Two weeks after their season-opening events, Georgetown’s cross-country teams will travel to Boston on Friday to compete against some of the top teams in the country at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. The No. 5 women’s team will look to build on its dominant first-place finish at the James Madison University Invitational, while the men’s team will aim to improve its third-place result from its first meet in State College, Pa.

The Georgetown women’s team will face its toughest competition of the season thus far in Boston. Four other nationally ranked schools will compete, including No. 1 University of Michigan and No. 15 Syracuse University.

Senior All-American Katrina Coogan will lead the Hoyas following her record-breaking time at the JMU Invitational. Coogan finished the 5,200-meter race in 17:46, beating the course record that had previously set in 2009. She finished in first place — more than 30 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
“Katrina and [senior] Andrea [Keklak] lead the team by the example they set when they race,” Head Coach Michael Smith said.

In addition to the seniors’ leadership on the team, some of the newest recruits are also expected to compete and excel at the Coast-to-Coast Battle. Freshman Autumn Eastman finished eighth during the JMU Invitational and will be among the 12 athletes to compete for the women’s team.

Unlike the women’s team, the men’s team is going to Boston following a third-place finish at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. After racing without two of their veteran runners and losing to No. 8 Syracuse by one point, the Hoyas are looking forward to competing in Boston and improving from their first meet of the season.

“I think in Boston, we want to, a little earlier on, be right with the guys we want to be competing with,” Assistant Coach Brandon Bonsey said. “The big thing is going to be being in better position when the real racing starts.”

Rainy weather and muddy running conditions hindered the main group of runners on the men’s team during its first meet. Nevertheless, two Georgetown runners — sophomore Scott Carpenter and junior Darren Fahy — finished among the top 10. Carpenter led the Hoyas in fifth place, while Fahy finished seventh.

“I think our front two guys, Darren and Scott, followed the race plan well and ran aggressively,” Bonsey said. “I think a few of those other guys, our four through seven guys, are maybe a little too tentative — they were a little too far back from the real racing. I saw some good things, but I also think they just need to run with a little bit more confidence and aggression.”

Graduate student Brian King, who did not perform at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, will race with the men’s team on Friday. However, other top runners — including senior Collin Leibold and sophomore Amos Bartelsmeyer — will be absent from the meet.

“They both worked out [on Tuesday], but it’s so early in the season it’s not worth running the guys when they’re not at 100 percent,” Bonsey said.

The Coast-to-Coast Battle will also give the Hoyas the opportunity to compete against nationally ranked teams, including No. 3 University of Oregon and No. 16 Providence College, who they hope to see again later in the season.

“We want our guys to be mixing it up with the very best people in the country because those eight guys that we’re bringing to Boston are all very high-level athletes and are capable of running with the best guys that Oregon and [No. 8] Syracuse have to offer,” Bonsey said.

The women’s 5000-meter race is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., followed by the men’s 8000-meter race at 3:30 p.m.

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