The Georgetown men’s and the No. 14 Georgetown women’s indoor track and field teams will travel to Staten Island, N.Y. this weekend to compete in the seasonal Big East championship meet. The Hoyas will look to senior Ahmed Bile to continue to lead both on and off of the track at the Big East championship. Bile has displayed impressive performances this indoor season, running a 3:57.84 in the men’s invitational mile at the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational on Feb. 6 and a time of 7:51.77 in the men’s invitational 3000-meter event at BU Valentine Invitational meet on the weekend of Feb. 12-13.
Senior Michael Lederhouse and junior Amos Bartelsmeyer have shown their fitness this season as well. Like Bile, Bartelsmeyer and Lederhouse also broke four minutes in the men’s invitational mile at the BU Scarlet and White Invitational meet, clocking in at 3:58.22 and 3:58.42, respectively.
The women’s team has also seen success this season, especially in the case of graduate student Andrea Keklak. After recovering from a serious injury that sidelined her for the entire 2015 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, Keklak returned to form in the 2015 cross country season. She continued to improve throughout the indoor track and field season, and now Keklak has broken two Georgetown records this semester.
At the Penn State Nittany Lion Challenge in January, Keklak set a new school record in the women’s 1000-meter event with a time of 2:42.76. Keklak continued to perform at a high level, setting a school record in the women’s mile later in the season, running a 4.33.24 at the BU Valentine Invitational meet. The Hoyas hope Keklak can continue this successful journey into the postseason.
Director of Track and Field Michael Smith said Keklak’s competitive nature helped her overcome difficult setbacks.
“Vulnerability requires risk in our sport and when they take risks they can be hurt. Keklak was out two track seasons with an injury and it was extremely difficult for her,” Smith wrote in an email. “I see someone who has overcome great adversity and still allows herself to take that great risk to be great and that makes her successes now all the more enjoyable.”
Even in more recent meets, the Hoyas have continued their early-season success. Senior Heather Martin recorded a time of 2:04.93 in the women’s 800-meter race at the Penn State Tune-Up meet last weekend. Earlier in the season, Martin clocked in at 4:49.49 in the women’s mile at the Villanova invitational at Ocean Breeze.
Martin said she believes that remaining focused will be the key to success this weekend.
“I think we are just going to try to race really hard regardless of what other people in the race are doing,” Martin said after the Penn State Tune-Up. “We are going to run our own race and if we are just focusing on our race and not what other people are doing, hopefully we can run some fast times.”
Continuing this indoor season’s trend of impressive numbers, junior Sabrina Southerland broke her own school record of 2:03.10 in the women’s 800m event at the Villanova invitational. Later, graduate student Katrina Coogan ran a time of 4:37.29 in the women’s mile at the Penn State Tune-Up meet.
Regardless of all these individual achievements, Smith said he wants his team to focus on competing together.
“This is the accountability that we preach. We hold ourselves accountable in what we do in practice, meets,” Smith wrote. “In our sport, there are a lot of individual pursuits each weekend, so rarely do we all get to line up together for one purpose. Athletes that come to Georgetown know that we approach Big East, we always have and we always will, so it is not a shock that we have arrived at this weekend. So we hold true to the same tenets as we go about our practices and our competitions.”
After competing in the Big East Championships, the women’s team will travel to Boston to compete in the ECAC Championships from March 5 to 6. The men’s squad will also travel to Boston to compete in the IC4A Championships.