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

Bumbalough, Hoyas Race to Third Straight First-Place Finish

Georgetown’s men’s cross country team has competed in three meets thus far this season, winning both the individual and team titles all three times. This past weekend at a particularly wet and sloppy Princeton course for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, no amount of mud could slow the Hoyas from duplicating the task once more as senior Andrew Bumbalough led the Blue and Gray in easily capturing the team title.

Despite a narrow course that was particularly hard to navigate as a result of heavy rains, the Hoyas established themselves early on in the race. Redshirt juniors Bumbalough and Levi Miller, sophomore Ayalew Taye and senior Justin Scheid were all in the lead pack.

Bumbalough and Miller would stay up front for the entirety of the race, not separating until a decisive last 400 meters, when the top three spots were decided by fewer than two seconds.

uch like two weeks ago when he out-kicked Notre Dame senior Patrick Smyth, Bumbalough made a move from 400 meters out to try and pull away. Yet Villanova sophomore Hugo Beamish went with the all-American, challenging until the final 150 meters, where Bumbalough hit a higher gear and streaked to the finish to take the individual championship in 31:36.

iller, who closed hard on the duo over the same stretch, ran out of real estate and finished third in 31:38. Taye, who fell a little behind Bumbalough and Miller with about a mile to go, held on and finished a solid fifth in 31:51. Taye has had solid performances in back-to-back meets.

“He’s always been an outstanding runner, and we always knew he could develop into a front-runner kind of guy, but I think the biggest thing he’s done this year is followed and executed the race plan,” Head Coach Pat Henner said.

Redshirt junior Mike Krisch and graduate student Mike Banks rounded out the top five for the Hoyas, placing seventh and 11th, respectively. Krisch, who was nursing a tender hamstring after the Big East races, suffered no ill effects during the race and should be set for a full week of practice before Nationals next weekend. Banks also provided a bright spot, moving up five places over the last 1,000 meters.

With the Hoyas dominating the meet in recent years, the Mid-Atlantic regional has served as a nice stepping stone towards the national meet. Since the race distance shifts from 8K to 10K during the regional and national meets, the team was careful to do what it needed while not over-extending themselves in preparation for nationals next Monday.

“It’s a fine balancing act. … You don’t want to be so lackadaisical that they’re not ready to go out there and be uncomfortable but you don’t want to get overly hyped either because you have to run and get recovered for NCAA meet. So we just wanted to go out and take care of business,” Henner said.

While it came as no surprise that the ninth-ranked Hoyas won, Georgetown made quite a statement for the program by scoring only 27 points to win its fifth team title in a row.

“That’s definitely a good confidence builder to [have runners finish] 1, 3, 5, 7, 11. That makes a statement, and I think that to do that with a little less intensity than we had at Big Easts is a good step forward,” Bumbalough said.

Since most teams practiced on the muddy course the previous day and the women raced on it earlier in the morning, the men’s cross country teams were forced to deal with poor conditions; the course slowed times by as much as 90 seconds. According to Miller, these tough conditions may have even favored the Hoyas.

“In a race like that it just comes down to being where you need to be and just staying tough. I think that’s why we did so well is because we’re just a really tough group of guys, and we knew that conditions were going to make it a lot harder. So I think it definitely worked to our advantage,” Miller said.

Women Earn At-Large Bid

The 13th-ranked women also did what they needed, placing fourth behind fourth-ranked Princeton, fifth-ranked Villanova and sixth-ranked West Virginia, securing an at-large berth to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. As the weekend progressed it became certain that the Hoyas would be awarded one of the at-large bids, as they received points for beating eight teams, all of which qualified for the national championships throughout the season.

At Princeton it was graduate student Liz Maloy who led the Hoyas, placing eighth in 21:44. Since the regional meet was only a qualifying meet, Maloy, who generally takes longer to recover from hard efforts, opted not to go out with top pack and found herself alone between packs after the first 800 meters. However, she remained composed, let the second pack come back to her and held on for a solid performance. Maloy admitted that there was little on the line for the pack she was to race with next week.

“It’s kind of hard going into a race where you pretty much know that you don’t really have a shot at winning, because Princeton and West Virginia are just head and shoulders above everyone in our region right now. All we had to do was go out there and just run solid and we were going [to Nationals], and that’s exactly what we did,” explained Maloy.

Even still, the Hoyas performed well as a team overall, placing their entire top seven in the top 30, something that none of the top three teams did.

“The more I’ve looked over things since the race ended and how we matched up against some people I thought we ran really, really well, even better than I initially first thought,” Women’s Head Coach Chris Miltenberg said.

Behind Maloy was freshman Emily Infeld who significantly moved her way up in the field during the second half of the race, finishing 14th in 22:08. Senior Natasha LaBeaud was right behind Infeld finishing 16th in 22:09.

As the women prepare for nationals next Monday in Terre Haute, Ind., they look to come out from underneath the shadow of a tough conference and region and shock the field. On the men’s side the Hoyas look poised to make waves while facing a far more competitive field than at any meet thus far.

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