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

TRACK & FIELD | Relays Feature Top-Tier Programs

The Georgetown track and field team will participate in the George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Va., this weekend. Teams from all over the Northeast will be competing for another opportunity to qualify for the NCAA regionals in May. Well over 30 universities and over 1,000 athletes from the East and Northeast of the country will attend the meet, making the George Mason Invitational a very competitive contest.

Director of Track and Field and Cross-Country Patrick Henner believes his team can rise to the challenge.

“It’s easy when it’s easy, but when it’s fast and it gets hard early, our athletes are prepared to deal with that,” Henner said. “You really have to commit to the race. When things are easy, there’s not as much of a commitment, so when things get hard you really have to commit. I think our athletes are really prepared to run fast, but they really have to commit to being uncomfortable and just sticking with it and staying committed to the race.”

On the women’s side, Henner looks to All-American senior Deseree King and graduate student Amanda Kimbers to put up fast times in the sprints.

“I think that Deseree King is ready to run a very good 400m, so that’s something I’m excited to watch and see her do that,” Henner said. “I think she’s very prepared to do that. Amanda Kimbers can bring her 100m times down.”

At last week’s Tiger Track Classic in Auburn, Ala., King placed seventh in the 400 meter hurdles with her season-best time of 1:00.87. Kimbers competed in the 100m and 200m dashes and finished in fifth place in both events. Both women are expected to perform well this weekend.

On the men’s side, Henner hopes that senior Hansel Akers and sophomore Mike Andre will step up and run well in their events. He also thinks some of the distance runs will find success in the competition.

“[Seniors] Mike Andre and Hansel Akers are ready to drop down and run some fast 400s,” Henner said. “I also think in the 800 and 1500 areas, we’re ready to run really well.”

Andre and Akers were both part of the men’s 4-x-400m relay that placed 11th last weekend at the Tiger Track Classic.

At the Colonial Relays, sophomore Ahmed Bile and freshmen Ryan Manahan and Amos Bartelsmeyer dominated the 800m run, placing second, fifth and sixth, respectively. They hope to continue their success this weekend. Junior Billy Ledder took 12th in the 1500m at the Colonial Relays and looks to improve on his time further.

The men’s biggest competition will be Cornell, who is currently ranked 21st in NCAA Division I men’s track and field. At last week’s Cardinal Invitational, Cornell performed well in the sprints and dominated the hurdles, but the Hoyas outperformed the Big Red in distance runs. As the two match up again this weekend against a different set of competitors, it will be interesting to see if the results change.

As for many of the long-distance runners who competed last week at the Cardinal Invitational, they will be awarded a much-needed rest weekend.

“A lot of the athletes that raced in the longer stuff in Stanford won’t be running at George Mason,” Henner said.

But this doesn’t mean they will not continue to train throughout the week.

“Most of those athletes will do a hard workout on Friday, the day before the meet,” Henner said. “So it’s not like they’re not going to train or do anything this week, but we have to keep in mind they’re coming off some hard, hard races so it’s going to take them longer than a week to recover. They’ll do a workout Friday then some will come out and watch the races on Saturday.”

The team continues to work toward its qualifying times for the NCAA regionals at the end of May. The top 48 athletes from each event will be selected from two regions — the East and West— and from there, the top 12 athletes from each will move on to the NCAA finals in June. The Hoyas have every chance of making the top 48, and the meet this weekend will provide them another opportunity to put up those qualifying times.

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