With just one week before the Big East Indoor Championships, Georgetown got in a final tune-up this weekend in the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup at Penn State in State College, Pa. While some of the team remained on campus to train for the conference championships, others took advantage of a final opportunity to qualify for the Big East and IC4A Championships.

Redshirt junior Elizabeth Maloy won the women’s mile race, qualifying for the Big East and ECAC Championships with a time of 4:51.79. Freshman Kelsey almquist finished seventh in the same event with a season-best time of 5:03.

Success is nothing new for Maloy. Last year, she earned all-American honors at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships after placing seventh in the 1,500-meter race, but injuries have put aloy at a disadvantage this indoor season ” her race at the Challenge Cup was only her second of the season.

‘Elizabeth is just getting back from being banged up, and I thought one more race would be good preparation for her,’Director of Track and Field Ron Helmer said. ‘She’s working hard, but getting a late start in training was tough.’/p>

Rounding out the top women’s finishers were freshman Amanda Walsh, who had a 10:13.28 finish in the 3,000m that qualified her for next weekend’s championship, and senior Jayne Penn, who ran an ECAC-qualifying time of 56.73 in the 400m event.

The Hoyas also had a solid showing in both the men’s and women’s long jump events. On the women’s side, sophomore Buky Bamigboye earned fourth-place honors, covering a distance of 18 ft., 11.75 in. On the men’s side, sophomore Terrell Gissendanner finished ninth, jumping 22 ft., 10 in. Gissendanner also ran an IC4A championship-qualifying time in the 55m hurdles, placing fifth in 7.78 seconds.

‘They’re both young and they both can jump pretty well. Each should compete in the top 10 at the Big East meet next week,’Helmer said.

In the men’s 60m dash, freshman Ian Conyers placed 17th with a Big East-qualifying time of 7.06. Freshman Kelvin Hill qualified for the IC4A in the 800m, finishing in 1:53.38 in 12th place.

‘This was a good meet for certain runners to get their times down and maybe hit some qualifying times. Amanda and Ian were two that got those Big East times,’said Helmer.

In other action on Saturday, graduate student Fleet Hower ran in the 5,000m race at the Husky Classic at the University of Washington. Hower posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 14:01.45 to place 12th overall.

‘Fleet ran a 5,000, but it was just short of what would hold up to make it to the national championships. I’m happy he ran well, but it’s also a little bit disappointing,’Helmer said.

Georgetown’s success could be a sign of things to come at the Big East Indoor championships.

‘Everybody is really enthusiastic and excited for this weekend. If we run the way we are hoping, we could make a splash,’Helmer said.

Competition at Big East Indoor Championship begins on Saturday, Feb. 17, in Akron, Ohio.

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