TRACK & FIELD | Hoyas Impress at National Meet
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 02:02
Georgetown’s track and field team travelled to Penn State this weekend to compete in the National Invitational Meet. Though first-place finishes were scarce, the Hoyas proved to be among the top teams in the distance medley relay. Additionally, both the men’s and women’s relay squads performed well. Overall, the Hoyas finished strong in many events and set themselves up well for the Big East Championships, which will take place later this month.
On the women’s side, the distance medley relay consisted of four schools in addition to Georgetown: Stanford, Dartmouth, Villanova and Duke. Georgetown came in fourth, just a quarter of a second behind Big East rival Villanova. The relay was made up of freshman Sabrina Southerland, freshman Emma Keenan, senior Chelsea Cox and junior Katrina Coogan. The team threatened throughout the race.
On the men’s side, the relay finished fifth overall in a race in which the Penn State team set both a school and meet record. The Nittany Lions blew past competition, finishing in 9:26.59.
The men’s 4-x-400 relay finished its race in third, just in front of Johnson C. Smith University.
Aside from the relays, Georgetown fared well in some of the individual events as well. Freshman Bobbie Burgess finished fourth in the women’s 5000-meter invitational while junior Joanna Stevens finished fourth in the women’s 3000m run. Sophomore Katrina Coogan came in second in the women’s 3000m invitational with a finishing time of 9:10.27.
The Hoyas had a strong showing in the women’s one-mile run. Junior Hannah Neczypor captured the first-place finish while teammate junior Annamarie Waag finished in second in the mile run. In the invitational race of the same distance, junior Andrea Keklak finished second. Keklak crossed the line just ahead of a pack of three who all finished within the same second.
The men’s team showed both skill and strategy in the 1000m race in which they claimed both the first and second spots. In addition to finishing first, freshman Amos Bartelsmeyer set a meet record in his run. In the 800m race, junior Billy Ledder claimed the first spot, finishing just shy of a meet record.
Fifth-year runner Amanda Kimbers qualified for the semifinals in the 60m dash. Once there, however, she finished in 11th place and did not qualify for the finals. Kimbers, who did not run last year due to injury, is looking to make the most of her last year with Georgetown. Though she did not qualify for the finals this time, her success in the season is sure to prove consistent through the end and into the Big East Championship.
With the majority of athletes going to the National Invitational, Georgetown backed out of the second meet of the weekend, the Patriot Games, to which George Mason played host. The National Invitational was more important to the team in terms of obtaining qualifying times to advance to the Big East Championships, which caused the Hoyas to withdraw from the Patriots Games.
Though the Patriot Games would have served as good practice for the few inexperienced runners, the Hoyas did not feel as though they had enough participants to make the meet worthwhile. Additionally, the rest of the indoor season and the entire outdoor season should serve to prepare the team for championships and invitational meets.
The host of the meet, George Mason, ended up winning the meet on both the men’s and women’s side.
As the Blue and Gray move forward, they will compete in the Valentine Invitational this weekend in Boston. Last year, Boston University was forced to cancel the tournament due to weather conditions, but this year’s meet promises to provide quality competition for the Hoyas.
With the Big East Championship quickly coming up on Feb. 21 and 22, the Hoyas are working hard to qualify for events. With just four meets in between now and the Championships, there is an increased pressure to improve their times and their relay squads. The experienced runners, including several All-Americans, will be key to the success of the team from here on out.