Allison Wade/New York Road Runners Junior Treniere Clement ran her way into the Georgetown record books with a 4:18.57 performance in the 1,500m.

With the collegiate track and field season entering its final stages, Georgetown set out May 3-4 to battle conference rivals and attempt to gather last-minute qualifying times at the Big East Championships. In a dramatic finish, the men’s team scored 73 points and placed fifth, ending the competition only two points away from third place. The women’s team also claimed a fifth-place finish and both teams received standout individual performances.

For the men, senior Davin Williams tied for second place in the triple jump – the last event of the competition – with a mark of 15.21m. After holding the lead late in the event, Georgetown appeared to have secured a third-place team finish, but two subsequent jumpers knocked Williams out of first, and the three-point differential between sole possession of first and a second-place tie in the triple jump competition resulted in a slide from third place to fifth in the team standings.

“The meet was over, we were third,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “That stuff happens. We struggled to catch the breaks that we needed to get us on a roll.”

In the end, Georgetown’s 73 points placed the team fifth behind Notre Dame (139), Connecticut (136.5), Virginia Tech (75) and Rutgers (73.5). In a year where the team has been forced to navigate its way through a variety of obstacles – from injuries to key athletes, to training without a facility, to the unusually harsh winter – the discouraging way the meet ended provided another source of frustration.

“It was disappointing, but that’s the nature of the sport,” Associate Head Coach Andrew Valmon said. “On any given day, at any moment, anything can happen.”

Although the team did not enter the meet with expectations of winning the conference title – mostly as a result of its relative lack of sprinters and field-event athletes – fifth-place was unfamiliar territory for a program that had finished in the top three every season for the past 16 years.

“When you’re used to being up there a little farther and you’re not, it’s difficult sometimes, but in spite of that I really felt like the bulk of our athletes kept their heads in it and went out and gave us their very best effort,” Helmer said. “You’re always going to have some disappointments, you’re always going to have some super-highlights, and we understand that. We definitely wanted more than fifth, we were close, and with a break here and there we could have been significantly better.”

Although the overall team performance was short of spectacular, the men received a handful of dazzling individual efforts. Sophomore Rod Koborsi and junior Jesse O’Connell claimed individual conference championships, and the 4 x 800m relay team of O’Connell, freshman Chris Lukezic, sophomore Nat Glackin and senior Dylan Welsh additionally ran their way to top-honors at the meet.

After redshirting the outdoor season of his freshman year, Koborsi made his first trip to the Big East Outdoor Championships a success by winning the 10,000m in 33:13.27, and in the process, earned Georgetown 10 points in the team scoring.

“[Koborsi] completely dominated the 10,000m,” Helmer said. “For a sophomore, with freshman eligibility, to go win a 10,000m the first time there was a big deal.”

O’Connell also claimed an individual championship by crossing the line of the 800m in 1:49.00.

“Going into the meet, the expectations were there for Jesse to go out and perform, and he had no choice but to do that,” Valmon said. “I think he stepped up to the challenge, and showed a lot of character. We needed that. He gave us the boost that we needed.”

O’Connell later joined Lukezic, Glackin and Welsh to time 7:27.34 in the 4 x 800m for another first-place finish.

“Dylan Welsh on the third carry had taken us from back a little bit to handing off right at the lead – it was a great carry,” Helmer said. “Nat Glackin and Chris Lukezic in front of that kept us close. They set Jesse up to where winning it wasn’t that big of a deal – that’s what they’re supposed to do, and when they do that, he’s supposed to go out and win it, and that’s what he did.”

Welsh also led the team in the 1,500m, where he placed fourth with a time of 3:50.81. Lukezic placed fifth behind Welsh with a time of 3:50.91, and senior George O’Loughlin timed 3:55.36 for eighth in the event.

Junior Ali Najjar placed fourth behind O’Connell in the 800m with a time of 1:49.53. He later ran a 46.5 split on the 4 x 400m relay team, and along with senior Michael Williams, and freshmen Stanley Lagrenade and Chris Bonner, placed second with a time of 3:11.28.

In the field events, sophomore Andrew Haskell placed seventh in the pole vault with a clearance of 4.65m. Senior Davin Williams added a fourth-place finish in the long jump to his second-place mark in the triple jump, and sophomore Teddy Presley followed Williams in the long jump in seventh place with a leap of 7.05m.

A pair of phenomenal performances by junior Treniere Clement highlighted action on the women’s side. Clement ran her way into the Georgetown record books, and received a conference title by winning the 1,500m in a blistering 4:18.57. She later anchored the 4 x 800m to a second-place finish.

“[The 1,500m] was the best race I’ve had so far this outdoor season,” Clement said. “Things are really beginning to come together. Throughout the year, the coaches have said to keep looking forward, and they’re right. Everything right now seems to be falling into place.”

Clement’s time in the 1,500m stands at No. 6 on Georgetown’s all-time record list, and the effort now places her among the leading national contenders in the event. Her time also narrowly missed surpassing the current Big East record of 4:18.43.

“She just missed the Big East record, and that’s pretty significant in itself, because some of the greatest 1,500m runners in the country have come through the Big East in the last 20 years,” Helmer said. “That was a great performance.”

Junior Colleen Kelly followed Clement in the 1,500m with a time of 4:26.64 for seventh place. Kelly also registered points in the 5,000m, where she placed sixth behind the fifth-place performance of her teammate, sophomore Nicole Lee.

Freshman Meghan O’Neil, junior Maura McCusker and senior Jill Laurendeau joined Clement on the 4 x 800m relay team that claimed runner-up honors. During her anchor leg, Clement brought the team from sixth place into second.

“That race was a bit different because Georgetown tends to always be in the lead, and I’m not used to being the anchor,” Clement said. “I didn’t know what I could do about it, so I just tried to have fun, racing and catching people.”

In the 4 x 400m relay, the team of senior Jamillah Bowman and juniors Monica Hargrove, Dionna Jordan and Kori Hamilton recorded a time of 3:39.00 for third place. Hargrove notched a personal record of 52.4 during her carry on the relay, and also set personal records in the open 400m and 200m dash. Hargrove placed third in the 400m, with a time of 53.50, and logged 24.04 in the particularly fast preliminaries of the 200m.

McCusker, O’Neil and Laurendeau also scored points individually in the 800m. McCusker placed fourth with a time of 2:11.39, O’Neil was fifth in 2:11.62 and Laurendeau was seventh in 2:12.43.

Sophomore Jodee Adams-Moore placed fifth in the 10,000m with a time of 36:35.00, and Georgetown received points from freshmen Kim alcolm and Erin Henry in the 3,000m steeplechase, where Malcolm placed seventh in 11:05.93 and Henry placed eighth in 11:06.77.

The season wraps up in the coming weeks with the ECAC/IC4A Championships this weekend, followed by the NCAA Eastern Regionals on May 30-31.

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