Against four of the top schools on the East Coast, the 25th-ranked Georgetown women’s track and field team placed third at the Virginia Tech Challenge last weekend in Blacksburg, Va. The Hoyas (81 points) defeated William & Mary (77) and Virginia Tech (68) but lost to No. 23 North Carolina (181) and No. 21 Georgia (137).

Senior sprinter Sasha Spencer won the 400-meter run in 54.32 seconds, 0.29 seconds better than her previous mark of 54.61 and the fourth-best time in the nation. Spencer is a favorite in the 400-meters at the NCAA Championships in March.

“Sasha is very focused and composed in her approach,” said Ron Helmer, Georgetown’s director of both track and field and cross country. “She’s running faster than she ever has indoors, and there is no doubt in my mind that we’re going to see some special things happen.”

Spencer led three top finishers in the 400-meters. Junior Tyrona Heath (56.89) placed fifth to qualify for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, while freshman Dionna Jordan (60.22) placed 10th.

The Hoyas also performed well in the 800-meter run. Senior Nickay Penado (2:09.85) finished second, sophomore Jill Laurendeau (2:10.45) placed third and senior Heather Blackard (2:12.42) secured fourth. Penado, Laurendeau and Blackard’s performances all met ECAC Championship standards.

In the mile run, sophomore Marni Kruppa (4:59.21) placed third, freshmen Colleen Kelly (5:00.11) and Amanda Pape (5:03.98) finished fifth and eighth. Each qualified for the ECAC championships.

Junior Brionne Dawson won the triple jump (39 feet 10.5 inches) and placed fourth in the long jump (18 feet 6 inches).

Sophomore Emilie Mitescu cleared 10 feet in the pole vault to finish seventh in the event.

Other top 10 performers included freshman Kori Hamilton in the 200-meter dash; senior Emily Dent and sophomore Emily Reaman in the 3,000-meter run and freshman Treniere Clement and sophomore Carly Nuzbach in the mile run.

The 4×400 and distance medley relay teams both finished second.

While the women were busy in Virginia, the Georgetown men’s track and field team competed against Notre Dame in Indiana.

Three Hoyas gained status as provisional qualifiers for next month’s NCAA championships. Senior All-American David Rodriguez (14:14.28) qualified in the 5,000-meter run, finishing sixth and setting a personal best. Junior Chris Miltenberg (4:02) qualified by winning the mile run and senior Isidro Pimentel (4:04.82) qualified by finishing second in the event.

Sophomore James Graham (47.97) won the 400-meter final, senior Nick Reynolds (48.73) took fifth and junior Jeff Reinhardt (48.72) finished sixth.

Reinhardt, Reynolds, Graham and sophomore Robert Wingate-Robinson won the 4x 400-meter relay in 3:12.25, just short of qualifying for the NCAA championships but good enough to meet IC4A standards.

Other strong performances included Wingate-Robinson’s third-place finish in the 200-meter dash, sophomore Mike Smith’s sixth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run and graduate student Sean Flynn’s second-place toss in the 35-lb. weight throw.

The women’s team will compete at Penn State and Arkansas this week, while the men are off until the Big East Championships on Feb. 17.

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