This past weekend Georgetown’s indoor track and field teams wasted no time in making the most of the strong competition that the Penn State National Invitational offered them. Just hours into the meet, senior Chris Kinney broke his school record in the 60 meter hurdles yet again, timing in at 7.78 seconds in the semifinals of the event.
Kinney, a two-time All-American, started off the night by easily qualifying in the prelims, running a time of 7.82s to win his heat. In the semifinals, Kinney was matched up against Syracuse senior Jarret Eaton, who had run a time of 7.64s in his prelim heat.
For Kinney, Eaton was a familiar face. The Orange’s school record holder in the 60m hurdles has been competing against the senior Hoya ever since Eaton transferred to Syracuse hissophomore year. Kinney, pushed by Eaton’s blazing meet record of 7.60s, crossed the line in 7.78s, good for the seventh-best time in the NCAA this year.
“He’s always a good runner to run against,” Kinney said. “Your drive to win and everything just increases the more competition you have.”
Kinney then lined up in the finals against Eaton and former Maryland All-American Dominic Berger. Showing that he can consistently run in the low 7.8s range, Kinney competed hard, finishing third behind Eaton and Berger with a time of 7.81s, which was the highest attached collegiate finish in the 39-person field.
For Kinney, the race was just another step in the right direction as he strives to better himself this indoor season in preparation for his final outdoor season.
“He was the first one after his semifinal race to point out that after the first hurdle his legs kind of collapsed a little bit, and he felt that cost him a little bit of time,” Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Pat Henner said. “Once he hits a time, he’s ready to move on to the next thing.”
“It wasn’t a perfect race for me,” Kinney added. “I guess I can’t complain about a [personal record] and breaking the school record again. I’m content with that, but there’s still a lot more to accomplish.”
Kinney will get another shot at lowering his time against some more quality competition at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational next weekend. As for scouting the rest of the season in the 60m hurdles for the Big East, it will be interesting to see how Syracuse plays its cards with Eaton. Running unattached this weekend, the hurdler appeared ready to redshirt the indoor season; but after running 7.58s in the finals, Kinney may not follow through on that plan.
On the women’s side, sophomore Rachel Schneider notched the sole win for the Lady Hoyas in the 1000m, running a time of 2:46.51 to edge West Virginia senior Kaylyn Christopher by 0.05s at the line.
Georgetown freshman Shanique Dasilva paced the race, taking Schneider and Christopher through the first 400m in about 66s. After Dasilva stepped off the track, Schneider hung right with Christopher as the two-time All-American pushed the pace. Then with about 250m to go, Schneider, an All-American herself, pulled around Christopher and tried to distance herself from the senior on the bell lap.
“With 300m to go I definitely was feeling really strong, so I wanted to pick up the pace,” Schneider said. “I thought I could pull away from her, so I passed her and just tried to go as fast as I could go.”
Christopher could not be shaken off, passing Schneider again with 100m to go. The Hoya sophomore still had an extra gear though, kicking down the final 50m stretch to out-lean Christopher at the line.
“I’m definitely feeling stronger than last year,” Schneider said. “It was exciting to see the time and it was really nice to just beat her at the end.”
Schneider’s performance was especially impressive considering the sophomore was struggling with a leg injury that hampered her early in the season.
“The thing I was really pleased about was her competitiveness, rather than her time, even though she ran a really great time,” Henner said. “[Christopher] and [she] battled over the last 300m.”
— Sophomore Amanda Kimbers had perhaps the best weekend of any Hoya. She competed in the 60m dash and 200m run, finishing 12th in the semifinals of the 60-meter and sixth in the 200m en route to PRs in both events.
“She had a great weekend. … I was very pleased with her,” Henner said. “Not just in her performances, but more than anything, her maturity level from last year to this year is just amazing.
Kimbers also came back in the 4x400m to run a great leg, splitting 55s as the Hoyas finished fourth in 3:42.09.
“[If] she just keeps on this course, she could be one of the best athletes in the country in her event areas,” Henner said.
— Redshirt junior Toby Ulm again ran strong in the 500m dash, winning the event with a time of 1:03.40. He edged out Ohio State sophomore Marvel Brooks, who ran a time of 1:04.05.
— Junior Katie McCafferty also had a great weekend, setting a new PR in the mile by finishing fourth with a time of 4:46.78.
— Freshman Billy Ledder, redshirt freshman Bobby Peavey and sophomore Brian Hencke finished first, second and fourth respectively in the 1000m. Ledder, who has been working on strengthening his kick, looked smooth in both the 1000m and his 800m leg of the distance medley relay.
“In the 1000m he was very patient and then he had a great last 150m. I think he has really taken to heart the things we talked about that he wants to work on,” Henner said. “It was nice for him to win, but more importantly … he really followed his race plan.”
— The women’s 4x800m team, consisting of junior Lauren Borduin, freshman Emily Menges, sophomore Rachel Schneider and freshman Becca DeLoache, finished in second with a time of 8:53.36, behind only Connecticut.
DeLoache, who battled with UConn junior Heather Wilson in the anchor leg, showed surprising poise for a freshman.
“Her leg stuck out the most of all … just on how as a freshman she wasn’t afraid to battle [Wilson] who she had seen run [a time of 2:06.54 in the 800m] earlier in the day,” Henner said.
— Freshman Chelsea Cox competed well in the women’s 800m run, clocking a time of 2:09.38 that landed her in seventh place in the event. Erica Moore, a professional from Knoxville Elite, won the event easily with a time of 2:03.51, setting a new record for the meet and facility.
— Sophomore Dylan Sorensen, sophomore Ben Furcht and junior T.C. Lumbar finished in third, fourth and fifth place respectively in the men’s 3000m. Each runner set a PR in the event, and Sorensen beat his previous best time by 15 seconds.
Hoya Staff Writer Leonard Olsen contributed to this report.