Feb. 28, 2015
NEW YORK - The Georgetown University track & field team competed at the 2015 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday, held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the historic Armory in New York. GU put up a number of top performances, but the highlight of the day was when the Hoyas successfully defended the women's distance medley relay (DMR) title from 2014. Utilizing an entirely new lineup of runners, the Blue & Gray showed its depth in the middle distance. The Hoyas continue the two-day event on Sunday, with the event broadcast in its entirety on the BIG EAST Digital Network.
All-American Samantha Nadel (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore) opened the DMR for the Hoyas, tucking in to second on the rail following the first lap of her 1,200-meter stanza. On the back straightaway of the third lap, Nadel made a move to the front and established a lead the Hoyas would never relinquish. Jocelyn Hubbard (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield/Northeastern) took over the 400-meter leg with Piper Donaghu (Portland, Ore./Grant) in charge of the 800-meter stanza. The Hoyas held on to the lead handily with All-American Madeleine Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) taking over the anchor 1,600-meter leg. Georgetown finished with a time of 11:19.95 as Chambers finished with a 60-meter lead on the field.
The men's team, comprised of Ryan Gil (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny), Andrew Ogle (Powell, Tenn./Powell), Zack Zingsheim (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic) and Christian Alvarado (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield College Prep) finished second in the men's distance medley relay. Gil and Ogle put Zingsheim in excellent position as the race waned down to two familiar competitors in the Villanova Wildcats and Georgetown. Through the final handoff, the two teams were shoulder-to-shoulder with the Marquette University Golden Eagles joining in the mix over the final 1,600 meters. With two to go, the `Cats anchor made his move and Georgetown could not counter, taking second place with a time of 9:55.64.
Jonathan Green (Berlin, Mass./Saint John's High School) waited for just six laps to go in the men's 5,000-meter finals to make his move. Moving around the pack on the back stretch, Green solidified himself among the top group of runners, trading spots through the ensuing laps. With four laps to go, there was a clear lead trio among some of the best distance programs in the country in Villanova, the Providence College Friars and Georgetown. Green took third place with a time of 14:21.66 while teammates Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) and Brian King (Sonoma, Calif./Cardinal Newman) finished fifth (14:29.58) and eighth (14:32.55), respectively, all scoring points for the Hoyas.
In one of the more difficult tasks as a competitor, Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School) spent the majority of the women's 5,000-meter run alone. In a historic race that saw a new collegiate record by PC's Emily Sisson, the Hoyas managed to put three among the top eight, all scoring points for the Blue & Gray, with Pierce leading the way. At the end of the race, Pierce was narrowly edged out for second place, taking third with a time of 16:24.25. Sarah Cotton (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) and Joanna Stevens (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) finished fifth (16:35.35) and seventh (16:54.74), respectively.
All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) looked postseason ready as she stepped on the track for the women's 800-meter prelims. Coogan led the entire way with All-American Hannah Neczypor (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) right there with her, both handily qualifying for Sunday's final with respective times of 2:07.97 and 2:08.07. Joining them in the eight-person final will be Aleta Looker (Ellsworth, Maine/Ellsworth), who qualified with a time of 2:12.76.
Becca DeLoache (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) recorded the fastest time in the women's 500-meter prelims, clocking 1:13.31. The men, not to be outdone, also recorded the fastest time in the 500-meter prelims with Nathaniel Gordon (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg) running 1:04.52, leading Daniel Anderson (Ozark, Mo./Ozark) in to Sunday's final as well, as the sophomore recorded a time of 1:05.25.
The men's mile prelims were the first event on the track with a quartet of Hoyas automatically qualifying in the two heats. Implementing a team running strategy, Michael Lederhouse (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Charles Cooper (Montreal, Canada/Lower Canada College) easily took second (4:18.74) and third (4:18.91), respectively, in the first heat. The second heat featured All-American Ryan Manahan (Marcellus, N.Y./Marcellus) and Matt Howard (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg), who finished third and fourth, running together, clocking 4:21.03 and 4:21.06, respectively.
A trio of Hoyas qualified handily in the women's 1,000-meter prelims. Freshman Kennedy Weisner (St. Mary's, Pa./Elk County Catholic), competing in her first indoor conference championships, and Heather Martin (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) ran in the faster of the two-heat prelim, recording times of 2:48.97 and 2:49.31, respectively, to qualify for Sunday's final. No stranger to the Armory, All-American Sabrina Southerland (New York, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) took a quick lead in the second heat and never looked back, clocking 2:51.03 over the five-lap race.
Tyler Smith's (Jeffersonville, Pa./Norristown) 7.01 was more than enough to qualify the senior for Sunday's 60-meter finals. Jody-Ann Knight (Bentonville, Ark./Bentonville), competing in the faster of a two-heat prelim in the 60-meter dash, clocked 7.74, a new personal record for the freshman, to qualify for Sunday's final.
A pair of freshman qualified for the men's 400-meter finals with Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and Nick Sullivan (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), recording respective times of 48.99 and 49.84. In the women's 400-meter prelims, Ebony McKeever's (San Francisco, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral) time of 57.73 qualified the sophomore for Sunday's final.
Sunday's coverage on the BIG EAST Digital Network begins at 10:15 a.m., with Pat O'Keefe and Cayleigh Griffin on the call.
The BIG EAST Digital Network is available through FOX Sports. To access the Fox Sports Go app on your mobile or tablet you can download it for free from the Fox website (http://www.foxsports.com/foxsportsgo/), iTunes and the App Store. Once you've downloaded the app you will be taken to the Fox Sports Go landing page. To access BIG EAST content simply click on "All Channels" and select the BIG EAST tab. To access the Fox Sports Go website on your desktop you have to confirm your cable subscription. Enter your username and password obtained from your cable provider.
Men's Standings Through Saturday:
Marquette (60.50), Villanova (48.50), DePaul (26), Georgetown (25), Providence (16), Butler (10), Xavier (8)
Women's Standings Through Saturday:
Villanova (45), Marquette (40), St. John's (39), Providence (26), Butler (24), Georgetown (22), Xavier (19), DePaul (19)