TRACK & FIELD | Hopeful Hoyas Take on Big East’s
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 00:02
After an indoor regular season of fast times and marked improvements, Georgetown track and field will head to Geneva, Ohio, this weekend to start its postseason at the Big East Indoor Championships.
The Hoya women — defending conference indoor champions — will be looking to grab a second consecutive title.
“Our sweet spot in this meet are the events from the 500 meters up through the 3000,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said. “We’ve got a great middle distance group on the women’s side, one of the best in the country. So the key battle is going to be scoring points in the middle distance areas against schools like Villanova and Notre Dame.”
Hoya middle distance has already been making some definite noise on the national scene this indoor season. Senior Rachel Schneider has led the charge, posting several fast marks in the mile as well as the 1000m run. Schneider will be running the 1000m individually this weekend, an event in which she holds the best time in the Big East at 2:43.34.
The women’s 1000 will be important to the overall team picture, as two Villanova athletes are right behind Schneider on the performance list, with Georgetown junior Chelsea Cox in fourth. If Schneider can pull out the victory and another Georgetown athlete can beat the two Villanova runners — or at least split them up — it would result in much-needed points in a meet that could end up being very close.
The sprinting department is another potential source of major points for the Blue and Gray. Junior Deseree King and senior Tenille Stoudenmire will be looking to provide a one-two punch in the mid- to longer-length sprinting events. King is slated to race in the 500, where she is atop the Big East time standings. The closest Villanova athlete, meanwhile, is seeded only fifth, meaning that this could be an event in which significant gains are made against the Wildcats.
If she can exceed expectations, Stoudenmire could also make a vital contribution to the team score in the 200m, where she is seeded eighth.
“One of the issues that we have this year is that while we’re really strong on a national level, so is the rest of the Big East,” Henner said. “Teams like Villanova, Notre Dame and Providence are all very strong nationally, so it will all be a matter of how the points get divvied up in the end between the powerhouses.”
The men’s side is likewise aiming for a high finish this weekend, as several athletes are rested and well set up to run season bests.
In addition to running a leg in the crucial distance medley relay. senior Andrew Springer — coming off his 13:51 5000m performance last weekend — will drop down to the 3000m this weekend. In Springer’s 5000m absence, graduate student Mark Dennin will be taking over front-running duties. Dennin posted a 13:54 5000m last weekend, a time that currently places him in second in the Big East. Dennin may also run the 3000m with Springer, making that one more race that Georgetown will be especially keying in on when looking for points this weekend.
Another key performer for the Hoyas will be junior Eghosa Aghayere in the triple jump. Aghayere is seeded third, about 10 inches behind the top seed, Rutgers senior Kevin Bostick. If Aghayere jumps well, he could score a lot of points in comparison to other schools in contention for the overall title such as Notre Dame and Connecticut, which do not have as strong athletes in Aghayere’s event.
“I’m excited for this meet — it’s at a great facility, and we have some great competition. We’re not going to worry about times as much, because it’s all about placing for points in this meet, but the atmosphere could lead to some pretty hot times,” Henner said.