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

TRACK & FIELD | Younger Hoyas Handed Keys for Colonial Relays

After travelling to northern California last weekend for a meet at Stanford, Georgetown track and field will be a bit closer to home this weekend, competing at the 48th Annual Colonial Relays, hosted by William & Mary.

The Colonial Relays are a weekend-long early-season meet where teams traditionally gauge their progress from the indoor to the outdoor season. Among the 40-team University Division will be several of Georgetown’s Big East rivals, notably Villanova and its talented corps of middle-distance runners on both the men’s and women’s sides. Strong nonconference competitors include the Sooners of Oklahoma, who are ranked No. 15 in the nation for men and No. 23 for women.

“This is still really early in the season for us, and so the meet this weekend should really sharpen us up to compete in the weeks ahead,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Patrick Henner said.

Georgetown’s game plan for this meet, Henner explained, is geared toward giving younger athletes a shot in individual events and having veterans run relay legs or non-specialty events.

On the men’s side, senior All-American Andrew Springer will run a relay leg, after coming off a standout 13:46 5000-meter performance at the Stanford Invitational.  The goal is to keep Springer sharp for the weeks ahead but not overtax him early, as the season stretches for another two months.

Freshman sprinters headline the group of younger runners who will be getting the nod this weekend, with standout rookies Mike Andre and Devante Washington leading the way.

“Our freshman class is one of the best in the country, and they have a lot of potential. You’ve got guys like Andre and Washington on the short end, and then Ahmed Bile in the longer sprints or middle distance events — all of whom I’m pretty excited about,” Henner said.

The women’s side is following more or less the same strategy as the men’s, with Henner looking to give his top older athletes a slight rest going into the next few weeks of competition.

Junior Jenna Davidner is slated to lead the charge for the Hoyas in the long-distance events. Alongside freshman Sarah Cotton, Davidner will be running the 5000m, which currently has a projected field of 75 competitors spread into two sections.

That massive number could lead to an exciting race that is won tactically, Henner said, with competitors trying to draft for long stretches in order to put themselves in contention for the last 400m.

One exception to the aforementioned general meet strategy for the Blue and Gray is senior All-American Tenille Stoudenmire, who will be racing in the 200m dash. Stoudenmire, a former Big East champion in the 1600m relay and the distance medley relay, is one of the most experienced athletes in the 200m field at the Colonial Relays. As a result, Henner and Co. will be looking for her to post some quick times, and a medal spot is well within the realm of possibility.

With two major meets at George Mason and  Princeton on the horizon, the Colonial Relays will represent a large contrast: While Georgetown’s lesser-known talent may take center stage this weekend, some of the bigger names will be out to take their places in the weeks to come.

“Hopefully, we can get a few Big East qualifying times out of this meet and our athletes can get exposed to some good competition,” Henner said. “It is still pretty early in the season.”

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