Three NCAA provisional qualifying performances and the return of several star athletes highlighted a productive meet for Georgetown’s indoor track and field program last Friday and Saturday at the Virginia Tech Invitational.

Junior Treniere Clement ran the nation’s fastest time so far this season in the 800m, and Georgetown’s distance medley relay team of sophomore Jodee Adams-Moore, junior Monica Hargrove and seniors Erin Sicher and Jill Laurendeau claimed another victory to help the women pick up two NCAA provisional marks. Junior Jesse O’Connell added another NCAA provisional qualification in the 800m on the men’s side.

“It was a good, balanced meet and a terrific display of team effort,” Associate Head Coach Andrew Valmon said. “We were competitive from the 60m hurdles all the way to the 3,000m and the two relays. And we got a lot of what we wanted accomplished – it was an opportunity to get some people back in the fold, and we got really good productivity from our older kids, which is what we needed.”

The meet marked the return of seniors Daniel Tebbano, Chris iltenberg, Dylan Welsh and George O’Loughlin – all of whom have missed some time recently due to injury.

“It was a good opening for those kids who we didn’t have for some time,” Valmon said. “It’s going to be nice to have them back.”

Miltenberg turned in the group’s top performance in the mile, as he won the race in 4:13.17. Welsh followed in 4:14.64 and Tebbano placed third on the team with a time of 4:17.42. O’Loughlin competed in the 800m, where he set a new personal record of 1:52.73 to place second on the team behind O’Connell’s NCAA provisional mark of 1:49.70.

Welsh and O’Loughlin later teamed up with senior Michael Williams and sophomore Nat Glackin in the distance medley relay. The group registered a Big East qualifying time of 10:05.65 to take first place overall. Georgetown’s other relay team, the 4 x 400m, also earned a Big East qualifying mark.

In the 4 x 400m, freshman Chris Bonner, junior Ali Najjar and seniors James Graham and Robert Wingate-Robinson recorded a time of 3:11.66 – just one second shy of the NCAA provisional standard – to place second behind South Carolina, whose team crossed the line in 3:10.94.

“We opened up with a change and put James Graham first, and just asked him to give us a lead, which he did,” Valmon said. “We ran pretty close with South Carolina, and I feel like, with a couple weeks of training, we’ll have a little more wind, and get a little more time out of each one of the legs. But I was very happy with the performance of that team.”

Individually, the team received a brilliant debut performance from freshman Chris Lukezic in the 1,000m, and senior Davin Williams and freshman Danny Pellegrino continued to find success in the field events.

Lukezic, the reigning junior national champion in the mile, recorded a time of 2:26.74 in the 1,000m to finish as the first collegian and second overall. Pellegrino, another talented freshman, cleared 4.60m in the pole vault.

Senior Davin Williams led the team in both the triple jump (15.32m) and long jump (7.03m), where he posted third and eighth place performances, respectively.

Other strong performances on the track came from Wingate-Robinson in the 200m (21.80), Graham in both the 60m hurdles (8.24) and 400m (48.26), freshman Courtney Jaworski in the 600m (1:20.76) and sophomore Chris Esselborn in the 3,000m (8:26.65).

The women’s team had mixed results over the weekend, as Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer praised the upperclassmen’s performances but stressed the need for improvement among several of the team’s younger athletes.

“I think our older kids are doing a really good job,” Helmer said. “[The upperclassmen] give us a pretty good nucleus of individuals who are performing consistently well, [but the freshmen], with the exception of Megan O’Neil, who I’m very, very happy with, haven’t yet gone out and done what we would expect them to do.”

Clement continued her stellar season by picking up an NCAA provisional qualification in the 800m – the third event in which she has qualified this season. Her time of 2:06.86 currently stands No. 1 on the national performance list, and she also claimed the top collegiate finish in the 1,000m, and with a time of 2:47.68, easily qualified for the Big East Championships.

“Her 1,000m is probably the best time in the Big East right now,” Helmer said, adding that it’s probably too early to determine which event she’ll focus on later this year at nationals. “I’m not sure which one of those is going to evolve into being the event that she has the best shot of doing well in at the national meet. We have the speed of a half-miler in place, we have the strength of a 3,000m runner in place, and does that mean we’re going to go challenge for a national championship in the mile – I don’t know. I could get equally excited about all three of them, but I think the easiest thing to do is continue to go forward in that range of events and see where it takes us.”

The distance medley relay team of Sicher, Hargrove, Laurendeau and Adams-Moore turned in another outstanding performance, and with a time of 11:34.22, bested 15 teams to claim first place and join Clement atop the NCAA qualifiers list in their respective events.

“We’ll run a much better one, and a much faster one, but the fact is, on Jan. 17, that particular group is the only team in the country that’s run a qualifying time,” Helmer said.

Senior Marni Kruppa, who is considered a top contender in the 5,000m this season, showed her speed over the shorter distances last weekend by setting a new personal record in the mile. Her time of 4:58.91 led the team and placed her sixth overall.

“That’s not where she’s comfortable and that’s not where she can have the most success, but it’s a part of her preparation and training that’s very important,” Helmer said.

Sophomore distance runner Nicole Lee, who registered an NCAA provisional time in the 5,000m in the season opener at Navy, turned in another solid effort, this time in the 3,000m, where she posted a Big East qualifying mark of 9:49.52 for seventh place overall.

Senior Jamillah Bowman and juniors Kori Hamilton and Monica Hargrove led the team in the sprints. Hargrove timed 24.87 to place first on the team in the 200m, while Bowman (56.13) and Hamilton (56.60) were the first and second Hoyas to cross the line in the 400m. Hamilton also competed in the 600m, where she recorded a time of 1:33.81 for fifth place overall.

“Jamillah, Kori and Monica are all training really well and racing very consistently,” Helmer said. “It will definitely come together for them – I really like where those three are.”

This weekend the team will rest several athletes and compete a little closer to home when they travel to the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Center for the Maryland Invitational.

“This is more of a training week for us, and then we’ll set our hopes high for Penn State [the following weekend],” Valmon said. “I think it will be a little difficult to get any qualifiers out of this weekend’s meet, but you never know.”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.