May 28, 2016
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Georgetown University track & field team closed the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary on a high note as a pair of Hoyas advanced to the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at historic Hayward Field, on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. The three-day preliminary, held at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., serves as the first step toward the final site of competition. In total, nine Hoyas will travel to the West Coast June 8-11 for nationals.
"We're really pleased with the group we have going on to Eugene," Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Michael Smith said. "We had a really good rate of getting athletes through the rounds and that's a testament to the hard work they put in all year. It's another year of Georgetown sending a strong group of athletes to nationals."
Women's Recap (Individual Results)
All-American Andrea Keklak (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln Sudbury/Princeton) ran a smart race in the 1,500-meter quarterfinals, waiting to make her move until she came off the final turn of the bell lap and surged to the front over the final straightaway. She clocked 4:19.35 and finished third in her heat for the automatic qualifier to the semifinals in Eugene.
Competing in the first of the two-heat 1,500-meter run, Kennedy Weisner (St. Marys, Pa./Elk County Catholic) stayed among the top seven through the first 700 meters but as the field thinned out, Weisner slipped back to finish with a time of 4:32.33.
The women's 5,000-meter semifinal was a nailbiter as All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) competed in the first of a two-heat semi. The field took its time to thin out but once a lead pack formed, Coogan was a part of it. On the bell lap, Coogan pushed forward to finish sixth (16:16.59), one spot out of the coveted top five automatic qualifiers. Coogan had to play the waiting game to see if she would qualify for one of the two time spots remaining following the second heat. Though the second heat was the faster of the two, Coogan's time was enough to garner one of the final two spots.
Also competing in the women's 5,000-meter run were Audrey Belf (Birmingham, Mich./Earnest W. Seaholm) and Autumn Eastman (Hinesburg, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), who clocked 17:01.77 and 17:10.48, respectively.
Men's Recap (Individual Results)
In the men's 1,500-meter quarterfinals, a pair of Hoyas competed with Spencer Brown (Wilton, Conn./Wilton), a freshman making his NCAA east preliminary debut, competing in the second and faster heat. Brown stayed with the chase pack, but as the field pushed through the final 200 meters, Brown slipped back, timing in at 3:48.54, short of a time qualifier.
All-American Ahmed Bile (Annandale, Va./Annandale) was in the first heat, a tightly-packed affair, which saw a couple of skirmishes that tripped up competitors. Coming off the final turn and up the home straightaway, Bile was thrown off balance but managed to regain his stride as the senior clocked 3:48.85, shy of a time qualifier.
In the men's 5,000-meter semifinals, John Murray (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) finished11th in his heat, the second of the two-heat round. A field that went through faster than the first, Murray had the tough task of running alone during the final laps as it finally thinned out. He managed to chase down Harvard's Brandon Price as he clocked 14:33.07.
This is the second time in her career that Andrea Keklak has qualified for the semifinals of an event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 2014, she was an 800-meter semifinalist.
This is the second time in her career that Katrina Coogan has qualified for the semifinals of an event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 2015, she was a 1,500-meter semifinalist.
With nine student-athletes advancing to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Hoyas match the total from the 2015 season.