May 4, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - The Georgetown men's track & field team started the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships with a stellar night. Mark Dennin (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) won his first-ever BIG EAST Championship as he took first place in the 10,000-meter run. Earlier in the night, Matt Howard (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) had a big personal record in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish fifth.
"It was a really special race for Mark," Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Patrick Henner said. "He's faced so much adversity and he's worked through it and really put himself back on the stage as one of the best runners in the country."
The men's 10,000-meter run was a very even race through the first 6,000 meters of the race. T.C. Lumbar (Edina, Minn./Edina) was the first Hoya to move up toward the front as he made a move on the outside. It became a kicker's race with the lead exchanging from team-to-team. With three laps to go, Lumbar and Dennin moved toward the front and all four Hoyas, Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) and Ben Furcht (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion), were in the top eight and in a definitive lead pack with two laps to go. On the home straightaway leading into the bell lap, Dennin made his move on the outside and took over first place in the first 100 meters of the final lap. Dennin was in a battle with Syracuse's Robert Molke and held him off on the back straight and held his ground over the final turn. Coming up on the home straightaway, there was no question that Dennin would be the victor as he timed in at 33:06.47.
Lumbar finished third with a time of 33:08.76 while Leibold and Furcht finished seventh (33:13.70) and ninth (33:21.03), respectively. Dennin and Lumbar looked incredibly strong over the final 800 meters with stellar kicks over the final 400..
Howard ran a solid race in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase as he settled in with the pack for the first couple of laps. As a lead pack formed, Howard stayed with the chase pack, settling in for ninth place. Howard made strong moves to go from ninth to seventh in 400 meters and settled in seventh for a bit before making a move to fifth as the chase pack dissipated. Howard ran the final 800 meters in one of the toughest positions as he made chase on the fourth-place runner but also separated himself from what was left of the chase pack, running alone over the final two laps. Howard would stay in fifth place through the end where he timed in at 9:01.67.
In the women's 10,000-meter race, All-American Emily Jones (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield) finished eighth overall with a time of 36:04.65. Jones stayed with the pack, settling in sixth place for the first half of the race. As the pack pulled apart, there was a lone leader while the runners in second and third stuck together with runners in fourth and fifth running together and finally the sixth-place runner and Jones sticking together. Jones fell off the pace a little as it picked up and slipped to eighth. She spent the final 2,000 meters running on her own in eighth place.
Meaghan Gregory (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) finished 17th in the women's 3,000-meter run with a time 11:23.77.
The Hoyas continue action at the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday with track events beginning at 4:30 p.m. All heats tomorrow will be trials to qualify for Sunday's final with the exception of the men's and women's 5,000-meter runs. A live blog will be available on www.GUHoyas.com.