May 30, 2015
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On the final day of the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminary, four more Hoyas advanced to Eugene and a spot at the finals site of the 2015 NCAA Championships. The three-day meet, held at Hodges Stadium on the Campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, serves as the precursor to the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, June 10-13. With the addition of four more today, the Blue & Gray totals nine student-athletes competing at outdoor nationals.
The first event on the track for the Hoyas was the women's 1,500-meter quarterfinal. All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) competed in the first of two heats, a stacked field of elite competitors from the East region. With the pack staying close together through the first 700 meters, a near misstep threatened Coogan's balance and the outcome of the race. Coogan stayed upright and despite losing a spot or two in the field, she stayed with the lead pack. A strong push up the final straightaway was all Coogan needed to ensure a trip to Eugene. She clocked 4:13.53 to finish fourth. This is Coogan's first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
In the men's 1,500-meter run, All-American Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College) competed in the second of a two-heat quarterfinal, what would turn out to be the faster of the two. In a very fast field, Williams stayed among the front of the pack and almost looked like he could get boxed in. Coming off the final turn, Williams opted for a route closer to the inside as many went high. Over the last 40 meters, Williams' took his speed up another notch and provided a good lean at the end to clinch a berth to the NCAA Championships. Williams timed in at 3:45.10 for fourth place in the heat and overall.
In her final season of competition on the Hilltop, All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) will return to the NCAA Track & Field Championships, her third trip to the championships in her four seasons of outdoor eligibility. Chambers competed in the second of a two-heat women's 5,000-meter first round, staying consistent wire to wire and dropping the third-fastest final lap in her heat to finish fifth. Chambers split 1:12.72 for a season-best time of 16:13.54 and an automatic bid to Eugene.
Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) ran an impressive last 1,600 meters in the second heat of the men's 5,000-meter first round to set a personal record (PR) 13:54.05, more than 10 seconds faster than his previous best. Leibold's time was an automatic qualifying mark to earn him a trip to nationals.
The Hoyas await the 2015 NCAA Track & Field Championships, a four-day meet that starts on Wednesday, June 10 in Eugene, Ore., at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
There's a first time for everything ... Of GU's nine national qualifiers, eight head to the finals site of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the first time in their careers.
With nine qualifiers, Georgetown matches its mark in 2010 when the Hoyas sent 12 athletes to nationals in nine events, eight individual events and one relay.
With Katrina Coogan punching her ticket to Eugene, 2015 marks the second-consecutive year the Hoyas have sent a student-athlete to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the women's 1,500-meter run. It is also the fifth time in the last seven years (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) that a Hoya has traveled to the finals site. Georgetown has a rich history in the women's 1,500-meter run with 19 All-America honors in the event since 1984 from 12 different student-athletes. The last time a GU runner won the national championship in the event was in 1996 when Miesha Marzell won with a time of 4:17.92.
Cole Williams becomes the first Hoya to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in the men's 1,500-meter run in six years since Liam Boylan-Pett finished sixth in 2009. GU has earned 201 All-America honors from 12 student-athletes in the event while Steve Holman, a three-time All-America honoree in the event, won the national title in 1992, timing in at 3:38.39.
Joe White will make his debut at the NCAA Track & Field Championships as a true freshman. He will also be the first GU student-athlete to make the finals site in the men's 800-meter run since Jesse O'Connell was a runner-up in the event in 2004. Georgetown won the event in 1997 when Bryan Woodward clocked 1:46.45 for the title.
GU has earned the moniker "Steeple U" with three-straight years of qualifying two student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the men's steeplechase - this year's duo a set of newbies in Darren Fahy and Ryan Gil. Steeple U's first foray in the event was a national title in 1972 behind Joe Lucas, whose 8:30.20 still ranks as the second-best time in school history.
Jonathan Green will participate in his first NCAA Outdoor Championships but he is no stranger to Hayward Field having competed for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Track & Field Championships on the track. Green marks the fourth-straight year a Hoya has been in the finals of the event and the fifth time in six years.
Sabrina Southerland continues the Georgetown tradition in the women's 800-meter run as her trip to Eugene marks the sixth-consecutive year a Hoya has made the finals site in the event. Since 1979 the Blue & Gray has tallied 19 All-America honors from 12 student-athletes.
Madeline Chambers returns to the national stage in the women's 5,000-meter run with her last appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2012. The Hoyas have tallied just five All-America honors in the event since 1982. The best finish for a Hoya in program history was in 2011 when Emily Infeld was a runner-up in the event.
Collin Leibold's participation in the men's 5,000-meter finals will mark a return to the event for the Hoyas as Andrew Springer made the cut in 2013. The only title the Blue & Gray has in the event is from 1990 when John Trautmann ran 14:07.47.