Women's 4x100-Meter Relay Squad Sets New School Record at Penn Relays
April 22, 2010
Last updated at 11:10 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA - On what couldn't be a more perfect day to be sitting in the stands at historic Franklin Field, the Georgetown women's sprints program continues to progress at the right pace this outdoor season, breaking a school record they set less than two weeks ago. With the temperatures creeping no higher than a cool 70 degrees, the stage was set for the 116th running of the Penn Relays Carnival and the Hoyas started with a bang in front of an announced crowd of 24,102. As the night progressed, the temperatures dropped - but the GU performances didn't. Ayalew Taye and Andrew Springer took third and fourth, respectively, in the men's 5,000-meter Olympic development section.
Running in the third heat, the Hoyas put out a stellar quartet in Sarah Wernik, Tenille Stoudenmire, Nene Kamate and Amanda Kimbers. The foursome has already run the top two times in Georgetown history this season - and when the clock ticked just past 1:10 p.m., the Hoyas made it the top three times in school history. GU posted a time of 44.69 to finish second in the third heat behind LSU.
The previous record (45.05) was set earlier this season at the Larry Ellis Invitational by the same quartet.
"I feel it was a solid race. It was our first time under 45," Assistant Track & Field Coach Marlo Mincey said. "This team has really made a statement and they've done it all on the track."
While the time is already impressive as it is a new school record - the Hoyas are making a bigger splash on the national scene. The time was the eighth-best time from the women's heats today. The top eight teams move on to the Championships of America finals to be raced on Friday with a start time of 1:05 p.m.
The field for Friday's race is Texas A&M (43.13), LSU (43.25), University of Technology - Kingston, Jamaica (44.14), Auburn (44.12), Florida State (44.30), South Carolina (44.41), Oregon (44.46) and Georgetown (44.69).
Ayalew Taye took third place in the Men's 5,000-meter Olympic Development. Taye was strong throughout the entire race, staying near the front of the pack. With about six laps (2,400 meters) to go, the top three were locked in. Taye staved off all other competitors as Ryan Blood, running for Keystone Elite, ran a spectacular last 400 meters to solidify his first-place standing and Virginia's Sean Keveren took a convincing second place. Taye's time was 14:16.80 for third with Andrew Springer, who ran the event unattached, right behind him in fourth place (14:17.60). This is a season best for Taye. Bobby Peavey (unattached) and TC Lumbar finished 17th (14:30.18) and 26th (14:44.72), respectively.
In just her first Penn Relays representing the Blue & Gray, Emily Jones showed experience beyond her years. Running a smart race, she and Natasha LaBeaud paced each other during the Women's 5,000-meter Championship. The duo held strong, leading the second pack and continuing to make moves each lap on the final straightaway. No stranger to strategy, Jones made her move on bell lap to take sixth place overall with a time of 16:31.82. LaBeaud finished eighth with a time of 16:33.80 and Kelsey Malmquist took 18th with a time of 16:46.33.
In the women's 4x400-meter heats, the Hoyas took fifth place in heat two and 14th overall with a time of 3:40.35. With London Finley leading off for the Hoyas, Stoudenmire took over the second leg after her previous performance in the school-record-setting 4x100m, and Kimbers took the third stanza. Kimbers split a 55.06 with Deidra Sanders taking care of anchor duties. Sanders split a 54.03, a personal best for the junior.
In an unfortunate turn of events for the Hoyas, Avril Ogrodnick, who led off for the Hoyas in the Women's DMR Championship of America, got into a jam with a couple of other runners and ended up taking a spill. She was resilient and was able to get back and continue the race despite barely passing the 400-meter mark when she hit the ground. The recovery time would prove too much as the Hoyas took ninth place with a time of 11:19.27 (3:30.38 / 54.44 / 2:08.49 / 4:45.96).
The Hoyas will be back at Franklin Field for day two of the 116th running of the Penn Relays Carnival. Stay tuned to GUHoyas.com for a blog and full recap of the day's events.