The Georgetown University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams produced stellar results at last weekend’s Big East Championship, with five combined first-place finishes.
The women’s team earned third place overall, while the men’s team notched sixth place. Last season, both Hoya teams finished fifth overall, with five first-place medals. Sophomore Melissa Riggins and junior Joshua Paige also took home the Women’s and Men’s Most Outstanding Performer in Track Events for their performances.
On the first day of the meet, which was hosted at the Dr. Conrad Worrill Track and Field Center at Gately Park in Chicago, the Georgetown women’s team shone in their events. In the 5000-meter, sophomore Chloe Scrimgeour came in five seconds ahead of her opponents with a time of 16:05.73. She set the tone for the race right from the start, taking the lead and then showing everyone up by widening the gap even further in her final lap. Graduate student Sami Corman also had an excellent 5000 time, finishing in fifth place with a time of 16:35.73. Both of their 5000 times earned a combined 14 points to start the day for the Hoyas.
In the preliminary races, senior Maya Drayton qualified for the final 200-meter and 400-meter race with a 24.34 and a 55.15, respectively. Drayton shaved off 0.71 seconds from her qualifying time in the 400 final, clocking in at 54.44 to earn her the Big East Indoor title and gain 10 points for Georgetown.
Paige qualified for both the 60-meter and 200-meter finals with times of 6.89 and 21.42, respectively. In the finals race for the 60, Paige finished in fourth place, shaving off 0.03 seconds from his qualifying time. In the 200, he went on to break his own school record of 21.07 and the Big East record with his 20.99 first-place finish, bringing in 10 points for his team.
By the end of the first day of the meet, the women’s team had earned 18 points to place them in sixth, while the men’s team placed seventh after earning 9 points.
The team’s strong performance continued with the women’s mile, where Riggins and graduate Katy-Ann McDonald took first and second place, respectively. Riggins came in hot with a time of 4:37.07 and McDonald was not far behind her, clocking in at 4:37.42.
Starting the cross country season with a stress injury, Riggins said she is proud of the progress she has made this year.
“I’ve shifted a lot of pre-race nerves about my fitness to excitement about the opportunity in front of me,” Riggins said. “I was smiling on the start line of the mile, which if you know me, says a lot about how I approached this meet.”
Up next with the 3000-meter race, the Hoyas notched two more top-three finishes with junior Chloe Gonzalez and graduate Andrea Claeson coming in second and third place, respectively. Gonzalez was consistent, maintaining her second-place footing throughout the race and crossing the finish line with a time of 9:11.26. Claeson was able to secure third place after pulling away from the pack in the third lap, finishing right behind her teammate with a time of 9:11.33.
Georgetown went on to sweep the podium for the 4×800-meter relay. The women’s team is made up of McDonald, senior Pippa Nuttall, graduate Grace Jensen and Riggins. The team ran a blazing time of 8:38.73, securing another first place victory for the Hoyas. The men’s relay team, which is made up of junior Owen Johnson, senior Parker Stokes, senior Matthew Payamps and their anchor, senior Matt Rizzo, also swept the board for first place. They ran an exemplary race with a time of 7:26.25.
“At the end of the day what really meant the most to me was being able to race with my best friends and accomplish something great together,” Riggins said.
The Hoyas will look to continue their success at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. the weekend of March 10-11. The Georgetown women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team of Riggins, Drayton, McDonald and Jensen also qualified for the championships at the Feb. 18 Alex Wilson Invitational — they are the first DMR team to qualify since Georgetown won the national championship in the event in 2016. In addition, Rizzo qualified for the mile at the Jan. 27 John Terrier Classic, as his 3:56.20 time notched him a top-16 national seeding.
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