Georgetown’s track and field team continued to build upon its strong record at the Bryan Clay Invitational, held April 15 at Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa, Calif. The meet is renowned in the track and field world, as it attracts top NCAA and professional runners who compete in traditionally fast conditions.
The Hoyas sent 10 athletes to compete in the 1500-meter run, their only event of the invitational. The athletes looked to post fast times to qualify for the postseason.
Graduate Andrea Claeson, graduate Sami Corman, junior Chloe Gonzalez, graduate Grace Jensen, sophomore Melissa Riggins and sophomore Chloe Scrimgeour competed in the women’s 1500-meter run. Seniors Camden Gilmore, Matthew Payamps and Matthew Rizzo, as well as junior Abel Teffra, competed in the men’s 1500-meter run.
Riggins once again led the way for the Hoyas, finishing second overall in the race behind professional runner and Olympian Elise Cranny, who ran for the Nike Bowerman Track Club.
Riggins posted a career-best time of 4:10.09 to finish as the top collegiate runner for the second consecutive week. Riggins continued her stellar season at the meet: she holds the fastest 800-meter time of 2:03.50 in the Big East and 17th nationally.
Mitchell Baker, the assistant track and field coach, told Georgetown Athletics that Riggins had a sensational outing.
“She has a great sense of how to win, and she represented the program at a very high level now sitting behind only Emily Infeld and Josette Norris on our all-time school performance list,” Baker said in a Georgetown Athletics press release. “That’s special company.”
“It was a signature win for her and a great indicator of the types of performances this group is ready for this spring,” Baker added.
Jensen and Corman also ran with Riggins in Heat 11. Corman, who already holds the 5th fastest 800-meter time of 2:06.93 in the Big East, ran a time of 4:22.39 while Jensen ran 4:18.41.
Scrimgeour moved down a race in the second heat of the women’s 1500 from the Raleigh Relays three weeks ago, where she posted the 18th-fastest 5000-meter national time of 15:49.43.
Scrimgeour posted a time of 4:23.84 and finished second in her heat. Claeson, who also ran the 17th fastest 5,000 time of 15:48.65 in the nation at the Raleigh Relays, ran a time of 4:18.01.
Gonzalez finished second in Heat 9, running a personal record of 4:16.87.
“Chloe Gonzalez’s breakthrough to 4:16 is a long time coming,” Baker said in the Georgetown Athletics press release. “The work and signs have been there, but today was the type of validation that we all wanted for her. She earned it.”
Gonzalez said she was thrilled with her performance.
“I’ve been working really hard to have a race like this and with over half of my college career being sidelined by COVID-19,” Gonzalez told The Hoya. “It was great to finally feel like my best self on the track and I look forward for the team to keep making big strides towards our goals!”
On the men’s side, Paymaps led the way, winning his heat and finishing 13th overall with 3:38.55 after moving up a distance from the 800-meter last week at the Duke Invitational. Rizzo and Teffra — both of whom also ran the 800 at the Duke Invitational — posted times of 3:39.38 to finish fifth in Heat 3 and 3:43.20 for ninth in Heat 4, respectively.
Gilmore also ran a personal best of 3:39.40 to finish 24th overall.
Georgetown hopes to continue its track season momentum next week as the team splits between the EKU Rick Erdmann Twilight meet hosted by Eastern Kentucky University at Richmond, Ky., and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Va., both April 21-22, before the Big East and NCAA Championships in May.
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