The way the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Big East Championships on May 3 to May 5, you would have never expected they had a week of exams looming over their heads.

Both teams combined to earn five individual titles and two relay titles, with the men’s team capturing second place overall, and the women’s team finishing third.

“I felt like we competed very hard,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “We were good in the areas where we [have traditionally been strong], but for a variety of reasons, we don’t have the ability to cover as many events as other teams.”

The men’s team tallied 106 points to finish second behind Connecticut, which ended the competition with 192 points. But when noting that 103 of 192 points were scored in the field events and decathlon, Connecticut’s victory can’t help but seem a little less impressive.

“There wasn’t much we could do with UConn,” Associate Head Coach Andrew Valmon said. “They earned points in areas where we couldn’t field any athletes – like the javelin, discuss and decathlon – just because we don’t have the facilities or have any way of competing in those events.”

But in the areas where Georgetown can compete, they posted some phenomenal performances, led by a pair of winning efforts in the long jump and triple jump by All-American graduate student Josh Rollins. The two individual titles, along with a sixth place finish in the high jump, earned Rollins the meet’s Most Outstanding Field Performer award for the second consecutive year.

“It was an awesome performance,” Valmon said. “Josh has led the way for the past two years, and that should serve as a testament to his desire to be the best.”

Another conference championship went to the 4x800m relay team of freshman Nat Glackin, sophomore Jesse O’Connell and juniors Dylan Welsh and Ezra Richards. The winning time of 7:30.67 comes at the heels of O’Connell, Welsh, Richards and sophomore Ali Najjar’s victory in the same event at Penn Relays the week before.

Junior James Graham posted runner up honors in the 400m hurdles, and along with Najjar and seniors Michael Williams and Jeff Reinhardt, finished second in the 4x400m relay.

“We expect and need James to run big on all the relays, and he’s been coming through,” Valmon said.

Senior Corey Smith turned in another second place finish, recording an NCAA provisionally qualifying time of 8:50.31 in the 3,000m steeplechase.

The women posted equally impressive results, led by victories in the 10,000m, 1,500m, 800m and 4x800m relay.

Junior Marni Kruppa shined in the 10,000m, crossing the line 21.7 seconds before her next competitor to win the event for the second consecutive year. Senior Tyrona Heath picked up another victory, finishing the 800m run in an NCAA provisionally qualifying time of 2:05.86.

“They’re both running with a lot of confidence and were dominant in their events,” Helmer said.

The 1,500m run proved to be another highlight of the meet, as senior Lorena Adams won the race in 4:20.91, and graduate student Emily Enstice (4:23.60) and junior Erin Sicher (4:26.36) followed to earn points for the Hoyas.

Sicher later combined with sophomore Treniere Clement, junior Jill Laurendeau and graduate student Heather Blackard to take first in the 4x800m relay.

Freshman Erica Derrickson continued her assault on the school record in the pole vault, clearing 3.50m to improve upon her previous mark in the event by 0.05m and set a new record for the third time this year.

In a situation even more extreme than what the men’s team grappled with, Derrickson was the lone competitor for Georgetown in the women’s field events.

“It was nice to at least score some points in that one event,” Helmer said.

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