FILE PHOTO: SARI FRANKEL/THE HOYA Sophomore Max Darrah (4), shown at the Hoya Spiked Shoe Invitational, finished third in the 3K run at Penn State Nationals last weekend.
Sophomore Max Darrah (4), shown at the Hoya Spiked Shoe Invitational, finished third in the 3K run at Penn State Nationals last weekend.
The track and field team has returned from a successful weekend at the Penn State National Meet, where 29 additional athletes qualified for the Big East championship as Georgetown demonstrated impressive composure for an early-season invitational.

The highlight of the weekend came in the women’s distance medley relay, where a time of 10:55.95 shattered the school record by nearly five seconds and earned a spot as one of the best times in collegiate history.

Junior Rachel Schneider got the squad off to a strong start, splitting 3:20 in the 1200-meter leg. Senior London Finley then set her personal record in the 400m split before handing the baton off to sophomore Chelsea Cox. Senior Emily Infeld anchored the squad and completed the historic race that earned the unit an automatic qualifying bid to nationals.

“It doesn’t surprise me they ran that well, but all four athletes put together great races,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said. “It shows that when you have a big-time athlete like Infeld at the anchor, everybody else steps up because they know what can happen if you put your anchor in a good position.”

The same trio, minus Finley, also dominated the 800m event, coming in at under 2:07. Infeld finished third overall, followed by Cox in fifth and Schneider in sixth. Infeld finished right behind a familiar face: her sister Maggie, who graduated from Georgetown in 2009 and helped pace the Georgetown contingent. The elder Infeld took time off from Georgetown Medical School to train for an Olympic bid.

The highlight on the men’s side was junior Andrew Springer, whose one-mile time of 4:01.17, just three seconds short of an automatic bid to nationals, was good for fourth place overall.

“Andrew Springer had the top performance of the meet for the men,” Henner said. “He’s been training for the 3k and 5k, so for him to run that fast in the mile right now … is impressive.”

Freshman Brian King was also impressive this weekend, taking the top spot in the 5000m run with a time of 14:40.19.
“It was his best race. He ran really well,” Henner said. “He stayed composed and relaxed in the pack. He can run a much faster time, but it was his best race of the year [in that] he executed his game plan perfectly.”

The Blue and Gray also returned two athletes at the Penn meet who were recovering from injury, junior Justin Crawford and senior Biyerem Okengwu. Crawford’s time of 8.14 seconds in the 60m hurdles earned him 18th place overall, while Okengwu’s time of 8.17 placed him in 20th overall.

“[Crawford] is at full speed, but he missed two weeks of training. And if you’re not training, you’re falling behind. It just knocked him back a little,” Henner said. “Biyerem is coming back strong, and he ran his seasonal best. He’s ready for a [personal record] at the Armory next week.”

Despite the returnees, Georgetown is still recovering from nagging injuries, but the team is also making strides early in the season.

“We had some great performances, but we’re still working our way back from injuries,” Henner said. “I think by [the] Big East [Championship] we’ll have everybody back.”

The Hoyas next compete this weekend at both the Giegengack Invitational in New Haven, Conn., and the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City.

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