The men’s and women’s track teams traveled to State College, Pa., last weekend to compete in the Penn State National Open, and both teams continued to accumulate championship-qualifying times.

Top Big East teams, including Villanova, West Virginia and Pittsburgh joined Georgetown for the two-day meet, where the Hoyas took seven first-place finishes and met five NCAA provisional qualifying marks.

The women’s team, currently ranked 18th in the nation, met NCAA qualifications in the distance medley relay and the 800- and 3,000-meter runs.

In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Marni Kruppa, a cross country All-American who has qualified in the 5,000-meter run, timed 9:27.49 to take runner-up honors in the race. Kruppa’s time easily met the NCAA provisional standard of 9:37.2, and her mark currently stands as the third best collegiate time in the nation.

“Marni is beginning to establish herself as one of the great young distance runners in the country,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “She ran with a lot of confidence and composure.”

Following Kruppa in the 3,000, freshmen Colleen Kelly (9:50.25) and Amanda Pape (9:54.81) took ninth and 14th respectively and senior Lorena Adams (9:59.59) finished 20th.

Junior Tyrona Heath earned another individual NCAA-qualifying time, crossing the line of the 800-meter run in 2:08.75 to take third in the event.

Seniors Sasha Spencer and Nickay Penado turned in a pair of winning performances in the 400- and 500-meter dashes, but fell just shy of NCAA qualifying standards.

In the 400, Penado crossed the line in 55.22 to earn an ECAC qualification. Spencer took the top spot in the 500 with her 1:11.81 time. Also in the 500, sophomore Jamillah Bowman (1:14.41) placed fifth, freshman Monica Hargrove (1:16.28) placed 15th and junior Marsha Dixon (1:17.66) took 21st.

Georgetown had a strong showing in the 1000-meter run as well, where four Hoya women placed in the top six. Sophomores Jill Laurendeau (2:49.62) and Erin Sicher (2:50.44) took second and third, senior Heather Blackard (2:51.79) finished fifth and freshman Treniere Clement (2:53.12) took sixth.

Seniors Emily Enstice and Kate Crowley and sophomore Carly Nuzbach added three more top-10 finishes. Enstice took seventh in the mile run (4:57.01) and Crowley and Nuzbach finished seventh and eighth in the 5,000-meter run, with times of 17:26.44 and 17:42.97, respectively.

The women’s relay teams posted top-five finishes in the 4 x 400-meters (3:47.59) and 4 x 800-meters (9:23.59), and the distance medley relay team, which consists of Laurendeau, Penado, Spencer and Sicher, took first and qualified provisionally for the NCAA championships with a mark of 11:25.89.

On the heels of the women’s success, the men’s relay teams turned in a trio of outstanding performances, taking first in the distance medley (9:50.70), the 4 x 400 (3:11.10) and the 4 x 800 (7:38.72).

Another win for the Hoyas came from senior Nick Reynolds, who, before running the anchor on the 4 x 400-meter relay, set a school record in the 400-meter dash, finishing with an IC4A-qualifying mark of 47.31.

Also in the 400, sophomore James Graham (47.74) took third, and junior Mike Williams (48.96) finished ninth.

Freshman Jesse O’Connell qualified for the IC4As with a second place, 1:51.00 run in the 800-meter run, where juniors Matt Henry (1:52.14) and Jeff Reinhardt (1:52.50) took eighth and 11th.

The two men’s NCAA qualifying times came from junior Chris iltenberg (8:04.16) and senior Corey Smith (8:06.91) in the 3,000-meter run. Miltenberg was the runner-up, and Smith earned a fifth place finish in the race.

The Hoyas turned in four more top-10 finishes in the mile run, as senior All-American Isidro Pimentel took fourth (4:08.96), seniors Kyle Smits (4:10.08) and Matt Dunn (4:10.71) finished fifth and seventh and sophomore Dylan Welsh (4:11.19) earned 10th.

Next week, the team will split up and travel to a variety of meets in the hopes of qualifying and preparing more athletes for the post-season.

“It was a good, productive weekend,” Helmer said, “but there are still some areas where we need to improve, and things we need to get accomplished so we can be ready for the championship part of the season.”

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