Track & Field | Hoyas Focus on Team Mentality

Following a slew of broken personal records and top finishes at the Pennsylvania State University National Invitational last weekend, the men’s and No. 11 women’s indoor track and field teams will travel to Boston for the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational.

Both teams will then head to Staten Island, N.Y., for the Villanova Open Ocean Breeze meet, and the men’s team will also send a contingent of runners to the USA Junior Cross Country Championships in Bend, Ore., this weekend.

After an impressive performance by the men’s distance medley relay team and a record-breaking showing by the women, the Blue and Gray will now turn its attention to other events.

“We want to put great marks up in key events, which will be the 800-meter and the mile on both men’s and women’s side,” Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Michael Smith said. “We want our sprint group to continue to get more experience competing and we’ve got a young group heading out to junior cross country, which is another step along the way of developing national caliber distance runners.”

Graduate student Andrea Keklak has made the most of her opportunities so far this season after regaining her form in the 2015 cross country season. Keklak, after missing the 2015 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons because of an injury, set a Georgetown record in the 1000m race with a time of 2:42.76. Keklak also helped the women’s distance medley relay squad, achieving a time of 10:54.77, setting another school record.

Smith applauded Keklak’s effort and intensity and the rest of the Hoyas for their performances thus far.

“We try not to be too high with the individual performances,” Smith said. “We try to remain steady emotionally about what we are doing. As someone who ran at Georgetown, I’m familiar with the history of this place, I recognize how hard it is to break those records. They are going up against history with such an incredible tradition. It’s a big deal to make marks in our record book.”

Georgetown will look to its other athletes in order to continue to build upon its fast starts to the season. Freshman Audrey Belf has carried over her late-season cross country momentum over to the indoor track and field season. Belf recorded a time of 9:21.13 in the women’s 3000m at Penn State, earning the 12th-fastest time in the event nationally.

Afterward, Belf expressed her excitement about running in her first collegiate indoor race.

“I was really happy with it,” said Belf. “It was my first college distance race indoors, so I was happy to get out there and race in a competitive field.”

On the men’s side, sophomore Joe White will look to build off his impressive performance in the men’s 800m event at Penn State. White clocked in at 1:47.44, securing third place overall in the race. The Hoyas will also look to junior Jonathan Green to maintain his intensity going into this weekend. Green recorded a personal record in the invitational mile with a time of 4:06.97.

Following the two-day meet at Penn State, Keklak and White each received Big East Track Athletes of the Week recognitions in the women’s and men’s divisions, respectively.

Despite the individualistic nature of track and field events and the impressive personal times recorded last weekend, Smith said he believes both the men’s and women’s squads are running for the team rather than focusing on individual statistics and awards.

“I think we are on a mission and are concerned with putting Georgetown in the place it should be in national track and field. 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.”

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