TRACK & FIELD | Hoyas Prepare for Final Indoor Meet
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
The Georgetown track and field team had a strong showing at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, on Friday and Saturday.
During the first day, the Hoyas took second and fourth in the men’s and women’s distance medley relay, respectively. The 4000-meter event was led by freshman Ryan Manahan, sophomore Devante Washington, senior Billy Ledder and sophomore Ahmed Bile.
Villanova narrowly edged out the Georgetown men with a time of 9:35.08 over 9:35.26. Meanwhile the women’s team timed in at 11:22.68, finishing behind Duke, Minnesota and host Iowa State. All-American graduate student Amanda Kimbers came in second with a time of 24.386 in the 200m dash.
During the second day, junior Andrea Keklak and Ledder had times that ranked second in Georgetown history in the women’s and men’s 800m, respectively. Keklak finished fourth in the 800-meter, setting a career personal record of 2:04.64. Ledder finished third with a time of 1:47.89. Washington finished fourth in the men’s 400m with a time of 48.14.
“We had some great performances,” Director of Track and Field Patrick Henner said. “Billy Ledder, our men’s 800, and Andrea Keklak for the women’s. We were a couple seconds slower than I was hoping we were going to be.”
With this week off, the Blue and Gray look to build on their performance and perform well at the Big East championships in New York City this upcoming Friday and Saturday.
“We’ve been doing some training, running K Street, the track, and we have been doing some stuff in Yates,” Henner said. “I think the guys have put in a lot of effort, so I’m excited for the Big East meet.”
Some Georgetown runners stayed at Georgetown over the weekend to continue to prepare for this more important meet. The coaches felt that, for some runners, it was more important to stay in Washington to train and get ready for the Big East meet.
The team’s biggest strength is clearly the middle distance. The team has performed well in the 800m and the 1000m as of late, providing key momentum and confidence. Furthermore, the team has depth. Ledder and freshman Amos Bartelsmeyer have both enjoyed a great deal of success this year.
“I think on the men’s and women’s side the middle-distance areas are one of our strong points,” Henner said. “I think we have one of the best middle-distance crews in the country, but at the same time so [do] Villanova and Butler. A lot of teams ahead of us have similar strengths.”
The team is not limited to just a few events. Georgetown distance runners ran well at the Penn State Invitational, especially on the women’s side with graduate student Kirsten Kasper.
Georgetown’s top distance runner, graduate student Andrew Springer, is still recovering from injury.
“He’s gotten along really well,” Henner said. “He’s running pain-free now but he’s not going to compete in the Big East meet. He’s just not ready to race at a really high level yet.”
The sprinters have improved as well. Kimbers, Washington and sophomore Mike Andre are showing signs of increased strength.
The Big East field is teeming with talented athletes, and the Hoyas will have to run good times from top to bottom.. The Providence Friars have one of the top distance programs in the country, while Villanova also has an impressive program.
“This is the first meet since the reconfiguration of the conference. It’s really going to be interesting to see how things play out,” Henner said of the upcoming championships. “There are some event areas where we are going to be one of the strongest conferences in the country, especially in the middle distance and the distance areas.”
Georgetown runners will hope to make their hard work this season pay off and earn the team a respectable overall finish. At the meet, runners earn points for high finishes in specific events, which are added up to determine the team’s total score.
Connecticut and Notre Dame won the men’s and women’s championships last year, respectively. However, the teams are no longer in the Big East. Last season, Georgetown finished eighth in the men’s championship and fifth in the women’s championship.
The Hoyas hope to finish their indoor season on a high note this weekend. The Big East Championships will take place Feb. 21 and 22 at the Armory in New York.