The Georgetown men’s and women’s track teams opened their spring season this past weekend at the Nittany Lion Challenge where the team experienced varying levels of success across many events, while gaining valuable experience in the process. However, the distance runners proved again to be a strong section of the Georgetown team. The event was hosted by Penn State University at the Multi-Sport Facility & Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track in University Park, Pennsylvania.
On the women’s side, Georgetown reached its peak in the 3000-meter run, with four Hoyas finishing in the top spots of the event. Sophomore Paige Hofstad led the Hoyas with a time of 9:39.54 for a second-place finish, followed directly by senior Josette Norris with a time of 9:40.80. Both finished within two seconds of winner Anna Shields of Point Park University, who won with a time of 9:39.19.
The event displayed not only Georgetown’s most elite runners, but also the team’s depth. Freshman Sami Corman placed sixth with a time of 9:46.98, and fellow freshman Katherine Modrall finished in 10:02.98, good for ninth in the field of 30 runners.
Other highlights from the women’s team at this event came from junior Meg Mathison, who finished fourth in the mile with a time of 4:56.83, a mere 3.26 seconds from victory. Georgetown’s top finisher in the women’s field events was freshman Eni Akinniyi, who triple jumped 11.29 meters, finishing in seventh place. She was slightly more than a meter behind eventual champion Leah Blackall of the University of Maryland.
For the men, the first highlight came early in the weekend when sophomores Jack Van Scoter and Matthew Bouthillette pushed each other towards second and third place finishes in the mile. Van Scoter clocked in at 4:07.98, while Bouthillette finished in 4:08.09. The two sophomores ran stride for stride, pushing eventual champion Victor Palumbo from CPTC New Balance to the limit, as he edged out Van Scoter by a mere two-tenths of a second.
The men’s team’s success in distance races persisted throughout the weekend, as senior Joseph White captured a victory in the 1000-meter race with a time of 2:21.99. He edged out lead contender Domenic Perretta of Penn State by twenty-one hundredths of a second.
The Hoyas’ next victory took place in the 3000-meter race, as junior Jack Salisbury won a photo finish with his time of 8:13.38, defeating Roman Ollar from Army West Point by one-hundredth of a second. Those two victories, as well as the strong showing in the mile, demonstrated to all who face the Hoyas throughout the spring season that their distance squad will be a formidable one under any circumstance.
Two Georgetown men also found success in some of the shorter running events, as junior Quincey Wilson finished in second place in the 400-meter race with a time of 48.69, and sophomore Ruach Padhal placed third in the 600-meter race with a time of 1:18.46.