own, beating her seed time by a second and pushing the pace.
Right after that, Villalba went to the other side of the track to put in a workout with her coach, Juli Benson.
“She’s an Olympian. She’s pretty cool,” Villalba said with a big smile — Benson ran professionaly for seven years and competed at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Along with “capitalizing on some of the work they just put in,” Tuesday provided a nice break from the norm.
“I really wanted to have fun with the meet because I don’t have a ton of meets in my season where I can just show up and have fun,” Villalba said. “There are definitely some stressful meets in my year and this is a meet where I can get out some of the nerves without having a lot of pressure on me.
“So the goal of today was to get some work in, in a racing environment.”
Villalba, a two-time PIAA Champion in the 800 in her days at West, is coming off a strong freshman season at Penn.
At the Penn Relays, she helped the Quakers to seventh in the 4x800 College Womens Championship of America and also was a member of the DMR foursome that raced to sixth in the COA.
In the indoor season, Villalba competed in four meets, focusing on several middle-distance events and relays and she racked up five top-10 finishes on the year.
Back in the fall, she placed 19th in her collegiate cross-country debut at the Big 5 Invitational and the Doylestown native finished seventh overall and third among attached runners at the