TRACK & FIELD | Springer, Women’s Relay Lead Way at Penn State
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 23:01
The Georgetown track and field team continued its march through the indoor regular season on Friday and Saturday at the Penn State National invitational, with several Big East qualifying standards met and record broken on both the men’s and the women’s sides.
Leading the charge for the Blue and Gray’s men’s team was senior All-American Andrew Springer, who took third place in the mile in 4:01.65. Springer ran a well-executed tactical race, hanging with the leaders through the first four laps of the 200-meter track. He averaged a shade under 30 seconds per 200 meters for the first half of the race, coming through the 800m mark at about 2:00.
With 600m to go, Springer made a small move to try to get around Penn State senior Sam Masters, who led most of the race. At the same time, Nittany Lion freshman Brannon Kidder swung to the outside and passed Springer and Masters. The leading Masters then dropped back, and Kidder took the lead with Springer hot on his heels and Villanova freshman Robert Denault lurking a few paces back. With 300m to go, Denault made a move to pass Springer, who was unable to cover Denault’s move but held off the rest of the field to finish third.
“Springer probably had the best performance for the men’s team,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said. “He ran really tough, putting himself in the right spot the entire race. We’ve been training really hard, and so he just didn’t have the pop in his legs in that last 300 meters. The 4:01 [time] right now for him, though, was a darn good run.”
The Hoyas had more success in the sprinting department, with the 4x200 relay team of freshman Mike Andre, junior Hansel Akers, sophomore Tyler Smith and senior Kadeem Hunter taking third place in a school-record-setting 1:27.99.
Andre led off with a solid opening leg, especially considering the fact that he was sidelined with an illness for last week’s Hoya Invitational. Henner explained that Andre was operating at around 90 percent strength as a result of his illness but that he is steadily improving and should be back to full strength in the coming weeks.
That news bodes well for the Hoya sprints squad, especially since Andre contributed to a school record while still under the weather.
“The 4x200 did a great job. Andre and Akers ran great legs, and Smith and Hunter were very solid,” Henner said. “This group really has a lot of potential — they’re going to have to keep working hard, but this time does show that the potential is there.”
The women’s side was just as impressive, with several distance runners and sprinters hitting the Big East standards.
The performance of the day for the women was the distance medley relay team, which ran 11:13.07, the fastest time in the country this season.
Junior Chelsea Cox led off for the Hoyas in the opening 1200m of the relay and clocked in around 3:35. Junior Deseree King, up next, ran her 400m in a career-best 54 seconds, an effort that was followed by senior Rachel Schneider’s 2:06 split in the 800m leg. Sophomore Katrina Coogan was then handed the baton all alone, and she proceeded to run a 4:44 against no competition to propel her team to one of the top times in the country.
“They did a really nice job, and all of those athletes came ready to run. They also recovered nicely for their individual races,” Henner said.
Recover nicely they did, as Schneider came back on Saturday and ran a 2:43.34 1000m, setting a personal record and breaking a school record that had stood for over 20 years in the process. King then won the invitational 500m in 1:12.57, while Coogan took fourth in the mile in 4:39.74 to break the 4:40 barrier for the first time.
“We had a great meet, [although] it wasn’t do-or-die for us as to hitting NCAA standard times,” Henner said. “But I think that we’re showing that we’re going to be able to run really fast in a lot of different areas in the next few weeks.”
Georgetown track and field will be back in action Feb. 9 at the BU Valentine Invitational.