Hoya Women Win Race at Penn Relays

By Eric Kim Hoya Staff Writer

Cold weather was the least of concerns for the Georgetown women’s 4-x-800-meter relay team. The Hoya team of sophomore Tyrona Heath, junior Nickay Penado, senior Katrina de Boer and junior Sasha Spencer cruised to victory in their respective race at the prestigious Penn Relays on Thursday. With a time of 8:34.37, Georgetown easily beat second-place Florida by 25 meters.

Even with temperatures in the 40s for the outdoor meet, the Hoyas brushed off the chill and won the first race of the meet over the Gators, who were the defending champions.

“The weather was a factor, but we made sure we warmed up well,” Heath said. “The weather doesn’t make for ideal times, but we’re used to running in weather like this.”

Heath started off the race for the 4-x-800 team and ran in 2:08.6. She handed off to Penado, who opened up an eight-meter lead with a time of 2:09.2. Running third was de Boer, who pulled in the fastest leg of the team with a time of 2:08.2 and increased the lead to an outstanding 35 meters. This gave anchor runner Spencer a comfortable cushion as she came in 2:08.4 to cross the line first. The team was able to avenge last year’s fourth-place finish in the race.

“I said we need to win the first race, so we can have a good time the rest of the week,” Head Coach Ron Helmer said. “We know we can run. This is where we felt we had the best chance.”

The weight of traditionally impressive Georgetown results at the Penn Relays helped motivate the team, too.

“Georgetown has a huge tradition at the Penn Relays and it’s important to retain the legacy we have here,” Spencer said.

With the victory in the 4-x-800-meter relay race, all four runners have two other relays to run during the meet which ends Saturday.

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