CROSS COUNTRY | Nadel Finishes First For Hoyas
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 02:10
The No. 5 Georgetown women’s cross country team dominated at the Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, coming in first over other top seeded teams. The Hoyas’ 117 points pushed them over No. 2 Florida State (162), No. 20 Butler (176), No. 16 Virginia (191) and No. 6 Oregon (214).
While the women experienced victory in Indiana, the No. 24 men’s team fell short, coming in 26th of 35 teams at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
Placing in the top 35, Georgetown’s top female runners had impressive performances on Saturday. Sophomore Samantha Nadel finished first for the Hoyas in 14th place with a time of 20:29.56 for the 6,000-meter course. Junior Katrina Coogan finished 17th with a time of 20:33.95. Senior Madeline Chambers and sophomore Haley Pierce came in together at the 26th (20:46.93) and 27th (20:47.21) spots, respectively. Graduate student Rachel Schneider crossed the finish line four seconds later in the 32nd spot (20:51.16). Though Head Women’s Coach Michael Smith knew the team was tightly knit, he didn’t expect how close it would end up being.
“I guess I knew that it would be close but I didn’t know that they’d be coming in within twenty seconds of each other, and I’ve got to say I know what it takes to win these meets, and something like that is pretty hard to answer,” Smith said.
“It was really us versus them out there, and our team is so close. That’s exactly how we have to race every time,” Coogan said. “When the race starts getting hard halfway through, just remember that you’re running for each other and something greater than yourself, and that helps you get through the harder patches.”
Not only did the meet show the team’s closeness, but it was also a meaningful step going into the rest of the season. For the first meet of the season, Smith chose not to run the full lineup, and extreme heat interfered with the runners’ performances at their last race, the Paul Short Invitational. The perfect running conditions in Indiana on Saturday set the team up for its top performance thus far.
“It was a great step forward for our team,” Coogan said. “It was a way of showing what we’re capable of for the rest of the season.”
“I think what winning the meet does is give the women on the team a lot of confidence and excitement going forward,” Smith explained. “Some teams are leaving this meet thinking they have to rethink everything, and we’re leaving thinking we don’t need to change a whole lot. We need to just do what we did today one month from now and that will be a really good result.”
The men’s team didn’t find as much success as the women did, falling behind 25 of the other teams competing.
“It was a lot worse than what we were hoping for. In an early season meet like this, I’m not going to worry too much about the result. We’re more working on following a plan and staying tough and running composed, and to be honest we did none of those things,” Assistant Men’s Coach Brandon Bonsey said.
Contributing to the loss was a lack of competitiveness and commitment to the race plan. Though graduate student Andrew Springer ran well and finished first for the Hoyas in 54th place (24:02), Bonsey chose to sit top senior runner Brian King, who hadn’t been feeling well earlier in the week. Bonsey doesn’t think that this meet will define the rest of the season for the Hoyas, but it certainly is a wake-up call.
“It’s the Big East meet next and then the divisional meet and then hopefully the NCAA meet, and those are the three meets we gear up for all year long. If we compete like we did yesterday again, then we’re not going to be very good.”
Despite the disappointing result, there are a couple silver linings. Junior Collin Leibold came in 78th (24:14), an admirable finish considering the fact that he was sick earlier in the week. The Hoyas are optimistic about the next meet and are excited to compete against fewer teams with a field about a third of the size they faced in Wisconsin.
Coming out on top in Wisconsin were No. 3 Northern Arizona, No. 5 BYU, No. 7 Portland, No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 25 New Mexico in the top five.