The Georgetown men’s and women’s track teams travelled to Geneva, Ohio, on Feb. 22, competing in the two-day Big East indoor track and field championships. The men’s team fared better than the women’s with 114 points and a third place finish. The women came in sixth with 54 points.
On the first day, the Hoyas performed strongly in multiple preliminary heats, gaining 16 spots in the finals on the men’s side and 10 spots on the women’s. The finals of the distance medley relay and the men’s 5,000 meter run also took place Feb. 22. The men’s team took second place in the distance medley relay thanks to the hard running of junior Jack Salisbury, freshman Ethan Delgado, freshman Maazin Ahmed and junior Jack Van Scoter. Junior Matthew Bouthillette also gained points for the Blue and Gray, coming in seventh place in the 5,000m run with a time of 14:37.53.
The men’s team finished strong on the next day, especially sophomore Lawrence Leake, who earned three Big East titles and was named men’s high point track performer of the meet, gaining 22.5 points. Leake earned first place in the 400m dash with a personal best of 47.48, along with another first-place victory in the 200m dash, with yet another personal best of 21.67.
Leake’s performances throughout the day were more than impressive, according to track and field Assistant Coach Brandon Bonsey who thought he could have been named outstanding track athlete of the meet.
“Lawrence had an absolutely incredible meet. He scored the most points of anyone,” Bonsey said. “Obviously the points were huge for the team, but I think he [also] set a great example of how to compete in a championship meet and how to handle running multiple races.”
Leake completed his trio of victories by finishing first in the 4x400m relay, along with teammates sophomore Kino Cheltenham, sophomore Ruach Padhal and Delgado.
Bonsey also praised Leake’s performance, especially as an underclassman.
“[Leake] was really tired anchoring our 4×4 in that last event, but he got the stick in the lead. The first three guys put him in a good situation and then he brought us home. He was absolutely incredible and it’s exciting to have someone who is just a sophomore be able to win three events at the conference meet,” Bonsey said.
The men’s team had scorers in every event that it competed in, including Padhal coming in first place in the 800m run and senior Nick Wareham finishing second in the mile event. The Hoyas also took the top three spots in the 200m dash, with Leake, freshman D’Andre Barriffe and sophomore Nate Alleyne coming in first, second and third, respectively.
The energy of taking the three top spots carried the team forward, according to Bonsey.
“I know those three guys, Lawrence, D’Andre, and Nate, were all really fired up to beat Villanova. I think that specific race got the whole team really excited and that momentum carried over to the 4×4,” Bonsey said.
The women’s team gained sixth place overall with the help of graduate student Taylor Williams, who ran her last race as a Hoya in the 60m dash, finishing in third place with a time of 7.62.
“We are so grateful for all the contributions that Taylor Williams made to our program over the last two years. She came in and was a strong leader and garnered a few Big East titles while she was here on the Hilltop,” Director of Track and Field Julie Culley said.
Five underclassmen continued the trend of showcasing Georgetown’s young talent in two events for the women. The women’s 4x800m relay consisted of freshmen Sami Corman, Rachel Sessa and Katherine Modrall, along with sophomore Olivia Arizin, working together to finish in second place. Freshman Eni Akinniyi also gained points for the Blue and Gray, finishing third in the triple jump.
Culley discussed the future of jumping events in the Georgetown program.
“Georgetown has historically had great NCAA level horizontal jumpers and we are recruiting athletes of her caliber to join Eni and rebuild our strength in the jumps,” Culley said.
Following their Big East championship performances, the teams traveled to Boston and competed in the IC4A/ECAC Championships on March 3.
The men’s team put on an impressive championship performance in the 4x800m relay, with Ethan Delgado, freshman Ian Delgado, fifth-year senior Brennan Munley and junior Joshua Bell working together to finish in first place with a time of 7:27.69. Barriffe moved onto the men’s 200m dash finals with a preliminary time of 21.80 and ultimately finished 11th overall in the finals. As for the women, sophomore Lexi Del Gizzo ran a personal best in the 800m preliminary race with a time of 2:10.73.
The following weekend, select members of the men’s team travelled to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to compete in the 2019 NCAA indoor track and field championships on Friday, March 8. The Hoyas made adjustments to their distance medley relay team from the one that competed in the Big East championships. This time Salisbury, Leake, Padhal and Wareham lined up on the track. They finished in third place overall with a season-best time of 9:33.06. Wareham, who ran the last leg for Georgetown, showed strong play, moving up six spots within the final stretch to finish closely behind Notre Dame and Stanford.
With the conclusion of the indoor season, the Hoyas will now prepare for the Penn Challenge on Saturday, March 23, in Philadelphia, where they will open their outdoor track and field season.