EUGENE, Ore. - The Georgetown University track & field team closed the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on a high note as the men's team finished tied for 12th with 18 points, the best outdoor team finish since 1991. The Blue & Gray closed the championship, held at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, with a pair of top-five finishes in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase and a third-place finish in the men's 800-meter finals.
"Darren and Scott ran a tactically beautiful race," Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley said. "They knew the pace would be hot early and they stayed composed toward the back of the pack. Their patience paid off as they passed most of the field in the final 300 meters. It was an incredible cap to Darren's career and we couldn't be more proud of him. Joe White broke the school record and ran the world championship standard en route to a third-place finish.
"These guys are national class and they are on their way to becoming world class. They accumulated 18 points between three performances and really made a statement about Coach Brandon Bonsey and our program. We couldn't have asked for more from them today."
As expected, the men's steeplechase went out fast. As the Blue & Gray was the only team with a pair of runners in the finals, All-Americans Darren Fahy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Scott Carpenter (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial) were able to lean on the other through the 3,000-meter race. The duo stayed patient for much of the race, waiting until there were three laps left before starting to pick people off.
"I wanted a fast pace," Carpenter said of the pace of the race. "We knew people were going to go with the fast pace and then a lot of people run out of steam, so if we were a little patient, we knew we could pick them off at the end."
It wasn't until the last lap that Carpenter started to push Fahy to be more aggressive in their pursuit and the duo moved into fourth and fifth by the final water jump. Over the final straightaway, Fahy used a huge kick to take second place, clocking a PR 8:31.08, while Carpenter clinched fifth (PR 8:32.94). Fahy's time is an IAAF World Championships A standard while Carpenter narrowly misses the clip by less than one second. Fahy split 62.63 over the final 400 meters, eclipsing the field by more than one and a half seconds on the bell lap.
"It was my last race," Fahy explained. "And I wanted a fast time. I knew I was capable of low 8:30s so I was okay with the pace.
"When we were far back - I know Scott's really good - it helps to have that," Fahy added of having his teammate in the field with him. "It helps to be competitive in the last 300 or 400 when it's really hard. It's great having him there."
Not even an hour later, All-American Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) toed the line in lane one of the men's 800-meter finals. After the field of eight got through the cones, the group came together and White tucked to the rail. As the race progressed, there was a bit of bobbling and White started to get pushed out the back as he was boxed in on the rail. With 200 meters to go, a UTEP runner went down and the tightly-knit pack sidestepped him as he rolled toward the infield. White closed over his final 150 meters with everything he had and finished third in the race, clocking a PR 1:45.73. The time is a new school record and bests the previous time of 1:45.78, set 20 years and one week ago today (6/2/1997) by Bryan Woodward at the USATF Championships. White's time is an IAAF World Championships A standard.
"At 200 to go, it was like bumper cars," White said of the race. "I know Korir made an inside move and then I saw people wobble, someone went down, stepped over him -- it was super bumpy down there. I did what I had to do and fought really well on the home stretch. I thought I was going to have another gear -- but chasing those guys down the home stretch and running 1:45 for third, I was pretty happy with it."
With 18 points, the Hoyas tied for 12th place, the best team finish since 1991 when the Blue & Gray took eighth place. Since 1991, the Hoyas have posted a trio of top-25 finishes: 1992 (T13th), 1997 (T25th), 2017 (T12th).
Men's 800-Meter Finals
3. Joe White, 1:45.73 [6 points]