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

GU Wins 6th-Straight Mid-Atlantic Title

For the second time in two races, a soggy, muddy course stood between Georgetown’s men’s cross country team and their hopes of bringing a title home. At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships this past weekend, the Hoyas executed their race plan to near perfection to overcome the rough conditions and win the Mid-Atlantic Region for the sixth year in a row.

Even before the starting gun went off, the nasty course had an effect on the Hoyas’ race plan. Knowing that his runners would have to pass over a dangerous ditch crossing twice in the first two miles of the race, Head Coach Pat Henner instructed his team to go out hard in the first 1,000 meters, controlling the tempo of the race so that they could pick their footing around the treacherous spot.

The team did just that, putting a pack of Blue and Gray out in front of the field early on. Led by red-shirt seniors Andrew Bumbalough and Mike Krisch, the Hoyas then slowed the pace down, conserving their efforts as the all-important NCAA Championships loom large this upcoming weekend.

Over the last two kilometers of the 10K course, Bumbalough and Krisch slowly pulled away from the rest of the field.

“I just decided that I was going to go ahead and string it out and make a move on that footing,” Bumbalough said. “The last 800 [meters] was really muddy, but I just distanced myself enough to be ahead.”

Bumbalough’s decision proved to be wise; while coming up on the final turn, the poorly marked course tripped up both he and Krisch as they hesitated on where exactly to turn. After realizing the course made a sharp turn to the right, Bumbalough had just enough space to hold off hard-charging red-shirt freshman Mathew Mildenhall of Villanova.

As he crossed the finish line, Bumbalough became the first in Georgetown history to win consecutive regional individual championships, finishing third behind Mildenhall in 31:42.3.

Red-shirt freshman Mark Dennin was next for the Hoyas, further adding to his breakout season with a fifth-place finish in 31:55.1.

Even with the highlight of three Hoyas finishing in the top 5, Henner was most impressed with the team’s fourth and fifth runners, the one area of the team that has been a concern for the No. 14 Hoyas this season.

“Levi Miller [who finished ninth overall in 32:03.4] and James Grimes [who finished 20th in 32:39.3] really stepped it up for us this weekend,” Henner said. “If I’m giving my MVPs for the race it would be [to] those two.”

The performance was encouraging from Miller, who has struggled so far this season, but looks to be regaining his form just in time for Nationals.

Grimes’ effort was perhaps the most impressive as he took a hard fall midway through the race. Running with the leaders after the first 1500 meters, Grimes got tangled up with another runner and took a spill at a road crossing at the 6K mark.

“It shook me a little bit, but it was just instinct; I got back up as quickly as possible, shook it off and kept going,” Grimes said.

Grimes continued to run strong throughout the rest of the race and finished 20th to seal the win for the Blue and Gray, who beat runner up Villanova by a score of 38 to 48 to automatically qualify for Nationals.

“It says something special,” Henner said. “There’s not many schools in the country that can say they’ve been to the NCAA meet 10 of 11 years in a row, [or won] the region six years in a row. . I think it’s an accomplishment we all should be pretty proud about.”

On the women’s side, the Hoyas were competing in the deepest region in the country. Placing fifth overall, the Blue and Gray notched a number of encouraging performances.

Sophomore Emily Infeld led the Hoyas once again, putting herself up with the leaders from the get-go, much like she did at the Big East championships two weeks ago. Throughout most of the race, Infeld stayed close to Villanova sophomore Sheila Reid and junior Amanda Marino, two of the top runners in the country.

It was only with about 600 meters to go that Reid and Marino pulled away, and Infeld held strong to finish third in 20:32, significantly closer to Reid’s winning time of 20:23 than two weeks ago.

“I think with Emily, the times show she’s going in the right direction on this, and I think a big part of that is her realizing that she can run with them and maybe even beat them,” Head Coach Chris Miltenberg said.

Finishing second for the Hoyas was red-shirt senior Natasha LaBeaud who, despite struggling with health issues in the week leading up to the race, put together her best performance, moving up from 30th at the mile mark to finish 16th overall in 21:21.

“She just ran like a total fifth-year senior. Composed, confident, [she] worked her way up through the pack very intelligently, very smoothly,” Miltenberg said. “She just showed why you bring back seniors.”

Freshman Emily Jones finished in 22nd place and third for Georgetown. Kristen Kasper, Jones’ classmate, ran yet another solid race and continues to improve, finishing 25th overall in 21:52. With the Hoyas missing sophomore Katie McCafferty due to the start of a stress fracture in her heel, senior Marcie Sobrinski, stepped up big for the Hoyas in her first regional championship, rounding out the top five by finishing 34th in 22:31.

Overall the No. 12 Hoyas fell just short to No. 11 Penn State, who finished fourth by a score of 98 to 100.

“Saturday really was encouraging, it’s been an odyssey of a season with a couple of injuries and a lot of unexpected bumps in the road,” Miltenberg said.

Since the fifth-place finish was not enough to earn the Hoyas an automatic bid to the championships, they had to wait until the NCAA announced its at-large bids for the NCAA Championships to find out that they had earned an invite.

Having qualified both teams, the men and the women will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., and look to repeat their performances from a year ago, where both finished in the top 10. “

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