TRACK & FIELD | GU Shines Despite Roster Changes
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 02:01
Georgetown’s track and field team played host to La Salle University, Delaware State University and American University for the fourth annual Hoya Spiked Shoe Club Invitational on Friday at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Md.
Despite some changes in the roster due to injuries and ongoing recoveries among several members of the team, the Hoyas performed exceedingly well in a wide range of events, with six first-place finishes on the men’s side and seven for the women.
Georgetown’s track and field director Pat Henner was impressed by the efforts of his athletes.
“We had a lot of people step up and do a nice job for us,” Henner said.
One of the athletes who stood out was senior Matt Howard, who made a crucial move in the final 200 meters of the men’s mile event to earn a first-place finish with a time of 4:11.04. Graduate student Dylan Sorensen followed Howard in second place, finishing in 4:12.10, and junior Cole Williams sealed third place at 4:12.38.
“Matt had a huge breakthrough,” Henner said. “He won the mile and [set] a big personal record. I was really happy with that, and he did a great job.”
The Blue and Gray had another trio of top -place finishers in the men’s 1000 meter. Junior John Murray led the pack in first place in 2:29.81, sophomore Michael Lederhouse finished second in 2:30.39, and junior Collin Leibold took third place in 2:30.40.
Murray’s first-place finish was symbolic of a Georgetown team that has had to adjust to deal with a recent rash of injuries.
“John is a long-distance runner but he dropped down for the 1000 [meter race], which is a middle-distance race,” Henner said. “He ran aggressively and stayed in the front and was able to pull off the win.”
Other contributors for the men’s team came from junior Tyler Smith, who won the 60m dash in 7.01, and freshman Nathaniel Gordon, who sealed a close first-place finish in the 500m dash in 1:05.57.
On the women’s side, freshman Emma Keenan ran in the first heat of the 500m dash and earned first place in the two-section final with her time of 1:14.44. Junior Hannah Neczypor followed in second in 1:16.25. Keenan went on to earn another first-place finish in the three-heat final in the 300m dash, crossing the finish line in 41.03.
Yet another trio of Hoyas dominated the women’s 3000m, led by junior Andrea Keklak, who won the race in 10:09.98. Sophomore Heather Martin took second in 10:10.63, and senior Jenna Davidner finished third in 10:11.09.
Senior Taylor Doaty’s time of 9.51 earned the women’s team a top finish in the 60m hurdle.
Although several Georgetown athletes adapted well to new events during the invitational, Henner is eager for his recovering athletes to return to competition.
“We had a couple of people who didn’t get to run this past weekend, like [graduate student] Amanda Kimbers and [sophomore] Deseree [King],” Henner said. “We’ve got to get them healthy and get them back on track.”
Other members of the team recovering from injuries include senior Eghosa Aghayere, who is back to training after having knee surgery, and All-American graduate student Andrew Springer.
Once the active roster is full again, Henner believes that his team will continue to make progress in preparation for upcoming meets, including the Big East Championships, which are less than a month away. Henner is pleased with the strides that his team has made thus far this season.
“We’ve still got a couple of holes to fill and some work to do, but we’re definitely making some progress,” said Henner.
Georgetown’s next round of competition will be at the National Meet at Pennsylvania State University this weekend. The Hoyas will return to State College, Pa., to race against their host for the second time in three weeks. Penn State provided tough competition for Georgetown at the Nittany Lion Challenge on Jan. 18, but the Hoyas were able to seal seven first-place finishes and set two new meet records.
Henner feels confident that the milestones his athletes have reached so far this season indicate that they are more than capable of giving another strong performance at the National Meet.
“We’re ready to go,” Henner said. “We’ve sorted it out these past two meets at Penn State and the home meet. Across the board, I think almost every single person on the team has run a personal record in some event or another.”
Henner looks forward to another opportunity for his team to face off against a higher level of competition.
“There’s going to be some great competition there,” Henner said. “I think we’re definitely ready to run.”