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

Women Take First Place

Another race, another win. The Georgetown women’s cross country team remained undefeated this past weekend as their depth trumped the 40-team field of the 6K White Race at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.

Lining up against a strong field that included seven other ranked teams, the No. 5 Hoyas put their top-five runners in the top-35, besting third-place No. 17 Stanford and runner-up No. 9 Colorado with a total of 100 points.

Leading the charge for the Blue and Gray was the tandem of sophomore Emily Jones and junior Emily Infeld who, after sticking with the team through the first 800 meters, moved up to the lead chase pack. Infeld and Jones found themselves among a tight group of 15 to 20 runners that was chasing down Toledo senior Ari Fisher, who had made a bold move early in the race.

After catching Fisher around the 4K mark, the pack dwindled to about 10 at the 5K mark, as Jones and Infeld hung tough while others fell off the pace. Then, with a little less than 1000m to go, Stony Brook junior Lucy Van Dalen made a decisive move, stringing out the pack as the pace quickened.

Van Dalen would go on to win, but Jones went with the top women and fought hard down the stretch to take fifth overall in 20:20.

“When you get to that point in the race all you can do is just, you know, give it everything you have,” Jones said. “I knew that everybody else on our team was doing the same thing. That always helps, to think about how much we all want it.”

Infeld, who was nursing a sore foot coming into the race, couldn’t go with Jones in the final 800m, but still finished 11th in 20:35.8.

Next for the Hoyas was the group of redshirt senior Renee Tomlin, freshman Madeline Chambers and sophomore Kirsten Kasper, who ran together for most of the race further back in the field. Tomlin led the group, putting them in the right position early on and moving up late in the race.

Running perhaps the best cross country race of her career at Georgetown, Tomlin went on to have a great last 1000m, closing hard to take 20th in 20:54.6.

“Renee ran incredibly tough, but most importantly she ran really smart,” Head Coach Chris Miltenberg said. “For her that was the performance we knew was coming [and] that she was capable of. A great sign of what’s to come.”

Chambers had the second-best finish by a true freshman in the race, coming in at 21:01, good for 29th overall. Kasper, building upon her breakout race at the Paul Short Invitational two weeks ago, finished 35th in 21:06.9.

A testament to the team’s depth, freshman Joanna Stevens and junior Katie McCafferty rounded out the Hoyas’ top seven, finishing 51st in 21:23 and 57th in 21:25, respectively. Both came in better than runner-up Colorado’s and fourth-place Stony Brook’s fifth runners.

For the Hoyas, it was a big win that all but secured them a bid at the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 22. Beating teams such as Colorado, Stanford, Minnesota and Michigan that figure to automatically advance to the meet will more than likely give the Hoyas enough points to secure an at-large bid.

Staying characteristically even-keeled, the Hoyas enjoyed the win but remained focused on their goal of being at their best for the NCAA National Championships.

“I just feel like our team has been working together so well this season, so to see results like that is really rewarding,” Jones said. “We’re not going to think too much about it, put it behind us and keep moving forward because we have a long way to go before the end of the season.”

One team to watch as they prepare for the postseason is Colorado, as the Buffaloes were one runner away from a great team race. They were also missing sophomore standout Allie McLaughlin, who finished fifth at the 2009 Championships.

On the men’s side the Hoyas had solid races across the board to finish sixth overall in the men’s 8K White Race.

No. 22 Georgetown toed the line with 35 other teams, including seven other ranked opponents. No. 16 Oklahoma didn’t have any runners in the top 10, but placed all five in the top-29 places to knock off No. 4 runner-up Colorado for the win. The Hoyas’ 211 points bested conference rival No. 28 Notre Dame who finished seventh with 225, as well as ranked opponents No. 24 Alabama who finished eighth, No. 21 Tulsa who finished 11th and No. 25 Minnesota who finished 12th.

Continuing his impressive season to date was senior Ayalew Taye, who led the way for the Hoyas, finishing 14th in 24:02. Taye put himself up in the main pack from the start, weathering a quick opening pace.

Taye hung with the pack until about the 5K mark, where he fell back some. Running by himself over much of the final portion of the race, Taye nearly caught the end of the pack down the final stretch.

For Taye, performing well on a course that had given him problems in the past was especially encouraging.

“I kept my form. I concentrated on not fading back. Picking it up, picking it up,” Taye said. “Overall I was happy with it. That course looks easy, but it’s a tough course. That really showed me that in a month I can be a lot better than that.”

Coming next for the Hoyas was the duo of redshirt junior T.C. Lumbar and redshirt freshman Andrew Springer, who finished within .1 seconds of each other to place 27th with a time of 24:16.5 and 28th in 24:16.6, respectively. For Lumbar it was another notch in what has been a successful season to date, while for Springer it was perhaps his best cross country race in a Hoya singlet.

Senior Alex Bean and redshirt freshman Bobby Peavey rounded out the scoring for the Hoyas, finishing 65th in 24:43 and 77th in 24:50, respectively. Freshman Tyler Anyan came in at 94th in 24:57, and sophomore Evan Bloomberg finished 108th in 25:06.

Also encouraging for the Hoyas was the performance of James Grimes in the open race, where the redshirt junior ran 24:47 for 5th place in his second race back from an IT-band injury.

Looking forward, the Hoyas will begin the championship series and the postseason in two weeks when they travel to Syracuse for the Big East Championships.

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