Georgetown’s nationally ranked track program looks to build on its early season strengths, carrying over its success from last indoor track season and the fall’s cross-country campaign.
The teams already established momentum in the Nittany Lion Challenge held at Penn State University this past weekend, and the No. 17 women’s and men’s squads will both travel to Staten Island, N.Y., to compete in the New York Gotham Cup this weekend.
At the Nittany Lion Challenge, the Hoyas captured five event titles — three for the men and two for the women. Junior Joe White led the men’s team by finishing in first place overall in the men’s 1000 meters run with a time of 2:21.96. White was named the Big East Men’s Track Athlete of the Week for his victory performance.
Both the men and women won the Distance Medley Relays. The women’s squad — consisting of junior Piper Donaghu, graduate student Jocelyn Hubbard, senior Emma Keenan and junior Kennedy Weisner — recorded a time of 11:32.38.
Freshmen Jack Van Scoter and Jack Salisbury as well as senior Connor Sheryak won the DMR for the men with a time of 10:13.29. A relay of graduate student Michael Clevenger, freshman Dylan Fine, sophomore Adam Barnard and sophomore Reilly Bloomer finished in 10:13.86, good for second place.
Keenan’s performance in the women’s 1000m event highlighted the night for the women. Keenan won the race, crossing the finish line in 2:46.38. Much like her male counterpart, Keenan was awarded the honor of Big East Women’s Track Athlete of the Week.
Georgetown’s interim Director of Track and Field Julie Culley was pleased and enthused with her team’s performance to open the 2017 portion of the indoor season.
“Penn State is a great early season competition for our team and it sets the stage for our performances late in the season,” Culley said. “I’m really excited with how we raced. We aren’t sharp, but we are strong. We are looking forward to the improving from meet to meet.”
The New York Gotham Cup provides both teams an opportunity to quickly build on the results from last weekend. The event also exposes the Hoyas to the facility where the Big East Championship meet will be held in late February.
Coach Culley expressed her excitement about the Hoyas’ potential going into this meet, especially considering many sprinters are set to make their season debuts.
“Gotham Cup will be another great test for our shorter distance events,” Coach Culley said. “We are excited to see junior Jody-Ann Knight run her season debut in the 60m and 200m. Senior Daniel Anderson will run the 400m which is a shorter event for him now that he is focusing this season on the 800m.”
Weisner was a bright spot for the women during the 2016 cross-country season. Coach Culley praised
Weisner for her work ethic and ferocity on the track.
“Kennedy is a great competitor and we are looking forward to watching her race any competition she faces this season,” Culley said. “Her focus will be on the mile and we are excited to see her run the times and compete the way we know she is capable of. Kennedy is an exceptional talent and she is really starting to come into her own. Her next one and a half years at Georgetown are going to be a lot of fun.”
After the N.Y. Gotham Cup, both the men’s and women’s teams will focus on preparing for the Penn State National Open on January 27.