CROSS COUNTRY | Hoyas Change Strategy In Smaller Big East Meet
Published: Friday, November 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 12:11
After a weekend of rest for the Georgetown men’s and women’s cross country teams, the runners will return to the course this weekend for their Big East Championship meets.
After a first place finish at the Pre-National meet on Oct. 18th, the No. 3 women’s team will line up against familiar Big East foes. They’ll also compete with the newest members of the conference: Butler, Creighton and Xavier. Their mindset at the Pre-NCAA meet was to run in a true team effort, and they’ll employ the same approach in the meet this Saturday. However, their running strategy will be altered, as the field will be smaller with lower scoring.
“All our girls have to be in racing position because it’s a low-scoring meet. They’ll be really involved in the front of the race, whereas the Pre-National meet is a huge meet,” Women’s Head Coach Michael Smith said. “There are a few things we will do strategy-wise, one of which is have a lot more of an aggressive approach.”
The five finishers at the Pre-NCAA meet will be on the line again for the Hoyas. Sophomore Samantha Nadel, junior Katrina Coogan, senior Madeline Chambers, sophomore Haley Pierce and graduate student Rachel Schneider finished in that order in the last meet and will be joined by the other four runners for the Blue and Gray: sophomore Rachel Paul and juniors Kelsey Smith, Andrea Keklak and Annamarie Maag.
Though the women have clearly established themselves as one of the top teams in both the Big East and the country, their conference opponents are highly competitive, despite the conference realignment.
“For us, it really hasn’t changed, because the same teams that we saw historically at meets in the last 20 years in the Big East are still there. For us, it’s Providence and Villanova,” Smith said.
The men will make adjustments to their lineup and work on their strategy after a disappointing finish at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. The team was missing a crucial piece of its lineup in Wisconsin because it decided to sit senior Brian King. Now King will be back on the starting line, along with other top runners including graduate student Andrew Springer, who was named Big East Cross Country Athlete of the Week in October. Other runners for the Hoyas will be sophomore Ahmed Bile; juniors Ryan Gil, Austin Gregor, Collin Leibold and John Murray; senior Bobby Peavey; and graduate student Dylan Sorensen.
With a smaller pool of competitors than in Wisconsin, the men have a better chance of executing their strategies.
“Instead of 300 people in the field, there will probably be 100, and that will definitely help our guys out by finding each other easier,” Assistant Coach Brandon Bonsey said.
No. 19 Providence and No. 26 Villanova are two talented Big East teams, but every school in the conference will be in the mix. The Hoyas are hoping this meet can give them momentum going into the Mid-Atlantic Regional meet in late November.
“The guys are healthy and feeling good. We’ve had some great workouts, and the attitude and vibe at practice has been really, really good these past two weeks. The results at Wisconsin aren’t at all indicative of what kind of team we have,” Bonsey said.
The first meet will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in Somers, Wis.