Gil Wins Steeplechase on First Day of BIG EAST Outdoor Championships

Ryan Gil

May 8, 2015

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - After the first day of competition at the 2015 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Georgetown men are currently in third place with 36 points behind Villanova (79) and Marquette (73). The women currently stand in seventh place with 17 points behind Villanova (68), Marquette (34), DePaul (29), St. John's (29), Butler (27) and Providence (21). The two-day championship continues tomorrow with live coverage available on the BIG EAST Digital Network. The first field event is scheduled for noon while the first event on the track is slated for 1 p.m.

To highlight the night that featured four final events on the track, Ryan Gil (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) won the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase followed closely by Matt Howard (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) in second place. Rounding out the point scorers was Christian Alvarado (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield College Prep), competing in his first steeplechase as a Hoya, who took fifth place. The trio took the lead from the start and Gil and Howard were never out of the top three, as the threesome exchanged the lead through the majority of the race. Gil and Howard pulled away into a race of their own with Gil clocking 8:58.67, the lone competitor to break nine minutes. Howard recorded a time of 9:01.24 while Alvarado finished with a time of 9:25.27. This is Gil's first BIG EAST event title.

This is the second-consecutive year the Hoyas have won the event as well as the second-straight year the Blue & Gray put at least two on the podium. This is the fourth time in program history GU has won back-to-back years (2015/2014, 1995/1994, 1992/1991, 1985/1984). Gil is the seventh Hoya to win the event and Georgetown has nine titles in the league's history.

In the women's 10,000-meter finals, the Hoyas quickly moved to the front and were part of what became a lead pack of seven competitors. All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat), Madeline Perez (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Sarah Cotton (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) consistently traded spots throughout the race, with Chambers making the biggest move over the final three of the 25-lap affair. Chambers gave chase to Butler's Mara Olson but fell just shy over the final 400 meters, recording a time of 34:28.94 for second place behind Olson (34:27.01). Perez finished fourth (34:39.71) while Cotton placed fifth (34:44.39) as all GU student-athletes in the race scored points.

Stephen Kersch (Alburquerque, N.M./Sandia Prep/University of Portland) made a strong push in the men's 10,000-meter finals, finishing third with a time of 30:08.10. This snaps a three-year streak where the Hoyas have won the event. Also competing in the race was Austin Gregor (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks South), who finished 10th (31:52.37).

Richard D'Ambrosio (Collegeville, Pa./Malvern Prep) made the podium in the men's long jump, recording a mark of 7.12m for third place, his best mark at an outdoor championship. Kenneth Armstrong (San Dimas, Calif./Damien) finished seventh with a mark of 6.58m.

Preliminary Trials Results
In the women's 1,500-meter run, an impressive quintet of student-athletes made it to Saturday's final, a 12-person field. Automatically qualifying from the two-heat prelim were Kennedy Weisner (St. Mary's, Pa./Elk County Catholic), who clocked the fastest time from the prelims with a 4:24.07, along with Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School) with a time of 4:27.75 and All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy). Aleta Looker (Ellsworth, Maine/Ellsworth) and All-American Hannah Neczypor (Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) qualified for tomorrow's final on time, snagging two of the four remaining spots with respective times of 4:32.04 and 4:34.38.

A Hoya foursome will be in the women's 800-meter finals. Heather Martin (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius), Kristen Walsh (Stony Point, N.Y./North Rockland) and Emma Keenan (Gwynedd Valley, Pa./Gwynedd-Mercy Academy) recorded the second- (2:05.40), third- (2:08.66) and fourth-fastest (2:08.77) times, respectively, of the heats. Martin and Walsh both recorded personal records (PR) in the event.

Saturday's 800-meter finals will feature a trio of Hoyas with All-Americans Billy Ledder (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga), Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va./Annandale) and Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) all qualifying automatically by finishing among the top two in their heats. The trio recorded respective times of 1:50.61, 1:51.78 and 1:51.98.

In the men's 400-meter dash, Daniel Anderson (Ozark, Mo./Ozark) ran a PR to take first place in heat two of the prelims. Anderson clocked 48.92 to qualify for Saturday's final. Anderson improves upon his previous PR of 49.27 that he ran at the 2015 Mason Spring Invitational.

The Hoyas continue competition Saturday, May 9, for the final day of the BIG EAST Championships.

The BIG EAST Digital Network is 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 (, 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.



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