TRACK & FIELD | Freshmen Shine at Armory
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02
Times kept dropping and records kept falling in the latest weekend of Georgetown track and field’s spring season, with several athletes from the men’s and women’s squads competing at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City.
The Hoya women ran particularly well, as the distance medley relay squad moved up to second position in the Big East performance list with an 11:05 on Friday night, marking an eight-second improvement from the previous weekend’s Penn State Invitational.
Sophomore Andrea Keklak led off the relay with a 3:23 1200m effort, putting the team in good position going into junior Deseree King’s 400m leg. Taking the baton next for the Blue and Gray was junior Chelsea Cox, who gutted out a 2:08 to set senior Rachel Schneider up for her mile leg. Schneider then ran a 4:37 mile, the third-fastest mile split in Georgetown history.
The Hoyas took third overall in the DMR, one second behind Arkansas and nine seconds back from perennial Big East standout Villanova. Six of the top seven DMR times in the country were set at the Armory, as Georgetown came in fourth on the national performance list in a competitive field.
“I think we can go a lot faster than that,” Director of Track and& Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said. “I think that all four legs there can individually run faster if they need to, but I was really pleased and I thought all of them did a nice job.”
The DMR women were back in action again on Saturday morning, with Cox competing in the 800m and Schneider competing in the mile.
The former improved on her time from the night before, running 2:06 and taking first in the championship division after controlling the race from the get-go. Cox was passed briefly on the backstretch but soon after regained the lead and put her competition away for the win.
“I was really pleased with [Cox],” Henner said. “She did a solid job on the DMR Friday night, and then she came back and ran with a lot of passion and toughness on Saturday … so I think of all the races this weekend, men and women, I was the most pleased with [Cox’s] 800.”
Schneider, meanwhile, continued her streak of solid races in the mile, likewise taking first place in the championship division, with a time of 4:39.
“I think the biggest thing is not her time, as she can run faster than that, but I think it was her first time anchoring our relay, so she was a bit tired on Saturday. She came back and competed, though, beating some good people and getting the win, so I was pleased with that,” Henner said.
Additionally, freshman Rachel Paul ran 4:41 in the mile, which puts her close to one of the top 10 spots in the Big East.
The men’s squad also competed well in several events, hitting some Big East standards and continuing to improve.
Junior Hansel Akers ran well in the 500m, taking second in his heat and ninth overall in the championship division with a time of 1:04.14. Akers started off his race relatively conservatively and closed very well towards the end, picking off several competitors down the stretch.
“I thought Hansel did compete really well, [but] he does have a lot more in him. I think he needs to get out of his comfort zone and start going out a little harder,” Henner said. “Once he does that, I think he can make a big step forward. He just has to put himself out there more, and I think he can run 1:02-low.”
Over in the 1000m, freshman standout Ahmed Bile took sixth overall with a time of 2:26.48. That time puts him seventh on the Big East performance list, just ahead of senior All-American teammate Andrew Springer.
“Ahmed was really solid — he’s starting to train well now. I think he’s the kind of athlete that, with two more weeks of training, can be one of the best athletes at the Big East meet,” Henner said.
The men’s squad did not run very many upperclassmen in this meet, instead focusing on running younger athletes in relay positions. Since there is another meet next weekend, the majority of the core men’s team rested this weekend in order to be ready for next weekend’s meet, and then the Big East indoor championships in two weeks.