April 24, 2015
PHILADELPHIA - The Georgetown University track & field team finished up the second day of the 121st Penn Relays Carnival, held at historic Franklin Field, following two Championship of America distance relays. It was the second-consecutive day highlighted by the anchoring skills of All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy).
The Georgetown women finished third in the women's 4x1,500-Meter Relay Championship of America Invitational with a time of 17:36.83. The Hoyas recorded the third-fastest time in GU history, anchored by Coogan's 4:17.2 split, tied for the fastest split of the day and a relay carry that ranks fourth in the Georgetown record books.
"It feels pretty good," Coogan said of her impressive anchor performances. "I wish that we would have won or that we were in a position to contend. I just tried to race hard for my team, just like they did for me. I wasn't worried about time, I was trying to make the best of the situation and the cold and windy conditions.
All-American Hannah Neczypor (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) led off for the Hoyas, keeping GU in contention as she moved from fifth place to fourth over the final 300 meters of her frame, splitting 4:25.4. Taking over the second leg was Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School), splitting 4:27.2, as Stanford and North Carolina began to pull away. All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) took over the third leg, taking charge of the chase pack, recording a split of 4:27.0 before handing the baton off to Coogan.
Coogan's 4:17.2 split was handily the fastest of the anchor legs by nearly three seconds with Annie LeHardy of North Carolina recording a 4:20.1 for the second-fastest anchor. Coogan's split tied for the fastest of the day as Stanford's third leg, Elise Cranny, also clocked 4:17.2. Coogan closed the gap as the Hoyas finished third (17:36.83) behind Stanford (17:27.54) and North Carolina (17:30.22).
The anchor relay carry ranks fourth all-time in Georgetown history behind former Hoya All-American Emily Infeld's 4:16.9 (2011 Penn Relays) and edging out sister Maggie Infeld's 2009 Penn Relays performance (4:17.5).
"I love running at Penn Relays," Coogan explained. "It's such a great meet and there's a lot of history here, especially for Georgetown. The chance to represent the Hoyas - it's just really special and it's great to be here with so many fans of the sport."
A little more than one hour later, another foursome of Hoyas hit the track. Utilizing the same quartet that earned them a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Hoyas sent out All-Americans Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day), Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic), Billy Ledder (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga) and Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College).
Bartelsmeyer opened the relay on the 1,200-meter leg, making a move on the back straightaway of his final lap, picking off runners before an unfortunate mishap at the first exchange left runners on the ground. Just as White received the baton, he turned and toppled over the remnants of the calamity. A quick tumble and White was back on his feet, but there was not much that White or the Hoyas could do about their position, far from the front of the 14-team field.
Ledder kept the Hoyas in the same position over his two-lap leg before handing off to Williams. While most eyes were on Oregon's phenom anchor Edward Cheserek, many missed the moves that GU's Williams made to move the Hoyas up to seventh place (9:43.64), splitting 4:02.68. Oregon successfully defended its title (9:33.86), followed by Villanova (9:34.36), Stanford (9:37.11), Indiana (9:37.71), Columbia (9:38.23) and Oklahoma (9:42.22).
Saturday's Events ...
1:15 p.m. - Men's 4xMile Relay Championship of America Invitational
4:10 p.m. - Women's 4x800-Meter Relay Championship of America Invitational
4:40 p.m. - Men's 4x800-Meter Relay Championship of America
The men's track & field program has won 10 COA wheels in the men's 4x800-meter relay, dating back as early as 1925 and the most recent championship in 2004. Georgetown has three squads that are among the Penn Relays top 10 in the event with the 1982 squad ranking fourth, the 2004 squad tabbed eighth and the 1985 squad at 10th. The women's team has three wheels in the 4x800-meter relay from 1996, 1998 and most recently in 2000.