The Hoyas have their hands full this weekend as they split sites and travel to two different meets — the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the legendary Armory Track & Field Center in New York City and Yale’s Giegengack Invitational in New Haven, Conn.
The two meets themselves could not be more different. The New Balance Collegiate Invitational will host more than 90 collegiate teams and offer the Hoyas some of the best competition they’ll see all season. At Yale, the Hoyas will rely much more on rabbiting races for themselves as they line up against a field of about 15 teams.
While the majority of the men’s and women’s teams will be in New York, a contingent of middle distance and distance runners will represent Georgetown in New Haven. To help keep it all straight, here’s a rundown of some notable races this weekend for the Blue and Gray:
Men’s 60-meter Hurdles, New Balance Collegiate
Senior Chris Kinney and junior Biyerem Okengwu will both race for the Hoyas in the 32-man field. Kinney is fresh off setting a new personal record and school record of 7.78 seconds last weekend, while Okengwu is still looking to run his first quality race this season. Kinney will have great competition for the second weekend in a row as it looks like Syracuse will be running senior Jarret Eaton, whose time of 7.58s at the Penn State National Invitational is by far the collegiate best this season. Also racing will be UNC Charlotte junior Isaac McReynolds, who is tied with Kinney for the nation’s seventh-best time, and LSU junior Barrett Nugent, who holds the third-fastest time in the country.
Women’s 400m, New Balance Collegiate
Junior London Finley and senior Deidra Sanders will be competing for Georgetown in this event, with a spot on the Hoyas’ distance medley relay team at stake, as the coaches will most likely have whoever looks better in the event’s prelims run the 400m leg of the distance medley relay just a few hours later. Sanders had a great leg on the 4x400m relay last weekend while Finley, one of the Hoyas top talents who has not yet run particularly well, is looking to get her season back on track.
Women’s 200m, New Balance Collegiate
Georgetown sophomore Amanda Kimbers is coming off a huge PR of 24.00s in the 200m last weekend at the Penn State Invitational. LSU, Texas A&M and Baylor bring some of the best sprinters in the nation to the 66-person field. If Kimbers, who is also running in the 60m, could make the finals, it would be great experience for the young Hoya and a chance to drop her time even more.
“She’s ready to move herself to be considered among the best in the country, I feel like, in the 200m,” Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Pat Henner said of Kimbers.
Women’s Distance Medley Relay, New Balance Collegiate
While the Hoyas took third in the event at the NCAA national championships a year ago, there are few familiar faces on this year’s relay. Junior Lauren Borduin will step into Renee Tomlin’s (COL ’10) spot on the opening 1200m since the graduate student is out of indoor eligibility. Either Finley or Sanders will most likely run the 400m leg, freshman Chelsea Cox will run the 800m and sophomore Rachel Schneider, the sole returnee, will now run the anchor mile for the Blue and Gray. Georgetown will be gunning for the NCAA automatic qualifying time of 11:05.50 and will not be short on competition as BYU and Tennessee bring great teams to the line.
Women’s Mile, New Balance Collegiate
Schneider and Borduin will take to the mile after they both posted PRs in the 1000m last weekend at the Penn State National Invitational. Villanova freshman Emily Lipari and Tennessee senior Liz Costello will pose the biggest challenge for the Hoya duo.
Women’s 800m, New Balance Collegiate
The Hoyas bring to the line the bulk of their middle distance recruiting class as freshmen Emily Menges, Becca Deloache and Chelsea Cox all look to continue the successful start to their collegiate careers. Cox, maybe the biggest talent of the three, will have her hands full in the second heat of the event. BYU boasts juniors Lacey Bleazard and Katie Palmer, who have both already run 2:05 this season, and Tennessee junior Chanelle Price has made that time as well. Together the three own three of the top five times in the country.
“With them, they’re all freshmen so we’re not saying, ‘Hey, we’re trying to run NCAA times,'” Henner said. “But there are not many women in the country they’re not ready to compete with.”
Men’s 800m, Giegengack Invitational
Junior Theon O’Connor and redshirt junior Toby Ulm will try to log a fast time in the 800m this weekend. O’Connor and Ulm will be paced through 600m by one of Georgetown’s milers, with the goal of going through three laps in around 1:20. The distance is familiar to O’Connor, but for Ulm, who usually races the 400m or 500m, it’s a jump up in distance. Ulm has great speed and has been doing more strength training, so he might be poised for a breakout time.
Men’s Mile, Giegengack Invitational
The Hoyas are stacking the mile, bringing to the line senior Ayalew Taye, redshirt freshman Bobby Peavey, sophomore Dylan Sorensen and freshman Billy Ledder. Sorensen, Peavey and Ledder all recorded PRs last weekend, while Taye is coming back from a small injury. Although he has not raced for two weeks, Taye still brings the most potential for the Hoyas this season. He ran 4:08 in his season opener, and with Georgetown trying to pace him and the rest of the Blue and Gray through 1000m in 2:30, a four-minute mile may not be out of the question.
“I think he’s definitely a four-minute miler. Is it going to happen this weekend? It potentially could, but that’s not really what we’re [looking for],” Henner said. “He just needs to get back out there and get in a competitive situation.”
Hoya Staff Writers Leonard Olsen and Ashwin Wadekar contributed to this report.