After a week off, both the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams will resume competition by traveling to split sites this weekend, with some athletes traveling across the country to Palo Alto, Calif., to participate in the Stanford Twilight meet while others race in the UVA Challenge in Charlottesville, Va.
The Hoyas’ last stretch of competition was the weekend of April 9, when the teams split competition between the Hurricane Alumni Invitational at the University of Miami and at the Mason Spring Invitational in Fairfax, Va., where several athletes earned top finishes.
At the Hurricane Alumni meet, senior Ahmed Bile ran a time of 1:48.48 in the men’s 800-meter invitational to claim first place overall in the event. Bile, running in the 1500m event at the Stanford Twilight Invitational this weekend, said he hopes to carry over his strong outings so far into that race.
“I know it’ll be a fast race,” Bile said. “There is going to be a pace maker. So definitely the goal is to [set a personal record], and my PR is a 3:40 so definitely as far under that as possible.”
Sophomore Joe White has also recorded some strong performances so far this outdoor season. White clocked in at 48.42 in the men’s 400m race at the Hurricane Alumni meet, placing seventh overall. At the Colonial Relays, White ran a time of 3:47.37 in the men’s 1500m race, capturing fourth place overall in the event.
Junior Amos Bartelsmeyer has also helped lead the Hoyas to a strong outdoor season start. In the men’s 5000m event, Bartelsmeyer claimed fifth place overall with a time of 14:05.05 at the Colonial Relays.
“Universally, [the outdoor season] is a much bigger deal than indoors with the schools on the West Coast and some countries don’t even do indoor,” Bile said of the upcoming competition.
“Universally everyone does outdoor, so you know that you are going to look forward to some great competition.”
On the women’s side, junior Sabrina Southerland has helped the Hoyas get off to a running start. Southerland, competing at the Hurricane Alumni meet, won the 1500m event by clocking in at 4:21.51. Sophomore Kennedy Weisner followed Southerland to a second place finish, crossing the finish line at 4:22.14.
Weisner continued her well-rounded performance at the Hurricane Alumni meet by competing in two other events. She finished in second place in the women’s 800m event, running a time of 2:09.40. Weisner also helped her 4×400 relay team, composed of senior Mirabel Nkenke, sophomore Piper Donaghu and sophomore Jody-Ann Knight, win the second heat. The relay squad clocked in at 3:48.82.
Knight credited Director of Track and Field Michael Smith and assistant coach Olu Olamigoke for helping her run a strong split in the relay.
“Beforehand, Coach Mike and Coach Olu both just told me to have fun,” Knight said. “And they gave me the tip of running it as a 400 runner, because last week I was in the mindset of ‘I am running the 400 as a 200 runner,’ so I got out a little too fast. And so this week I thought about getting out a little more conservative then towards the end having a really good kick.”
Knight also competed in the women’s 200m event, running a time of 25.09, a personal record, to win her heat.
Both competitions take place today, with the UVA Challenge extending into Saturday as well. After this weekend, both the women and men’s outdoor track and field teams will travel to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays.
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