May 31, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Following a one-hour delay due to weather, the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships - East Preliminary got underway at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The three-day affair started on Thursday and goes through Saturday evening, hosted by the University of North Florida. The Georgetown track & field team continued with the strong performances from Thursday and four more Hoyas clinched their spot at the finals site of the NCAA Championships, held in Eugene, Ore., and hosted by the University of Oregon from June 11-14.
All-American Chelsea Cox (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) continued her stellar performance as she ran a personal record (PR) for the second-consecutive night in the women's 800-meter run. Cox ran 2:04.02 in the first and fastest heat of the event, more than two-tenths of a second faster than her PR from Thursday night. Cox came off the final turn and pushed through the final 100 meters to finish third. The senior All-American returns to Eugene where she competed in the 800-meter semifinals in 2012.
Joining Cox in the semifinals is All-American Andrea Keklak (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury/Princeton) who finished second in her heat, the second of three. Keklak's heat did not go out as fast as the first but her kick on the outside over the final 150 meters was enough for second place (2:05.65) and 11th overall and punches her ticket to Eugene. This will be Keklak's first appearance at the finals site at outdoor nationals.
The men's 3,000-meter steeplechase was a three-heat quarterfinal advancing the top three from each heat as well as the next three fastest times to the semifinals. The second heat proved to be the fastest heat and featured All-Americans Max Darrah (South Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis Yarmouth Regional) and Dylan Sorensen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville). Sorensen stayed toward the front for most of the race but it was Darrah who made a strong move to the front pack with four laps to go. The duo would run together for the remainder of the race, trading back and forth for third place until the final straightaway when Darrah outkicked Sorensen for third place (8:46.88) and the automatic bid.
Sorensen still had to await the final heat to ensure that his time of 8:47.26 (H2: 4th place) would be enough for a trip to nationals. The time was the 11th-fastest time from the quarterfinal heats and the graduate student will return to the steeple semifinals after qualifying during the 2013 season.
The Hoyas total five student-athletes headed to historic Hayward Field for the finals site of the NCAA championships.
Saturday on the Track
The Hoyas will have student-athletes in both the men's and women's 1,500-meter quarterfinals and 5,000-meter semifinals on Saturday. For the men, All-American Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) will compete in the 1,500m while All-Americans Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Hannah Neczypor (Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) will represent GU for the women. In the 5,000m, Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) is in it for the men and Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore./Jesuit Prep), Samantha Nadel (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore) and Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School) will compete for the women.