TRACK & FIELD | GU Withdraws From Meet
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 00:02
After a strong showing in the National Invitational Meet, the Georgetown track and field team will now turn its attention to the Big East Championship. The Hoyas were scheduled to participate in the Valentine Invitational this weekend in Boston but decided not to send runners in order to ensure the runners’ health. Georgetown wants to make sure that all of its top runners are in peak performance condition for the Big East Championship, making withdrawing from the Valentine Invitational in favor of a recovery weekend an easy decision for the coaching staff. With just two weeks until the big meet, precautions are at an all-time high for the Hoyas.
Last weekend at the Penn State National Invitational, Georgetown grabbed three first- place finishes, as well as multiple top-three finishes. One standout in particular, freshman Amos Bartelsmeyer, ran an exceptional race, setting a meet record in the men’s 1000-meter invitational race. Bartelsmeyer hopes to keep his times low and his tempo high in the coming weeks.
“We’ve been working on [Bartelsmeyer’s] running form and his technique, trying to get him to be a more rotary runner and not take too long of strides,” Director of Track and Field and Cross-Country Patrick Henner said. “He’s doing a great job, we feel like he’s one of the best freshmen in the country, along with Ryan Manahan. [Bartelsmeyer] now needs to work on being more aggressive right off the starting line.”
Eyes will also be on All-American junior Katrina Coogan, who specializes in the 3000m race, and is looking to run a solid race against a competitive field. She finished just shy of first place last weekend, but, with yet another meet under her belt, she is hoping to not only win the race, but also improve her time from 9:10.27. Coogan also is the anchor to the women’s distance medley relay, which ran the country’s sixth-best time of the season at the National Invitational.
Coogan ran her fastest 3000-meter race last season with a time of 9:04.85. Although it is an amazing effort, the coaching staff acknowledges the race conditions and running with a pack helped her achieve the remarkable time. While a seemingly manageable race surely does not take away from Coogan’s personal record, her efforts in leading the pack at Penn State show how much she has grown since last year.
“I actually think her 9:10 that she ran this weekend at Penn State was a much better effort because she actually had to lead a lot of the race and do a lot of the work, so I think she’s in a very good spot right now… I think Katrina’s one of the very best distance runners in the country,” Henner said.
Fifth-year senior Amanda Kimbers will also be in the spotlight for the Hoyas in the upcoming days. Kimbers’ semifinal appearance in the National Invitational exemplified her strong comeback from last year when she was sidelined by atorn hip flexor. As Kimbers works to again reach her full potential, she continues to improve.
“[Amanda’s] doing really well now,” Henner said. “She’s not quite at her best right now, but Amanda’s a great athlete, and I think she can be right back within her best in two to four weeks. She’s getting very close. She ran the [4 x400] and ran a very solid 55 split, so she just needs a couple more workouts and a couple more races and she’ll be ready to go.”
Though track and field relies heavily on skill and strategy, confidence is a key factor in every race. The numerous meets and events that the Hoyas have competed in this season have added to the team’s confidence. Part of the Blue and Gray’s confidence stems from their dominance in the events.
Junior Billy Ledder has seen his confidence rise this season and is peaking at the perfect time. This past weekend, he ran a 1:48.92 in the 800m invitational. But these first-place finishes are nothing new to Ledder.
“He’s gradually gotten better and better, and his biggest thing is running with more confidence, and I think him making a big move against high level competition at Penn State with 150 meters to go indicated he’s got a lot more confidence this season.” Henner said.
The women’s team is currently ranked 25th in the nation and hopes to keep moving up in the poll. The men’s team is also looking to get a spot on the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association rankings in the coming weeks, which is possible as it is lead by experienced and confident runners. With many athletes running at their best right now, the Big East Championship could not come at a better time.