Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Finish One, Two at Virginia

This past weekend Georgetown women’s cross country team took another strong step forward in its young season when they took home the team title at the Brooks Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University. Backing up their recent jump to sixth in the national rankings, the Hoyas made quick work of the 41-team field, posting an extremely low score of 34 points to runner-up 16th-ranked University of Virginia’s 98 points.


The Hoyas put themselves among the leaders with an aggressive start to the race and stuck together as a pack through the 3K mark. From there, however, the pack began to disperse over the last hilly portion of the course.




Junior Emily Infeld, making her return after redshirting the outdoor track season, didn’t miss a beat from where she left off in her impressive sophomore campaign, finishing first overall with a time of 20:04. Infeld started to chase down Colgate junior Elise DeRoo at the 4K mark, catching her with about 1,000 meters to go and then pulling away over the final portion of the course for her first cross country win at Georgetown.




“I just tried to continually pick it up. I kind of just tried to get through those uphills, and then once I hit the downhill I tried to pick it up and made a surge so I could catch up with [DeRoo],” Infeld said.


Sophomore Emily Jones was not far behind, building upon her impressive race last week to finish fourth at 20:20. Jones held tough over the last 2K of the race as the pack began to string out.




Next for the Hoyas came the trio of freshman Maddie Chambers, sophomore Kirsten Kasper, and redshirt senior Renee Tomlin, who all ran together up to the final 800 meters. Building upon her strong collegiate debut at Penn State, Chambers fought tough down the stretch with University of Virginia’s sophomore Barbara Strehler and senior Stephanie Garcia. Chambers bested Garcia to finish sixth overall in 20:27.




“She really attacked at the finish agressively, and if she keeps doing that she’s going to surprise a lot of people at the national level,” women’s Head Coach Chris Miltenberg (MSB ’03) said.




Kasper had a breakthrough effort, pushing herself through the middle portion of the race where she has had a tendency to relax the pace in her young career at Georgetown. The effort put her in position to compete over the last 1000 meters and finish 11th at 20:37.




“Of all the people out there, [Kasper] was the one out there who needed the breakthrough that she had on Friday the most,” Miltenberg said. “She was esctatic, and I was estatic because she just needed to do it that one time.”




Despite not having her signature kick after pushing a little hard in the middle 2K of the race, Tomlin was right behind Kasper, rounding out the top five for the Hoyas with a 12th-place finish at 20:40. Junior Katie McCafferty also continued to improve, moving up in the field throughout the race to finish with a time of 20:54 that was good enough for 14th place.




The only low spot was the fact that minor illnesses affected the performances of freshman Joanna Stevens and sophomore Rachel Schneider – two of the Hoyas’ top contributors. Stevens, a highly touted recruit from Blacksburg, Va., raced hard but was far from her best, finishing 17th in 20:58 in her collegiate debut. Seeing that she was struggling, Miltenberg pulled Schneider out of the race a little after the mile mark.




After having their top-seven runners finish within 54 seconds of each other and all place in the top 17, the Hoyas look poised to make some noise on the national level as they move into their bigger meets with pre-nationals coming in two weeks.




“What’s exciting about this team is that [in] our top seven or eight on any given day the order can continue to shuffle, and I think that’s going to keep happening probably every weekend out there,” Miltenberg said. “That’s what makes us good, and that’s exciting.”




On the men’s side the Hoyas put together a solid effort to finish runner up to the University of Virginia.




Up front the Hoyas raced well, with senior Ayalew Taye pacing the Hoyas with a fourth-place finish at 23:54. Taye, who has struggled with injuries and inconsistent racing throughout his career here, has stepped seemlessly into his leadership role this season. Going with a pack of Richmond and UVA runners at the 5K mark, Taye cemented his spot in the top five among some very talented individuals including last year’s NCAA individual champion, Liberty senior Sam Chelanga, who ran away with the race.




“[Taye] did a great job. He was supposed to get out and run with the top five, and he did just that,” Head Coach Pat Henner said. “He hung tough through the tough part of the course. The guys that beat him are all great athletes. I was really pleased with his race.”




“With 1000 meters to go I knew that I could be in the top five so I stayed composed,” Taye said. “Overall I felt good … It’s kind of motivating for me to lead the team.”




Redshirt junior TC Lumbar also ran strong, following the plan for him to slowly work his way up through the field. At the two-mile mark, Lumbar was sitting around 25th place, and with a mile to go he had moved up to around 20th. Yet over the last mile, Lumbar really came on strong, picking off a number of competitors to finish 13th at 24:12.




Another bright note was freshman Tyler Anyan’s performance. He bounced back from a disappointing debut to place 33rd at 24:40.




“Tyler had a much better race than Penn State. We still think he’s capable of doing more, but that was a big improvement for him,” Henner said.

After that, the Blue and Gray struggled somewhat with senior Alex Bean falling back in the pack and having to work hard to climb his way back to 31st place at 24:39. Redshirt freshman Andrew Springer had trouble early in the race and never got back on track, finishing 68th at 25:03. Henner noted that both Bean and Springer had the ability to place much higher than they could have.




“We’ve just got to establish a baseline of saying, `Hey, no matter what you can finish in a certain range,’ and on a great day you’re going to finish on the higher end of the range, on a mediocre day on the lower. But there’s no such thing as a bad day,” Henner said.




Georgetown was also quite banged up with a number of Hoyas held out due to injury or illness. The biggest name of that group, redshirt sophomore Mark Dennin is coming off of surgery and could be ready by regionals. Redshirt freshmen Ben Furcht, Dylan Sorenson, and Bobby Peavey all could be back for pre-nationals in two weeks. Redshirt sophomore Will Ahearn and redshirt junior James Grimes, who had his first race back from an IT-band injury at Lehigh could also contribute.




The inexperienced Hoyas will have two weeks to continue training for their first big meet of the season when they travel to Terre Haute for pre-nationals.


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