This past weekend, five members of the Georgetown track and field team competed in the NCAA indoor track tournament in Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium, located on Texas A&M’s campus. On the men’s side, Florida became only the fourth school to ever win consecutive NCAA titles. On the women’s side, Oregon ran away with the competition, finishing an astounding 29 points above second-place Texas.
The Georgetown women’s distance medley relay team — comprised of sophomore Rachel Schneider, freshman Chelsea Cox, senior Diedra Sanders and junior Katie McCafferty — had a seventh-place finish out of 11 teams, earning the quartet All-American status and two points for the Hoyas.
“To have athletes being competitive at the national level is a great and very important part of our program,” Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Pat Henner said. “Earning All-American [status] is an indication of what we’re doing.”
Schneider took the first leg of the DMR for the Hoyas in the 1200 meters, coming out of the first turn in sixth place. The sophomore was able to work her way up to fifth by the time she passed the baton. Sanders kept up the strong pace, moving into fourth about halfway through her 400m leg.
Cox was next to take the baton for the 800m, further increasing the Hoyas’ position by passing Arkansas junior Samantha Learch and closing the gap on first-place Oregon. McCafferty, who dropped a little at the 900m mark but still turned in a stellar performance, closed out the race for Georgetown in the mile, bringing the Hoyas home for a seventh-place finish.
“I was pretty happy [with my performance],” McCafferty said. “Coming into this meet, I was excited to get out there and have fun with it. I was excited to even be running there, being a very young group. We knew we would have to run well and fight.”
The toughest competition came from Villanova and Oregon. In the last leg, Villanova senior Sheila Reid and Oregon sophomore Jordan Hasay emerged as the frontrunners in the race. The two battled it out over the last lap, always within one or two strides of the other. Reid finally took a slight advantage over her opponent, and after one last look over her shoulder, crossed the finish line in first place.
On the men’s side, senior Chris Kinney competed in the 60m hurdles. Kinney, who has set new records at almost every invitational this year, was optimistic about his chances going into the race. He was on pace for one of his best races of the year before he stumbled on the last hurdle, which cost him precious time and crushed his chances of qualifying for the finals.
“It was disappointing, but even with hitting that hurdle and stumbling, he still ran as good of a time as he did last year,” Henner said.
Kinny still finished 11th out of 17 runners, recording a time of 7.81 seconds. Although he failed to qualify for the final stages of the event, Henner saw his race in a positive light.
“[His race] just shows how much he’s improved.” Henner said. “He should have a lot of confidence going into the outdoor season.”
Illinois junior Andrew Riley took first place in both the preliminary and final stages of the event. He was closely followed by juniors Barrett Nugent from LSU and Devon Hill from Miami.
With this final event, the Hoyas wrapped up their indoor season. The outdoor season begins March 25 when Georgetown travels to Palo Alto, Cal., to compete in the Stanford Invitational.