TRACK AND FIELD Georgetown Outdoor Track Season Kicks Off By Scott Homa Hoya Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will begin their outdoor season this weekend as the distance runners travel to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational, and the remainder of the team divides up to compete in the Florida and Raleigh Relays.

The women enter the season as defending ECAC champions and are led by three returning 2001 NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifiers.

Junior Marni Kruppa recorded the team’s top performance at nationals last year, finishing sixth in the 10,000m run. She also claimed indoor All-American honors with a third place finish in the 5,000m run and placed seventh in the half marathon at last summer’s World University Games in China.

Juniors Jill Laurendeau and Erin Sicher each qualified in the 1,500m run last year, and are both coming off successful cross country and indoor track campaigns.

Laurendeau was an All-American in cross country and indoor track this year, taking 14th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and claiming top-eight finishes in both the mile and distance medley relay at indoor nationals.

Sicher is a two-time NCAA qualifier in the indoor mile and the school record holder in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Although the team lost All-American sprinter Sasha Spencer to graduation, the Hoyas are still is relatively strong in the 400m and 800m events.

Senior Tyrona Heath and sophomore Treniere Clement will look to lead the team in the 800m.

Heath is the returning ECAC Outdoor 800m Champion, and recently took fifth in the event at indoor nationals.

Clement gained recognition this year by running the 1,200m leg of the distance medley at indoor nationals, and finished seventh in the 800m at both the 2001 Big East and ECAC Outdoor Championships.

Junior Jamillah Bowman and sophomores Monica Hargrove and Kori Hamilton enter as Georgetown’s top 400m threats.

Bowman and Hamilton both ran legs on the 4x400m relay team that took seventh at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships, and Hargrove earned All American honors last indoor season by running the 400m leg of the distance medley relay.

The men’s team features two returning NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifiers, and a host of other national-caliber athletes.

Graduate student Josh Rollins finished sixth in the triple jump last year at outdoor nationals, and claimed eighth in the event this past indoor season.

Senior Adam Daniels participated in the 3,000m steeplechase at nationals last year, and is the returning IC4A Outdoor 1,500m runner-up.

Other standouts on the men’s team include senior Chris iltenberg, junior James Graham and sophomores Jesse O’Connell and Franklyn Sanchez.

Miltenberg is a two-time indoor All-American, earning fourth place finishes in both the 3,000m run and the distance medley relay at nationals two years ago.

Graham ran the 400m leg on the fourth place distance medley relay team, anchored the Big East Outdoor Champion 4x400m relay team and is a conference champion in both the 400m hurdles and the 500m run.

O’Connell was the 2001 USA Track & Field Junior National 800m Champion, Big East Outdoor 800m Champion and third-place finisher in the 1,000m run at the indoor conference championships.

But perhaps the best known of all Georgetown runners, Franklyn Sanchez, will return to action after breaking the legendary Steve Prefontaine’s American Junior record in the 5,000m run last season. Sanchez’s time of 13:38.39 would have stood to make him an NCAA Championship qualifier, but he suffered an injury following his 4:02.2 mile split at the Penn Relays, and could not continue his breakout season.

On each side, it appears the outdoor season will be both productive and challenging. The men have won the Big East Championship in eight of the last nine outdoor seasons, and the women have won the past two consecutive ECAC Championships.

The season will get underway this weekend, and features several highly competitive meets, including the Duke Relays on April 5-6, the Mt. SAC Relays on April 19-21 and the Penn Relays on April 25-27 before the conference and division championships begin in early May.

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