Georgetown indoor track and field turned in a number of strong performances this past weekend at the Big East championships. But in its bid to compete with the top teams in the conference, those efforts were not enough to overcome youth and lack of depth in the field events.
On the women’s side with many Hoyas redshirting this indoor season, Georgetown was particularly thin, running only 14 women, many of whom raced three or four times throughout the weekend. Still, even with the small squad they had, the Hoyas held their own, finishing fourth overall with 80 points. Louisville rode its dominance of the throwing events to the title with 110 points, UConn was a close second at 108.50, and Villanova’s distance squad earned the Wildcats third with 86 points.
Redshirt freshman Emily Jones got the Hoyas off to a quick start on Saturday afternoon, kicking down standout Providence sophomore Shelby Greany in the 5000-meter en route to a personal record of 16:10. Jones was passed in the bell lap by Greany but exploded with a 33-second final 200m to take back the lead and seal the win.
“I was feeling really determined, I didn’t know if I could, but I wasn’t going to [let Greany win] easily,” Jones said. “I kind of surprised myself on Saturday.”
Jones would come back the next day and run a PR again in the 3000m, taking fourth in 9:25.75.
The women’s distance medley relay team of sophomore Rachel Schnedier, freshman Emiy Menges, junior Lauren Borduin and redshirt sophomore Katie McCafferty also gave the Hoyas another solid performance on the first day of competition, placing second to only Villanova with a time of 11:21.82.
On Sunday the Hoyas turned in a number of podium finishes, with Borduin leading things off with a new PR of 2:48.96 and third place in the 1000m. Schneider fell just short in the mile and was out-kicked by Notre Dame sophomore Rebecca Tracy and Villanova freshman Emily Lipari, eventually finishing third in 4:46.96. Sophomore Amanda Kimbers turned in another great performance in the 200m, taking first in her heat and finishing second overall with a time of 24.01 seconds.
Junior London Finley and senior Deidra Sanders put up some impressive performances in the 400m to headline the day for the Hoyas. The veteran sprinters finished third and fourth in the open 400m finals, win Finley running times of 55.26 seconds and 55.51 seconds in the event. The duo came back with Kimbers and junior Chela Green to win the title in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:41.80. Sanders smoked a 53s split on the last leg to secure the win over Pittsburg and Louisville.
“They did a great job,” Henner said. “London had her best split ever in the leadoff, and Deidra just had a great anchor split.”
On the men’s side the Hoyas’ youth showed as they had an up-and-down weekend, finishing sixth overall with 55 points to mark their lowest placing since the 2006 season when they finished seventh.
Senior hurdler Chris Kinney, Georgetown’s most consistent performer, again delivered for the Blue and Gray in the 60m hurdles. Kinney overcame a tender hamstring in the event to match his personal best time of 7.75 seconds and defend his title from 2010.
“I was really hesitant to run, I almost didn’t even run finals,” Kinney said. “My hamstring was kind of bothering me, but I was just like, ‘Give it your all, be quick. Be quick with your arms. Be quick in between the hurdles. Be quick getting off of the hurdles.'”
Redshirt junior Toby Ulm, expected to compete for a win in the 500m, came out of the blocks much too fast and faded down the stretch to finish fifth in 1:03.31.
“He just went out way too hard, and just kind of took away his own asset which is right now his strength,” Henner said.
On Saturday night the men’s distance squad flashed their potential in the DMR, with redshirt freshman Andrew Springer, junior Austin Perron, Ulm and senior Ayalew Taye running a time of 9:49.29 to best a well-rounded Providence team. Taye ran particularly well on the anchor leg, battling Providence junior Dominic Channon down the stretch.
After the DMR came a few highlights, including a solid showing in the 1000m by freshman Billy Ledder, redshirt senior Dan Leyh and redshirt freshman Bobby Peavey who finished third, fifth and seventh respectively.
Taye had a sub-par performance in the 3000m, managing to finish only 13th. Neither junior Theon O’Connor nor sophomore Brian Hencke qualified for the finals in the 800m. Redshirt freshman Dylan Sorensen had a solid mile but only finished seventh in the deep field. Redshirt freshman Ben Furcht and redshirt junior TC Lumbar didn’t run their best in the 5000m and finished 16th and 17th, respectively.
Despite the young team’s struggles this past weekend, the Hoyas are confident that given a little more experience and time to mature, they can regain their place as one of the Big East’s top teams.
“I think we saw flashes of the kind of team we want to become. Now it’s just a matter of staying the course,” Henner said. “It’s not the result we would want as far as the team placing. But we’re going to get there. There’s a lot of optimism.”