May 6, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - Today was a banner day for London Finley (Los Angeles, Calif./St. Mary's Academy) who is competing in her last BIG EAST outdoor championships. She entered two events at the championships this weekend, held at the USF Track & Field Stadium in Tampa, Fla., and walked away as a champion in both. The senior is now a six-time BIG EAST Champion with three in outdoor and three in indoor. She book ends her career on the Hilltop with a women's 400-meter hurdles championship as a freshman and again as a senior.
The Hoya women finished seventh of 15 teams with 61 points behind Louisville (104), Notre Dame (99.5), USF (84), Cincinnati (81), West Virginia (72) and Pittsburgh (66). The men finished eighth of 13 teams with 57 points behind Notre Dame (153), USF (100), Pittsburgh (86), Connecticut (83), Syracuse (79), Villanova (75.5) and Cincinnati (58).
Finley could not have asked for a better way to compete in her final BIG EAST women's 400-meter hurdles today. Finley and West Virginia's Chelsea Carrier-Eades, last year's champion, were hitting the hurdles at the same time through 200 meters but Finley started to put a lead on Carrier-Eades and by the time she got to the straightaway, it was clear that Finley had the win, her second BIG EAST outdoor 400-meter hurdles championship. Finley's time of 56.67 is a new school record as well as a new BIG EAST Outdoor Championships record and USF Track & Field Stadium record. Finley's time currently ranks fifth on the latest Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS) behind times of 55.25, 55.93, 56.53 and 56.59.
To end the day, Finley ran the second leg of the winning women's 4x400-meter relay. Tenille Stoudenmire (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) led off for the Hoyas, keeping them in contention. Finley's carry took the Hoyas up to first place with All-American Chelsea Cox (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) taking over the third stanza. Cox handed off in third place and All-American Amanda Kimbers (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) surged to the front for the win. The Hoyas timed in at 3:35.96 for the championship. This is Finley's sixth BIG EAST individual title overall (3 indoor, 3 outdoor), Stoudenmire's third overall (2 indoor, 1 outdoor), Kimbers third overall (2 indoor, 1 outdoor) and Cox's second overall (1 indoor, 1 outdoor).
In the women's 1,500-meter run All-American and NCAA Champion Emily Infeld (University Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) got edged out on the home straightaway after taking over the lead at the bell. Infeld took over with 400 to go and held off Notre Dame's Rebecca Tracy through the back stretch and on the final turn but on the home straight, Tracy outkicked Infeld, winning the event with a time of 4:22.71 while Infeld took second place with a time of 4:23.25. Four Hoyas were in the women's 1,500 finals with All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) taking fourth (4:26.26), Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) placing sixth (4:27.68) and Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore./Jesuit) finishing 12th (4:32.74).
The women's 200-meter dash saw Kimbers keep pace with winner Cambrya Jones through 100 meters but Jones pulled ahead to win the event with a time of 22.91 while Kimbers clocked in at 23.43.
Three GU student-athletes competed in the men's 1,500-meter run with Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly), Bobby Peavey (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) and Miles Schoedler (Ocean View, N.J./Ocean City) all competing and two scoring points for the Hoyas. In the race Springer kept toward the front for the majority of the race and at the bell, the pace picked up heavily with Springer keeping up. On the back straight, the group thinned and Springer kept in the top four through the final turn. On the home straight, Springer pushed just past Villanova's Robert Denault for third place as Springer timed in at 3:51.74, just one-hundredth of a second faster than Denault in fourth. Peavey ran 3:54.89 for eight place while Schoedler timed in at 3:55.45 for ninth.
In the men's 400-meter hurdles, Toby Ulm (Marlborough, United Kingdom/St. John's School & Community College) looked solid through 200 meters and pulled ahead into the top three over the final turn and home straightaway. Ulm recorded a time of 51.45 to finish third and make the podium.
All-Americans Cox and Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) entered a tough field in the women's 800-meter run with the sun beating down on the track. Over the first 400, both Hoyas were in the bottom half of the pack but started to make moves toward the front over the final lap. Cox moved up to fourth by the back straightaway but couldn't catch the trio in front of her. Coming off the final turn, Cox maintained for fourth place (2:05.58) while Schneider pushed forward into fifth (2:06.15). This is a season best for Cox.
The women's 4x800-meter relay featured two familiar faces from earlier in the day in Infeld and Schneider who took over the third and anchor legs, respectively, as well as leadoff Hannah Neczypor (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) and Lauren Borduin (Columbia, Mo./Rock Bridge). Neczypor's leadoff left the Hoyas in seventh through the first exchange. Borduin took over the second carry and pulled the Hoyas up into sixth place as she handed off to Infeld. Infeld's leg propelled the Hoyas from sixth place up to a battle for third with Schneider pulling into third at the exchange. With Schneider at anchor, the Hoyas timed in at fourth with a time of 8:39.35 behind Villanova, Notre Dame and Connecticut.
The first event of the day for the Blue & Gray was the men's 4x100-meter relay featuring Biyerem Okengwu (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway Township), Tyler Smith (Jeffersonville, Pa./Norristown), Kevin Wilson (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown/George Mason) and anchor Hansel Akers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield). The foursome finished fourth in their heat and fifth overall with a time of 41.64.
Less than one hour later, Okengwu lined up for the men's 110-meter high hurdles. After a false start, the field was hesitant out of the blocks but Okengwu was able to pick up points for the Hoyas with a time of 14.17, enough for sixth place.
Shortly after Wilson was also back on the track in the finals of the men's 400-meter dash. His time of 46.91 was enough for fifth place.
Akers, Ulm, Austin Perron (Philadelphia, Pa./High School of Engineering & Science) and Wilson competed in the men's 4x400-meter relay, taking third with a time of 3:09.75. Akers and Ulm did a good job at the first two legs and Perron maintained the pace, handing off to Wilson in fourth place. Wilson pulled the Blue & Gray into third place over the back straightaway and held on to that spot for the remainder of the race.
The foursome of Springer, Michael Reher (San Francisco, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep), Brian Manning (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) and Omar Kaddurah (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) timed in at 7:34.30 in the men's 4x800-meter relay to finish sixth.
The Hoyas return to the track on May 11 for the Carolina Qualifier in Chapel Hill, N.C.