Hoyas Begin Championship Portion of the Schedule with the 2007 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship
May 3, 2007
Washington, D.C. - The Georgetown University outdoor track & field program began its seven-hour bus ride to Storrs, Conn. this morning as the team prepares for the 2007 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships. The three-day event will begin on Friday, May 4 at the George J. Sherman Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Connecticut.
The Hoyas look to rebound from a sub par finish last year and return to the form when they were annually one of the top schools in the field. In 2006, the women finished seventh, while the men were eighth, but historically the two teams have combined to place in the top-five on 34 occasions in the 27-year history of the men's and 24-year history of the women's conference outdoor championships. The men have won a record 11 outdoor titles and are second all-time with 87 individual or relay champions, while the women have won two team and 29 individual or relay titles.
The Georgetown women hope to build off the success of the 2007 BIG EAST Indoor title and sweep the conference track & field championships for the first time since 1996. The Hoyas have had tremendous success so far this season in the mid-distance and distance events, ranking among the conference bests in each event.
Graduate student Hilary Bontz (Fort Collins, Colo./Columbia University) has made the most of her only season on the Hilltop, currently ranking fifth in the country in the 1500m, according to Trackwire.com's Dandy Dozen. She ran a team-best 4:19.95 to place second at the Sea Ray Relays on April 13, a time that is the second-fastest in the conference so far this spring.
The Hoyas enter a strong contingent in the women's 800m, owning the top-four spots of the BIG EAST outdoor performance list. Junior Ashley Hubbard (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) leads the quartet, having run 2:07.80 at the Larry Ellis Invitational on April 20. Freshman Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City), Bontz - who is not competing in the 800m this weekend - and senior Nana Hanson-Hall (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) round out the top-four. Tomlin has posted a strong initial campaign, finishing third and earning All-BIG EAST honors in the 800m at the indoor championships.
Red shirt sophomore Melissa Grelli (Cupertino, Calif./Presentation) highlights the women's distance squad. She is currently seventh in the 10,000m Dandy Dozen list and has the second-fastest time in the conference with an NCAA automatic time of 33:26.56. Sophomore Natasha LaBeaud (Folsom, Calif./Folsom) is right behind Grelli on the 10,000m conference list with an NCAA provisional time of 34:35.63. Grelli is also fourth on the 5000m list.
Sophomore Buky Bamigboye (Brentwood, Tenn./University School) looks to defend her 2006 BIG EAST Outdoor Heptathlon title. Last year, she set a new school record with 5,410 points, taking home the first multi-event championship in school history. This year, she has placed second at the Sea Ray Relays with an NCAA provisional mark of 5,338 points, the third-best total among conference foes. Bamigboye is also third on the BIG EAST performance list in the 400m hurdles with an NCAA regional qualifying time of 1:00.36.
In the relays, the Hoyas currently have the top seed in both the 4x400m and 4x800m relays. At the Larry Ellis Invitational, Georgetown posted an NCAA regional time of 3:39.45 in the 4x400m, while the Hoyas ran 8:40.80 last weekend in the Penn Relays 4x800m Championship of America. Last year, Georgetown was runner-up in the 4x800m.
The men's squad also features great strength in the mid-distance and distance events. Graduate student Fleet Hower (Marion, Va./Marion) leads a group of four Hoyas in the 5000m, three of whom are among the top-seven on the BIG EAST outdoor performance list. Hower is fourth with an NCAA regional time of 13:51.72 and will also double-up with the 10,000m, an event he won back in 2004.
Also with Hower in the men's 5000m field is sophomore Andrew Bumbalough (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy), red shirt freshman Levi Miller (Belfast, Maine/Belfast Area) and senior Andre LaBoy (Danbury, Conn./St. Joesph's). Bumbalough is sixth on the BIG EAST list in the 5000m, while also in the top-five for the 1500m. Meanwhile, Miller is seventh on the list and Laboy scored for the Hoyas with a fourth place finish in the 5000m at the indoor conference championships. In addition to Bumbalough, Miller and junior Matt Debole (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) enter the competition with regional marks in the 1500m to their credit.
Senior Brian Dalpiaz (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) looks to improve on a third-place showing in last year's 3000m steeplechase, as he enters the weekend fifth among conference foes. Sophomore Alex Mason (Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy Prep) and freshman Dan Gerber (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) also have had strong seasons in the steeplechase, joining Dalpiaz with NCAA regional qualifying marks.
Sophomore Terrell Gissendanner (Rochester, N.Y./Edison Tech) was runner-up in last year's 110m hurdles and is currently fifth on the conference list. Graduate student Stanley Lagrenade (Nyack, N.Y./Nyack) mentors a young group of Hoyas in the 800m, having posted the eighth-fastest time in conference this spring. Lagrenade will also anchor the 4x800m relay, featuring three freshmen, which was seventh at last weekend's Penn Relays in 7:25.43, third on the conference performance list.
Competition in Storrs for the Hoyas begins on Friday at noon with Bamigboye beginning the Heptathlon. For live results, heat sheets and news from the weekend, visit the BIG EAST's championship central page by clicking here.