Jan. 29, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown track & field team opened the two-day Penn State National Invitational with a school record in the women’s distance medley relay (DMR). The premier indoor track & field meet held at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track also saw the men’s team run the third-fastest DMR in program history.
“Our objective first is to come here and secure NCAA qualifying times on both the men’s and the women’s side,” Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Michael Smith said. “We did that tonight. We want to run times that safely secure our spots at the NCAA meet so we don’t have to chase later in the season.”
The No. 10 women’s team did just that and set a school record in the process. With a time of 10:54.77, the Hoya women bested the previous school record (10:55.63) set at the 2014 BIG EAST Championships and also outdid their time from last year’s Penn State National Invitational (10:57.71), the best time from the 2015 indoor season.
All-American Andrea Keklak (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury/Princeton) led the way for the Hoyas on the 1,200-meter leg, splitting unofficially 3:20 with a strong final 400 meters to her stanza to give GU the lead. Heather Martin (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius), coming off a cross country season where she was focused on her distance running, came in and split an unofficial 54.6 over her 400-meter leg, keeping the lead as Stanford closed the gap.
All-American Sabrina Southerland (New York, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) was in charge of the 800-meter third leg and ran 2:02.9 from the front with Stanford’s Olivia Baker on her shoulder at the handoff. All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) anchored the foursome, splitting 4:36 over her 1,600-meter leg. With 200 meters to go, Stanford’s Rebecca Mehra passed Coogan but the senior responded well as the Hoyas finished second with the new school record, less than two-tenths of a second behind Stanford for second place.
The No. 23 men’s team finished third in the DMR behind host Penn State and Stanford in second. No team outside the top three managed to break 9:30 in the event. GU’s time of 9:29.78 is the third-fastest time in program history
All-American Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) led the way for the Hoyas, keeping the Blue & Gray among the lead pack over the opening 1,200-meter leg. All-American Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) ran the 400-meter leg and kept the Hoyas among the top four as Ole Miss was in the lead through the second leg.
All-American Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College) was part of the closing pack over his 800-meter leg before handing off to All-American Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va./Annandale) on the anchor leg. Stanford’s Sean McGorty was the first to take over the lead from Ole Miss followed by Penn State’s Brannon Kidder and Bile on the outside. Kidder, competing on his home track, narrowly edged out McGorty for the top two as the Hoyas finished third.
“We’re really thrilled with the performances,” Smith said. “It’s all about execution. We are asking our athletes to go get a job done and they are executing. They are doing that for their team and that’s the way we want to run.”
The Hoyas return to the track for day two of the Penn State National Invitational on Saturday.
• Stanford and Georgetown currently own the two fastest women’s collegiate times recorded this season.
• GU’s time ranks among the top 10 in the all-time women’s collegiate DMR at No. 9 and Georgetown is one of just three programs to have more than one time among the top 10: Stanford leads the way with three (No. 5, 6, 8), Villanova with two (No. 3, 7) and Georgetown with two (No. 9, 10).
• This is the second school record broken under the direction of Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Michael Smith.