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

Despite Three All-Americans, Georgetown Disappoints

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Redshirt senior Andrew Bumbalough used a strong finish in the men’s 10K to place eighth overall, but the men finished 22nd and the women 21st at the NCAA championships.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – For Georgetown’s top runners on the men’s and women’s cross country teams, the NCAA Cross Country National Championships proved to be a bittersweet ending to the season.

Redshirt seniors Andrew Bumbalough and Mike Krisch and sophomore Emily Infeld turned in some of the best individual performances in recent years and all returned to the Hilltop as All-Americans. Yet, with the men finishing 22nd and the women finishing 21st in the team standings, there was also a sense of disappointment.

In the men’s 10K race, Bumbalough, who finished 13th a year ago and had been running strong all season, positioned himself well from the start, sitting in the main chase pack behind the leaders. While a few runners broke from the pack to try to catch the leaders, Bumbalough was content to stick with the pack, fluctuating somewhere between 15th and 20th place for most of the race.

“I had no intention of making any drastic move in the first 8K of the race,” Bumbalough said. “If I was going to make a move it was going to be in the last 2K.”

Late in the race, Bumbalough did indeed start to move, as he put himself at the front of the pack and watched those few individuals that broke away earlier return to the group. Finally, Bumbalough and a few others came out of the final portion of the course having separated themselves entirely from the pack. Fighting down the final stretch, Bumbalough fell just short of redshirt senior Brandon Bethke of Arizona State, but still crossed the line in 29:40. It was good enough for eighth place overall – the fifth-best Nationals finish in Georgetown history – and a place on the awards podium.

“[It was] great to look out and see my family, my friends, my coach, my teammates that have supported me through these five years and made it possible for me to get to this point,” Bumbalough said.

Krisch’s route to All-American status was less tactical and more about guts. The redshirt senior kept himself around 35th place right from the gun, going out in an aggressive 14:51 for 5K. He simply held onto his position from then on to finish 33rd overall in 30:19.

For Krisch, who has struggled with injuries in past cross country seasons, it was a relief to finish strong where it counted most.

“Being healthy for an entire season has been the greatest thing,” he said. “I’ve loved being able to put it all out there. All-American is just added benefits.”

After Krisch, however, the Hoyas struggled. Redshirt senior Levi Miller, who had an All-American 35th-place finish a year ago, went out harder than he would have liked and faded over the second half of the course to finish 110th. Fellow redshirt senior Mike Banks had a disappointing second half of the race as well, finishing 172nd. Redshirt sophomore James Grimes only finished 168th.

“We started going backwards by the 5K and when you start doing that, it’s tough to run well. … Then it got pretty ugly,” Head Coach Pat Henner said.

Perhaps the biggest blow to the Hoyas was redshirt freshman Mark Dennin’s collapse. Dennin, who had run consistently all fall, was in great position at the 5K, only a few places behind Krisch. However, his body shut down over the last 5K due to dehydration and overexertion. Noticeably dazed, he fell twice and staggered to 188th place, requiring two IVs in the medical tent immediately after the race.

All in all, it was a disappointing end for an experienced squad that had entered the season with high hopes.

“It’s definitely unfortunate,” Krisch said. “We were all jacked [for the race]. This definitely was the year that we had all the talent in position, but sometimes things just don’t happen.”

“I thought we were capable of finishing fifth or sixth. I think we definitely should have been top 12 or 13 no matter what,” Henner said. “I’m disappointed for them to go out on a note like this.”

For the women, Infeld’s performance was the sole highlight, as she notched the second-best Nationals finish in school history, shocking the field and even herself with an eighth place finish in 20:08. Much like Bumbalough, Infeld, who finished 60th here a year ago, put herself in the chase pack from the start. Slowly working her way through the pack over the 6K course, Infeld was astonished to find herself battling for a top-10 position down the final straightaway.

“I feel like I put in a lot of work this season [but] I still didn’t think I could do that well,” she said. “The feeling you get when you cross the finish line is just awesome. … It was a great end to the season.”

Her coaching staff shared the same enthusiasm for her performance.

“As people started to fall off she got fired up and aggressive and pulled away from a few more in the last mile which was very exciting,” Assistant Coach Chris Miltenberg said.

Next for the Hoyas was redshirt senior Natasha LaBeaud, who overcame a host of health problems this semester and still managed to have a solid race, finishing 62nd in 21:10. While LaBeaud was a little off her goal of finishing an All-American, she finished the race with no regrets.

“I’m not going to play the `woulda, coulda, shoulda’ game,” she said. “Today that was what I had, that’s what I gave and that’s it.”

Rounding out the scoring for Georgetown was the trio of freshmen that the Hoyas have relied on all fall due to a number of injuries to upperclassmen. The group took its respective inaugural Nationals lumps as they lined up against the largest and deepest field of their young careers. Emily Jones went out a little too hard and struggled to move up, finishing 82nd in 21:17. Kirsten Kasper, on the other hand, started too far back and could only finish 152nd in 21:57, while Rachael Schneider placed 191st in 22:36.

“For all three of them it was a learning experience,” Miltenberg said. “They were thrust into a situation that is really hard for freshmen. But I think it’s going to be really helpful for the future.”

Overall, it was a disappointing end to an up-and-down season for the Hoyas, who endured a host of injuries and lined up an extremely young squad at most meets this fall.

“[There were] a lot of unexpected turns over the course of the season, and some things were just some bad luck,” Miltenberg said. “Certainly, at Georgetown, we are never going to be happy with finishing 21st at the NCAAs. Even with who we lined up I think we were capable of more than that today. … [But] overall I’m still really proud of them; they handled a lot of adversity.”

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