Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Infeld Sisters Set Hoyas’ Pace in Mile

This past fall, senior Maggie Infeld entered a local turkey trot as a tempo run and was awarded a pumpkin pie as a top finisher. Yet her younger sister Emily, a freshman, never let her live it down, teasing that her far-superior turkey trot accolades include a whole turkey she won back in the 6th grade. Better prizes go to better runners.

That sort of lighthearted banter is what you would expect when you put two sisters together on the same Division I collegiate team. When you combine a fifth-year senior All-American with a freshman who was a high school national champion, you get the kind of results that Georgetown’s women’s indoor track and field team enjoyed this past weekend from the Infeld sisters: two NCAA provisional times in the mile and a school record and NCAA automatic qualifying distance medley relay.

Starting on Friday, the first day of competition this past weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory in New York City, the Infeld sisters lined up with distance medley relay junior teammates Renee Tomlin and Abigail Johnson to take on some of the best competition in the nation.

Tomlin set the tone with a stunning opening 1200 meter leg, going out with the leaders and hanging tough to hand off in third, right with that lead group. When she finally handed off, she recorded a 3:22 split, the fastest indoor leg ever run in Georgetown history, no small feat for a school that has won two distance medley relay national championships.

“Renee Tomlin had such a tremendous effort … that really pumped me up, she really set the tone … when one teammate sets the tone like that it carriers over to the relay, and the entire team,” Maggie Infeld said.

Johnson didn’t let the momentum die, running an aggressive 54.8 400-meter leg, notching her fastest split of the season and keeping the Hoyas at third. Maggie Infeld took over from there, going out hard and splitting a 2:06.8 to hand off to her sister in second.

Yet Emily was in a tough spot, running all alone, leading a pack of hungry anchors from BYU, Oregon and North Carolina and yet trailing the top women’s miler in the country in Tennessee’s Sarah Bowman. Bowman gapped Infeld, and the pack eventually caught Infeld, but she held her poise, picking it up over the last 400 meters to hold on for third, splitting a 4:39.9, the fifth-fastest indoor mile relay carry in school history.

When it was all said and done the Hoyas had punched their ticket to the NCAA indoor championships, running an automatically qualifying time of 11:05.06, breaking the school record set back in 2004.

On Saturday, the Infeld sisters would again step on the track together for the mile, yet this time as competitors. In a crowded field they got caught behind the field for the first 800 meters running nearly in last. Yet, staying patient, they began to weave their way through the field over the second half of the race with Maggie initiating the moves. Racing down the final stretch, Maggie would pass nearly the whole field to finish second, with Emily right behind her to finish fourth. Their times, 4:41.49, and 4:41.89, respectively – both NCAA provisional qualifiers – put them as the fourth- and fifth-fastest women indoor milers in school history.

“I was really excited by how tough they competed. If you look at the people they are beating right now, they’re running with anybody in the country,” women’s Distance Coach Chris Miltenberg said.

The mile was particularly reflective of the collaborative relationship the Infelds have enjoyed thus far, as both worked together throughout the entire race.

“It was nice having Maggie in the race, I was trying to watch her and follow her moves as she was passing people,” Emily said.

With four years separating them, this year marks the first time the Infelds have been able to compete on the same team – an opportunity that is helping both them and the team.

“In a situation like that you’re always a little concerned with how the dynamics are going to work out, but I think it’s been a tremendous asset to both of them,” Head Track and Field Coach Pat Henner said. “I’ve seen a lot more confidence in Maggie and a lot more determination. … It’s helped both of them be a lot more relaxed and a lot more comfortable; I think it’s been a great thing for them and our team as well.”

“They have the perfect relationship; they are excited for each other, to be working together,” Miltenberg said.

While Maggie made the transition from high school to collegiate running all the easier for Emily, she has also benefited herself by being pushed in both workouts and races from her younger sister, who last year was one of the top distance recruits in the country. While both admit to a little lighthearted teasing now and then, such as who gets better road race prizes, both sisters have a great deal of respect for what the other has accomplished in her career.

“It’s been a lot of fun, because Maggie’s great; obviously she’s such a great runner, she’s someone I definitely look up to,” Emily said.

“It’s definitely more of a collaborative effort than a competitive thing; I know that she’s really talented – she was a national high school champion – so in a lot of ways I look up to her even though she’s my younger sister because she’s had so much success. She always gives 100 percent,” Maggie said.

With their mile times from this past weekend looking good so far on the NCAA descending order list, the track and field world could see another dose of the Infeld sisters lining up together in the NCAA indoor championships in March.

Other Notes:

– Sophomore Chris Kinney had a standout weekend in the 60 meter hurdles, clocking a personal record of 7.88 s in both the preliminaries and the finals to finish fifth overall. While his time broke his own school record, Kinney is looking to drop even more time in the upcoming weeks.

“It feels pretty good. I was really happy. … I want to go 7.8 low, ideally 7.79 to secure my spot for nationals,” Kinney said.

This year has been a welcome change of pace of Kinney, as he has had the luxury of training with a talented hurdle group, compared to last year when he mostly trained by himself.

“I was obviously very pleased with Chris, because he’s really rising to the challenge of leading that hurdle group, and there was also some great competition there and he took his game up a notch; that’s really what you’re looking for in your athletes,” Henner said.

– Senior Dan Nunn ran away from the field in the 5000 m, taking first and clocking an NCAA provisional time of 13:55.84 that should be a safe bet to qualify him for Nationals.

“It was a huge step forward just for Dan and our distance program to see him just go out there and do that,” Henner said.

– Freshman London Finley looked good winning her heat of the 60 m hurdles, clocking in at 8.74.

– Tomlin ran well in the open 800 m as well, logging an NCAA Provisional 2:09.36.

– Junior Sandy Roberts ran solid in the 3000 m, fading a little in the last 400 meters, but still running an NCAA provisional time of 8:05.75.

– Freshman Katie McCafferty had a gutsy race in the women’s 3000 m, lining up against some of the best competition in the country. Despite being the least experienced in the race, McCafferty hung with the top group to notch a 12 second personal record and run a NCAA provisional time of 9:25.37 to take fifth.

“That was an incredible effort, probably much more than you can tell just by looking at the results … she hung on so tough, and then got up the last 400. I was ecstatic. She ran really tough in a race where she was by far the youngest and least experienced,” Miltenberg said.

– The men’s distance medley relay of red-shirt senior Alex Mason, freshman Austin Perron, junior John Maloy and senior Justin Scheid ran extremely well to notch an NCAA provisional time of 9:44.73, finishing fourth.

– Senior Avril Ogrodnik ran strong in the mile as well, notching the fourth NCAA provisional time in the event for the Hoyas on the season, clocking 4:48.43.

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