Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information
Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information

After a magical year that culminated in winning the women’s national championship, Georgetown might be expected to slump into the 2012 season.

But the Hoyas are not rolling over. In fact, with a combination of stellar incoming talent and returning runners with memories of last season’s successes, Georgetown could stand atop the cross country world again.
Graduate student Emily Infeld (MSB ‘12), the best runner in the Blue and Gray’s history, retains eligibility for track and field but won’t be competing for the Hoyas in cross country since she graduated in May.

“The last four years we’ve had Emily Infeld,” women’s cross country Head Coach Chris Miltenberg, who announced Monday that he was leaving for Stanford, said. “That’s that guaranteed low score up front.”

But returnees, including junior Madeline Chambers and senior Rachel Schneider, give Miltenberg and the Hoyas hope that the team will be able to rebuild quickly.

“[They] both have been All-Americans [and they] redshirted last fall,” Miltenberg said. “It is a testament to the depth that we really had.”

Last year’s freshmen and sophomores, many of whom never came into their own amidst all that depth, will also have a chance to shine this season.
“[There are a few people] I think can really emerge and become some of the best in the country throughout the season,” Miltenberg said. “But our goal has got to be really, really team running.”

The women begin their season on Sept. 8 at the Dartmouth Invitational in Hanover, N.H., while the men will head to State College, Pa. the same day to participate in the Penn State Invitational.

For a team whose annual goal is winning the Big East championship, the men’s squad also had a good finish. Despite winning the national championship later, the women finished third at the league championships last season but the men’s team was second to Villanova in the Big East.

Like the women, they have lost considerable talent, but return standouts graduate student Mark Dennin and senior Andrew Springer.

“We’ve got a couple athletes, Mark Dennin and Andrew Springer, [who pack] as good a one-two punch as anybody in the country,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said.

Both Dennin and Springer showed considerable improvement over the indoor and outdoor track seasons.

“Mark was coming into last fall off an injury, and he’s actually one of the better runners in the country. Now since he’s been healthy the whole time and was an All-American in outdoor track, he’s going to be able to step it up a lot,” Henner said. “[And] Springer has made huge progress from the fall through indoor and outdoor track.”

Coupled with freshmen and sophomores who, like those on the women’s team, are rising through the ranks, Georgetown should have a productive team dynamic.

“We have a lot of young guys that have trained really well over the last year, so I think we can step up and be a much better team than we were last year,” Henner said.

After just missing in the Big East last year, that statement reflects confidence. And for the women, who achieved the ultimate success last season, Miltenberg’s endorsement was even more ringing.

“This team could be as good as any we’ve ever had.”

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