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

Women and Men Earn Qualifying Times at Navy, Kroger Invites

TRACK Women and Men Earn Qualifying Times at Navy, Kroger Invites By Scott Homa Hoya Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams divided their talent last weekend, participating in the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md. and the Kroger Invitational at Virginia Tech, where the Hoyas met three NCAA provisional requirements and pulled in a host of other postseason qualifying marks.

The women’s team, currently ranked No. 18 in the nation, produced two out of the three NCAA qualifications earned over the weekend.

Junior All-American Jill Laurendeau was the top collegiate finisher in the 800m run, earning an NCAA bid with her time of 2:08.12, which currently stands as the second-fastest time in the nation. Laurendeau, the Hoyas’ top cross country runner last season, also claimed fourth in the 600m run.

“This was only my second meet of the season, and I wanted to start things on a positive note,” Laurendeau said. “I was a little nervous running a 600 and 800 after the strength and distance training [of the cross country season] but felt prepared to make the adjustment to the faster and shorter races.”

Laurendeau also currently holds the nation’s third-best time this year in the 3,000m run, which she attained last month at the Navy Lid Lifter.

“It wasn’t necessarily our primary goal for Jill to go in and run NCAA qualifying times,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “But she’s very good, very prepared and went and competed hard, and that’s what we got out of her.”

Graduate student Heather Blackard (2:12.12), sophomore Treniere Clement (2:12.58) and junior Erin Sicher (2:14.16) all followed Laurendeau, meeting ECAC requirements in the 800m run. Senior Tyrona Heath claimed runner-up honors in the 600m.

Heath combined with sophomore Monica Hargrove and juniors Jamillah Bowman and Janelle Billingslea to guide the Hoyas to an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 4x400m relay. In a tight contest, the team finished a close second behind South Carolina, which is favored to win the event at nationals. The distance medley relay team of senior Lorena Adams, Clement, Sicher and Hargrove won their race with an ECAC qualifying time of 11:39.64.

Hargrove also met ECAC standards in the 400m dash, where she trailed top ranked Florida’s Faith Rein and the nation’s reigning 400m champ Demetria Washington, with a time of 55.08.

“It was a loaded field, and Monica ran very well,” Helmer said. “She worked really hard over the summer and set herself up to where she was able to handle the workload that we wanted to give her in the fall, and now it’s starting to pay off on the track.”

Billingslea, Heath and Bowman followed Hargrove in the 400m dash, also notching ECAC qualifying marks.

Distance runners Adams (4:57.13), senior Emily Enstice (4:59.13) and sophomore Amanda Pape (4:49.92) claimed seventh, eighth and ninth in the mile, meeting ECAC standards.

Sophomore Jesse O’Connell led the men’s team over the weekend, posting a time of 1:49.93 in the 800m run to provisionally qualify for the NCAA championships. Sophomore Ali Najjar trailed O’Connell in the 800 to claim sixth and meet Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) requirements.

Graduate student Josh Rollins, already an NCAA qualifier in the long jump, missed the NCAA provisional mark by a centimeter in the triple jump, posting a mark of 15.59m on Saturday to claim second place.

Senior distance runners Corey Smith and Chris Miltenberg took the top two spots of the 3,000m run. Smith’s time of 8:11.52 and Miltenberg’s mark of 8:12.05 both met IC4A standards.

Other strong performances over the weekend came from graduate student Kyle Smits (4:11.18) and junior Mike Smith (4:12.38) in the mile, junior George O’ Loughlin (2:29.98) in the 1,000m run and junior Ezra Richards (1:04.91) in the 500m dash. All four qualified for IC4A competition.

Sophomore standout Franklyn Sanchez also made his long-awaited return to the team following an injury in last year’s outdoor season. Sanchez, who broke distance legend Steve Prefontaine’s record in the 5,000m run last spring before suffering his injury, returned to action with a 4:18.06 mile to earn seventh place.

“Overall, I was very pleased with our team results, given that we’re still working hard,” Helmer said.

This weekend the team will send its men’s distance medley relay team to Boston, its developmental team to Prince George’s County and most other athletes to Penn State, in hopes of earning more qualifying times and preparing for the postseason.

“From now on, our schedule has both its challenges and opportunities,” Helmer said. “We’re going into this weekend a little more rested and a bit more focused on running good qualifying times.”

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