COURTESY SILAS FRANTZ
COURTESY SILAS FRANTZ

The start to the Georgetown cross country program’s season went off with a bang this weekend, with both the men’s and women’s teams notching wins in their meets on Saturday.

The men’s squad competed at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md., beating nine teams, including several D.C. area teams such as George Washington, American and Howard.

“I thought we had a really good day. Pretty much everyone that lined up put in a really good effort, and that’s really what cross country is about. We’ve got really talented guys, and if they put in solid efforts every time out, 99 percent of the time we’re going to be happy with the results,” Men’s Coach Brandon Bonseysaid.

The Hoyas were led by senior Brian King, who took second place overall in the 8 kilometer race with a time of 24 minutes, nine seconds, setting a blazing pace of approximately 4:50 per mile. King was bested only by Navy sophomore Steve Schroeder, who crossed in 23:55. Finishing two seconds behind King was perennial graduate student star Andrew Springer, now in his fifth year on the Hoya cross country squad.

“King has been a consistent contributor for us for a couple of years, but he has kind of made the jump here. He trained really hard all summer, and he did a great job. Springer also went in more fatigued than anyone on the team with his training schedule, but I think he dealt with it really well,” Bonseysaid.

Rounding off the Hoyas’ point scorers at Navy was the trio of senior Bobby Peavey and juniors AustinGregor and Nick Rowe, who took sixth, seventh and eight in succession, all within five seconds of one another.

Georgetown’s solid 1-5 team time gap in this race and 11-point margin of victory over runner-up Navy bodes well for the season, especially considering the fact that juniors Collin Leibold, John Murray and Ryan Gil were held out of the varsity race this weekend. The three are expected to be heavy contributors to the squad this year, and the solid race that Georgetown ran without them speaks to the Hoyas’ depth, which should prove to be a huge asset as the season progresses.

The women’s squad also took the victory without many of their frontrunners, breezing by four teams, including runner-up Syracuse, at the Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday.

Sophomore Haley Pierce, running with freshman eligibility in her first race for the Blue and Gray, led the charge for Georgetown with a fourth place, 21:04 effort in the 6k race. She was followed closely by redshirt freshman Rachel Paul, who took sixth place in 21:11.

“We knew that Haley and Rachel were big time athletes, but to run a very good race like that without much collegiate cross country experience is awesome. They have four more years of cross country eligibility in front of them, so we’re really excited about that,” said Head Women’s Cross Country Coach Michael Smith.

Also scoring for the Hoyas were veteran junior Annamarie Maag in ninth place, true freshman Bobbie Burgess in 15th and junior Andrea Keklak in 16th. The Hoyas had a 1-5 team time gap of just under 30 seconds, a solid showing that will contribute to low scores in bigger meets. In Saturday’s meet, it was certainly good enough — Georgetown beat Syracuse by eight points.

Much like the men’s team, the fact that the Hoya women were able to win comfortably without their core frontrunners is an indication of the team’s depth, a factor that will translate to more wins as the season progresses. Track standout junior Katrina Coogan, graduate student Rachel Schneider, cross country World Junior Championships qualifier sophomore Samantha Nadel and senior Madeline Chambers were all held out of this meet, showing just how much talent the No. 6 ranked women’s team in the nation boasts.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be on a three-week hiatus from competition in order to train for Lehigh’s Paul Short Invitational on Oct. 5

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