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

Cross-Country | GU Looks to Stay Hot in Terre Haute

Georgetown’s cross-country teams will head to the Indiana State Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., this weekend to race against some of top-ranked teams in the nation. The women’s team will look to finish in first place for its second straight year while the men’s team hopes to build on its team-oriented running style while adding to its young squad’s experience on the course.

Unlike the earlier meets of the season, almost all the top runners for the Hoyas are expected to race. Many of them were able to take a three-week long break from competitive running prior to pre-nationals, giving them time to rest and train for their biggest meet of the season thus far.

“With the schedule we have, it’s not often that we’d go three weeks in the middle of the season without racing,” Men’s Distance Coach Brandon Bonsey said. “I couldn’t have asked for better training these last three weeks. The guys are fit and really ready to go for this weekend.”

Competing in Terre Haute will give the Hoyas the opportunity to race on the same course that will be used for the NCAA championships in November.
The No. 4 women’s team, which rose one place in the national rankings in the past week, will aim to finish in first place for the second straight year at the pre-nationals meet. The Hoyas will face off against three teams that are nationally ranked in the top 10, including No. 1 University of Michigan.

“[Michigan and No. 3 University of Oregon] are really good competition heading into it, but we’re going to definitely try and win the meet,” Women’s Cross-Country Head Coach Michael Smith said. “We really need to target those athletes in the teams that we’re trying to beat and turn it into individual races.”

Most of the runners for the women’s team have previous experience on this course. Of the seven runners who competed in the team race at pre-nationals last October, five Hoyas will make their return appearances at Indiana State.

“It definitely helps, just getting a feel of where you are on the course at different points,” said senior All-American Katrina Coogan, who finished in second place for the Hoyas at pre-nationals last year. “It’s not a surprise when you get into the race, and you know how to handle [the course].”

The Hoyas hope to continue the success and teamwork they have established within their team. The top five female runners for the Hoyas at last year’s pre-nationals finished within 12 seconds of each other, an accomplishment that the women’s team celebrated and hopes to repeat this year.

“Last year at [pre-nationals], that was one of the races where we felt like we really came together as a team when we were racing for each other and together,” Coogan said. “We have really positive memories on this course so I think going back there will bring those [memories] back.”

While the women’s team boasts several runners who have experience with the course in Terre Haute, the men’s team will look to get its runners acclimated to the course for the first time.

The reason for this inexperience with the Terra Haute course is that instead of competing at the pre-nationals meet last year, the men’s team competed at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.

“We’ve got this young team — we’ve only got one guy on our team who’s ever even run in Terre Haute, where the NCAAs [are],” Bonsey said. “We decided that we need to switch it up and have the guys go on the national course before the NCAA meet.”

Although the men’s team will include its top runners that have not raced in meets this season, including graduate student Brian King, senior Collin Leibold will not be competing for the Hoyas. Leibold, who is resting with a sore foot, finished in second place for the Hoyas at the Wisconsin meet last year.
“Collin’s training well, but we’re just going to wait until the Big East [championships] to race him,” Bonsey said.

Georgetown has emphasized the importance of running as team over its first three meets of the season. They look forward to continuing their team-first approach to cross-country, anticipating that positive results will follow.

“We’re really focused on running as a team,” said sophomore Scott Carpenter, who has been one of the leading runners for the Hoyas this season. “We want to work with each other, work off of each other and feed off of each other and hopefully finish together, too.”

Both teams are scheduled to begin racing on Saturday morning. The women’s 6-kilometer race will start at 11 a.m., followed by the men’s 8 -kilometer race at 11:35 a.m.

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