgetown and Notre Dame. May anchored and was able to outkick Oklahoma State’s Billah Jepkirui in the homestretch. 

It was the latest in a good stretch of races for May. At the Raleigh Relays she ran 4:13.24 to set a lifetime best in the 1500m. 

The top seed though in Melissa Riggins of Georgetown. Riggins won the indoor mile at the Big EAST Championships this year and took home the title in the 800m last year. She set a massive personal best of 4:10.09 at the Bryan Clay, beating every college athlete in the race. That time moved her to fifth on the NCAA list in 2023. 

Women’s 800m

Riggins is the defending champion in this event and if she chooses to run it, she will be the favorite once again. She has a lifetime best of 2:03.50 and a season best of 2:04.81. Riggins’ Georgetown teammate Katy-Ann McDonald has only run 2:07.38 this year, but has a personal best of 2:00.98. The LSU transfer made the final at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships where she placed eighth. 

Other than Riggins and McDonald, May of Providence can contend for the win as can a trio from Villanova— Madison Martinez, Micah Trusty and Maya Dorer. 

Men’s 800/1500m/4x800m

Since it's hard to know who will run which event, it's better to look at these three events as one group. The theme here is Villanova vs. Georgetown. 

The two mid-distance powers previewed these match-ups two weeks ago at Penn Relays. Villanova came away with the edge, winning the 4xmile and finishing second in the distance medley relay. Georgetown placed fourth in the distance medley and fifth in the 4xmile. 

Liam Murphy of Villanova anchored both of those relays for Villanova and has a personal best of 3:39.42. Sean Dolan, also featured on both of Villanova’s relays, is the defending Big EAST champion in the 800m.

Georgetown will be a tough out though. Their fifth-place finish in the 4xmile was just only half of a second behind Villanova and they have deep squad of experience mid-distance runners.

Matthew Payamps has the fastest time in the conference in the 1500m and was runner-up to Dolan in the 800m last year. Matthew Rizzo ran 3:56.20 indoors and qualified for the national meet. Camden Gilmore has the third best time in the conference this year in the 1500m and was third indoors in the 3000s.

Depth will certainly play a big role, especially with the 4x800m coming at the end of the meet. Villanova has that in spades with Sean Donoghue and Charlie O’Donavan.

Men’s 5000m

Barry Keane of Butler has won five Big EAST titles between indoor, outdoor and cross country and could wrack up two more this weekend. Keane won three consecutive 10,000 crowns and will try to make it four-for-four this weekend. He’s the big favorite in the 10,000m, making the bigger question if he will choose to attempt the 5000m/10,000m. 

In the 5000m, also look out for Keane’s teammate, Simon Bedard. Bedard has run 13:35.93 and won the 5000m at the conference indoor meet. Providence has three men under 13:45 on the year including Stanford transfer DJ Principe (13:38.52). Haftu Strintzos of Villanova has experience at national championships. He was 19th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000m in 2022 and was ninth at the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships.