GU Dominates Steeplechase, Springer Defends 10K on First Day of BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships

All-American Andrew Springer successfully defended his 10,000-meter title.

May 10, 2014

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Georgetown University track & field team had a stellar first day at the 2014 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Jumbo Elliott Track at Villanova Stadium. Following numerous weather delays, the meet finally got on the track at 7:30 p.m., under the lights. The Hoyas notched three individual titles and following impressive performances in the steeplechase and All-American Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly) defending his 10,000-meter title, the Hoya men are in a commanding lead with 65 points as second-place Marquette trails with 42 points.

Springer and teammate Brian King (Sonoma, Calif./Cardinal Newman) were the lone Hoyas in the men's 10,000m final. They formed a lead pack and quickly pulled away from the field. Despite a slip up before the home straightaway with two miles to go, Springer regrouped quickly and was back with the pack going in to the first turn with eight laps to go. Springer and King were the only consistent presence in the lead pack and with five laps to go, King pulled in to the lead with Springer tucked behind.

On the back straightaway with just 1,000 meters left, Springer made his move for the lead and never relinquished it. He took first with a time of 30:01.82 followed by King in second place (30:02.83). This is the first time on the men's side that a Hoya has successfully defended his title since 2005 and 2006 when Rod Koborsi defended his title, also in the 10,000-meter run. Springer will attempt the double defend as he is entered in tomorrow's 5,000-meter final.

While the jersey says Georgetown on the front, some could argue that the Hoyas could put "Steeple U" on it instead after the performance in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Blue & Gray put four athletes in the 11-person final with All-American Dylan Sorensen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), Matthew Howard (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg), Darren Fahy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and All-American Max Darrah (South Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis Yarmouth Regional) at the start line. The quartet formed a pack early and only Xavier's Thomas Ohlman was able to keep up with the group. The Hoyas were dominant throughout the race and even a spill from Darrah in the final water jump could not keep the Hoyas from taking the top four spots.

Sorensen led the way with a time of 8:55.38, followed by Howard (8:57.09), Fahy (8:59.04) and Darrah (8:59.74), making for a completely Georgetown podium shot. The four were the only ones to break nine minutes in the race.

Starting the steeple tradition for Georgetown was All-American Hannah Neczypor (Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) as she was the lone Hoya to compete in the first finals event on the track. Neczypor put herself in the lead pack early teetering, between first and second place. There was never a real pack in the race as nearly half the track (200 meters) separated the first competitor from the last competitor after the first 1,000 meters.

Necyzpor easily pulled away from the pack and won the event with a time of 10:32.40, nearly seven seconds faster than the second-place runner from Butler.

Eghosa Aghayere (Henrietta, N.Y./Rush Henrietta Sperry) and Richard D'Ambrosio (Collegeville, Pa./Malvern Prep) both made the podium in the men's long jump. Aghayere finished second with a mark of 6.95m while D'Ambrosio took third (6.79m). In his first BIG EAST outdoor championships, Kenneth Armstrong (San Dimas, Calif./Damien) placed sixth with a jump of 6.42m.

The women's 10,000-meter run was literally a runaway for Providence's Sarah Collins, who won the event by just over 90 seconds. The race for second place was a bit closer and GU's Bobbie Burgess (West Lafayette, Ind./West Lafayette) ensured a spot on the podium as she stayed strong and finished third with a time of 35:14.72. Also scoring points for the Hoyas were Kirsten Kasper (Andover, Mass./North Andover) in fifth place (35:24.10) and Joanna Stevens (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) in seventh (36:18.14).

The Hoyas set themselves up well in both the men's and women's 800-meter finals on Sunday as five men and four women advanced to the Sunday final. The men had four of the five qualifiers advance automatically by finishing in the top two of their heat with All-American Billy Ledder (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga) leading the way with the fastest time from the preliminary heats (1:49.65). All-American Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va./Annandale) qualified automatically with a time of 1:50.85 to win his heat while Zach Zingsheim (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic) and Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College) both took second place in their heats with respective automatic qualifying times of 1:51.38 and 1:51.88. Nathaniel Gordon (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg) qualified on time with his fourth-place performance (1:50.80) in the final heat.

The women's 800-meter finals will feature four members of the Blue & Gray with All-American and indoor 800-meter champion Sabrina Southerland (New York, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) leading the way with the top time from the prelim heats (2:04.13). The time is a meet record; the previous record of 2:04.53 was set in 1985.

The defending champion, All-American Chelsea Cox (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), took first in her heat to automatically qualify with a time of 2:07.55, a season best for the senior, who looked true to form on the track making her move on the outside of the home straightaway. Becca DeLoache (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) took second in the first heat, following Cox, with a time of 2:07.87. Shanique Dasilva (Bronx, N.Y./Bishop Ford) held the lead for much of her heat, ultimately finishing second for the auto qualifier, clocking a 2:08.97.

All-American Amanda Kimbers (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) is one of three student-athletes to qualify for two individual finals events tomorrow as she took the top time in both the 100-meter dash (11.90) and the 200-meter dash (24.01).

Also pulling double duty tomorrow will be Tyler Smith (Jeffersonville, Pa./Norristown) and Mike Andre (Ocean, N.J./Ocean Township) who both qualified for the finals of the men's 100- and 200-meter dashes. Smith ran 10.90 (100m) and 21.93 (200m), automatically qualifying in the 100m and on time in the 200m. Andre ran 11.09 (100m) and 22.33 (200m), qualifying on time in both events.

All-American Deseree King (Oxon Hill, Md./Oxon Hill) appeared to be in postseason form tonight as she clocked 59.51 in the women's 400-meter hurdles, easily qualifying for Sunday's finals in an effort to defend her 2013 title. This is a season best for the senior and also the first time this year she has broken one minute in the event.

In the men's 400-meter prelims, All-American Devante Washington (Lafayette, La./Lafayette) finished second in his heat to qualify for Sunday's eight-person final on time (49.09). In the women's 400-meter prelims, Mirabel Nkenke (Orange, N.J./Immaculate Conception) made it to Sunday's final with a time of 57.13, good enough for third in her heat.

The Georgetown men lead the field of seven teams after five events scored with 65 points, followed by Marquette (42), Villanova (31), DePaul (21), Butler (14), Xavier (12) and Providence (10).

Following five events scored, the women are in sixth place of eight teams with 22 points. Villanova leads the way with 41 points followed by Marquette (37), Butler (25), Providence (23), DePaul (23), Georgetown (22), St. John's (12) and Xavier (11).



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