Track & Field | Hoyas Break Top Times at Penn State

The Georgetown men’s and No. 11 women’s indoor track and field teams started off the weekend strong with impressive performances in the distance medley relay on both sides at the Penn State National Invitational on Jan. 29 and 30. The women’s team broke the school record in the DMR, while the men’s team captured the third-fastest time in school history. The weekend saw many Georgetown runners create new personal records as well.

The women’s DMR relay, consisting of graduate student Andrea Keklak, senior Heather Martin, junior Sabrina Southerland and graduate student Katrina Coogan, set a new school record of 10:54.77, breaking the previous time of 10:55.63 set at the 2014 Big East Championship.

“I think we did great,” freshman Audrey Belf said. “It was so much fun on Friday night getting to watch the DMR. It was so inspiring how they all put forth their best effort. It was such a team effort.”

The men’s DMR squad finished with a time of 9:29.78, notching third place behind Penn State and Stanford, which took first and second place, respectively. Junior Amos Bartelsmeyer ran the 1200-meter event, sophomore Joe White ran the 400m, graduate student Cole Williams ran the 800m and senior Ahmed Bile anchored the relay. Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Michael Smith praised the teams’ performances, particularly Bile’s and Southerland’s performances in the relay.

“That was the primary objective heading into this meet, was to get those two relays qualified with marks we thought would be secure for the NCAA Championship,” Smith said. “So you are asking them to execute in a big way and they did that. Both of those times should be safe, secure to head to the meet. They did it in a big way we had big splits on both sides.”

Keklak ran a time of 2:04.38 in the 800m race, a personal record, on the second day of competition. Keklak led former Hoya Chelsea Cox (2:04.68), junior Emma Keenan (2:06.18) and Martin (2:06.72). They crossed the finish line in fourth, sixth and seventh places, respectively. Keenan and Martin each recorded personal records.

The Hoyas also saw impressive performances from sophomore Piper Donaghu in the women’s invitational mile and Belf in the women’s 3000m invitational. Donaghu finished the mile with a personal record time of 4:45.46 to claim second overall in the event. Belf, running the event for the first time in her collegiate career, was the only freshman to finish among the top five. She crossed the finish line with a time of 9:21.13 — second best in the Big East at the moment — and the 12th-fastest time recorded this season nationally. While she was pleased with her performance, Belf was not completely satisfied.

“I’ve never run a 3000, that was the first time I’ve done that, and just to see me post the 12th-fastest time just pushes me to work harder and harder to try to get that time up and have a shot at the NCAA meet,” Belf said.

Sophomore Madeline Perez clocked a time of 9:54.89 in the open women’s 3000m race, another personal record.

The Georgetown men’s indoor track and field team saw junior Jonathan Green build off of his impressive cross country season by capturing third place in the men’s invitational mile. Green ran a time of 4:04.68, a personal record by more than 11 seconds. Junior Scott Carpenter finished in seventh place overall with a time of 4:06.97, a personal record.

Sophomore Joe White claimed third place in the men’s invitational 800m race, clocking 1:47.44, an indoor personal record for him. White’s time is currently the sixth-fastest collegiate 800m time recorded this season. However, White is more focused on improving his own time rather than chasing records.

“It is much nicer to push myself, it’s obviously nice to get records, but it’s nice pushing yourself and knowing that you can go a little bit faster,” White said. “I’m not really chasing any records. I’m just thinking about pushing myself as hard as I can.”

Sophomore Charles Cooper competed in the men’s 1000m invitational and finished with a time of 2:25.33.

“I think we are on a mission and are concerned with putting Georgetown in the place it should be in national track and field,” Smith said. “People are looking at doing their job for their team, putting their individual marks aside and really making sure we are doing our job as a team.”

Next for the Hoyas, both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Boston and Staten Island, N.Y. to compete in the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational meet and the Villanova Open on Feb. 6 and 7.

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