March 12, 2016
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Hoyas continue to make history as Georgetown won the women’s distance medley relay (DMR) at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala. It’s just the third NCAA women’s DMR title in program history and the first one since 1999. For the first time in NCAA history, the top five teams broke 11 minutes as the Blue & Gray clocked 10:57.21 for the win.
The Hoyas will compete in three finals on Saturday, March 12, the women’s mile and the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter runs. The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Women’s Recap: History in the Making (10 points, T5th through first day)
For just the third time in program history, the Hoyas are victorious in the women’s DMR at the NCAA indoor championships. Clocking 10:57.21, the Hoyas won the NCAA title and recorded the ninth-fastest DMR time in NCAA history, eclipsing Villanova’s 2013 time of 10:57.96.
“The significance of the DMR – it’s a race that we have concentrated on as a program because it displays the versatility and depth of the middle distances and distances,” Director of Track & Field Michael Smith said after the race. “It was a collection of student-athletes doing their jobs tonight. With the scenarios I gave them before the race, they had a good understanding of what to focus on in a given situation.”
All-American Andrea Keklak (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury/Princeton) led off for the Hoyas, staying among the top three for the majority of her leg, splitting 3:24.11 over her 1,200 meters. Heather Martin (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) took over the 400-meter stanza and put up an impressive 54.04 split as the middle distance runner held her own against a field of dedicated sprinters in just her first outing at the NCAA indoor championships.
“We were asking a lot from Andrea Keklak who was coming back from the second-fastest mile of her life,” Smith continued. “We’ve known for a month now that at NCAAs she was going to be asked for two big performances within three hours. Keklak never had any hesitation and she just ran selfless for her team. And then Heather Martin - she was in our top seven in cross country and she was running against big time sprinters. She went out really hard and had fought a really tough second 200 to keep us in it. Every 400 this season, she has always delivered.”
Emma Keenan (Gwynedd Valley, Pa./Gwynedd-Mercy Academy), competing in her first NCAA indoor championships, ran the 800-meter frame and split 2:05.13, the second-fastest split of the field.
“Emma Keenan has worked through a lot of adversity to get here,” Smith continued. “I’m happy that we could run a fresh 800-meter leg. A lot of other teams don’t have that option if they have someone in the open 800. To run the second-fastest split, that’s just showing up and doing her job.”
Through the final exchange, seasoned anchor and All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) took over the stick in third place. With 800 meters to go, Coogan started to put the pressure on the field as she moved into the lead to control the pace. Once Coogan took the lead, she never gave it up, extending the gap to split 4:33.95, the fastest anchor split of the night as the Hoyas took the title.
“I cannot say enough about Katrina,” Smith said. “Katrina will come into my office and all she wants to talk about is this relay. It’s a testament to how much she cares about her team. At one point, she had six of the best anchors in the country on her and she maintained her focus. Watching those last 50 meters, I was just so happy for her.”
Earlier in the evening, Keklak automatically qualified for the finals of the mile as she finished fourth, clocking 4:37.87. Keklak stayed among the top two for most of the race, and as the field kicked over the final lap, Keklak stayed on the inside and solidified a spot among the top four, earning an auto bid to the finals.
In the 800-meter prelims, All-American Sabrina Southerland (New York, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) stayed among the front through 600 meters of the race, but as the field kicked over the final 200 meters, Southerland slipped to sixth place in her heat, timing in at 2:05.41.
In the 800-meter prelims, All-American Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) was in a difficult position in the second of a two-heat prelim where the first heat was the fastest of the pair. After the stagger, the sophomore was pushed into some bad positioning and slipped to the back of the pack. He made efforts to get toward the front, but by the time White was able to make his move over the final 200 meters and pick off runners, the sophomore All-American was only able to pull into fourth place (1:48.37) as the top three advanced to the finals automatically.
Competing in the second of a two-heat prelim with the top four advancing automatically, All-American Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) narrowly missed out on the finals of the mile. The pack went through the first 1,200 meters of the race at a conservative pace setting up the final kick as the defining factor. Bartelsmeyer came off the final turn and shifted into his final gear but he was unable to catch Cornell’s James Gowans as he was six-hundredths of a second shy (4:09.56) from the auto qualifier and he finished fifth. All-American Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College) finished eighth in the heat, clocking 4:12.84.
The men’s DMR foursome of Michael Lederhouse (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West), White, Bartelsmeyer and Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va./Annandale) got in trouble early as the tightly-packed field created a situation where leadoff runner Lederhouse stumbled and the foursome could not recover as they finished 12th (10:29.70).
ESPN3 will provide a live stream of the event starting at 4:55 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 12. A re-air of the championship will take place on Sunday, March 13 starting at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and also Wednesday, March 23 starting at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
• This is the eighth event title in the history of the women’s track & field program and the third in the women’s DMR.
• The women’s DMR is the first NCAA event title for the Hoyas since Emily Infeld won the 3,000-meter run in 2012.
• The Hoyas previously won the DMR in 1997 (Maxine Clark, Ayana Wright, Amy Ross, Miesha Marzell; 11:08.54) and 1999 (Autumn Fogg, Carron Allen, Katrina de Boer, Lisa Roder; 11:10.16).
• With the title, Georgetown moves into a tie for second for most women’s NCAA DMR titles (3) with Michigan (2013, 2005, 1998) and North Carolina (2007, 2006, 2003) and behind Tennessee with four (2010, 2009, 2008, 2004).
• The last time a Hoya was in the finals of the women’s mile was 2013 when Rachel Schneider finished ninth.