Georgetown may not have a serviceable track on campus, but that hasn’t discouraged Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner. This Friday, the Georgetown track and field team gets as close as it can to a home meet when it plays host to the second annual Hoya Spiked Shoe Club Invitational at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md.

The invitational is the second in the young indoor track season. Two weeks ago, the Hoyas competed well at George Mason to kick off the year.

“Coming off of Christmas break, I thought it was pretty solid, and we did some pretty good things,”Henner said.

Athletes are getting back in shape after the long layoff over winter break, with many still recovering from a strenuous cross country season that culminated with the women’s first national championship and a 17th place finish for the men.

“We’re still trying to get some guys back in shape and ready to compete,” Henner said. “Some of our better athletes are coming off of cross country season and we didn’t want them to start competing [too early].”

At this point, therefore, the Hoyas are more concerned with qualifying athletes for the Big East Championship in mid-February than winning the event.

“We want to get to a point where we can knock out some more Big East qualifiers,” Henner said.

But knowing that the season is long, Henner is also hoping to see forward progress in both training and competition. If that happens, qualifying times will follow.

“Really, we just want really good competitive efforts. We’re not worried about running times not worried about running times or qualifiers just yet,” Henner said. “It becomes a great-quality workout, too.”

To that end, Henner is being particularly cautious with injuries, though none on the team are serious.

“The biggest thing right now is that we’ve got quite a few sprinters [that] are banged up, and we’ve got to get them healthy,” Henner said. “They have the potential to score a lot of points for us, but the people who are healthy and training are in great shape.”

Junior Amanda Kimbers, who won both the 60- and 200-meter dashes at George Mason, will sit out this weekend. Joining her on the bench from the men’s side is junior Justin Crawford, who finished second in the 60m dash in the same event. Freshmen sprinters Cornelius Savage and Tyler Smith will also sit this week.

But those who are competing will certainly appreciate the short trip to Bethesda.

“It’s nice to have a meet right here,” Henner said. “It’s a nice thing. … Our student-athletes get to enjoy having something close, which keeps our athletes fresher.”

That freshness will come in handy for the Hoyas, who are set to travel to State College, Pa., for the highly-competitive Penn State National Invitational on Jan. 27.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*