WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University cross country program traveled to State College, Pa., to open the 2017 season at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Club Invitational, hosted by Penn State University. Both teams put together lineups that were missing some key role players, but the No. 16 Georgetown men and the No. 26 GU women showcased the depth each squad possesses early in the season.
Georgetown Men’s Cross Country (5.2-mile course)
The men’s team sat six of their projected top competitors on Friday, looking for some of the younger athletes to gain a familiarity with the longer distance of collegiate cross country. With the young lineup, the Hoyas put a pair of runners among the top 10 individually in Reilly Bloomer (Eugene, Ore./South Eugene) and Henry Smithers (Warwick, R.I./Gould Academy), who finished fifth and ninth, respectively.
“I thought Reilly Bloomer and Henry Smithers ran exceptionally well,” Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey said. “Both have had some ups and downs in their careers but they came in today and ran really tough. They raced exactly the way we want to race. I also saw a lot of areas that we need to work on and I will make sure those are addressed in practice over the next three weeks before we race again.”
Georgetown’s youth-filled lineup of 10 runners included just three runners competing in their second or third season of cross country while the remaining seven opened their collegiate careers at Penn State.
“With six of our best athletes not racing today, I wasn’t too concerned with the results,” Bonsey continued. “I think what Reilly and Henry did should have those other six guys excited for when we line up a full team at Paul Short in three weeks.”
Of the five collegiate teams competing, No. 3 Syracuse went 4-0 on the day, followed by Penn State (3-1), No. 26 Georgetown (2-2), Bucknell (1-3) and Edinboro (0-4).
Men’s Individual Results: Pl. Name, Time
5. Reilly Bloomer, 26:07
9. Henry Smithers, 26:22
19. Nick Wareham, 27:02
21. Johnathan Chavez, 27:06
23. Eion Nohilly, 27:11
24. Jack Salisbury, 27:14
26. Dylan Scarsone, 27:21
29. Kent Hall, 27:29
49. Dylan Fine, 28:52
Georgetown Women’s Cross Country (6-kilometer course)
The No. 26 Georgetown women opened the season with a strong performance led by veterans Piper Donaghu (Portland, Ore./Grant), Madeline Perez (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Autumn Eastman (Hinesburg, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), who finished fifth, sixth and 10th, respectively. Georgetown and host Penn State were the lone schools to put a trio of runners among the top 10.
“We had a really solid opener today led by Piper Donaghu and Madeline Perez’s fifth- and sixth-place showings,” Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley said. “Autumn Eastman ran a great opener and redshirt freshman Maegan Doody and sophomore Margie Cullen ran a smart race running more conservatively the first half and coming home well the second half.”
The meet was scored officially as six dual races with the Hoyas going 5-1 on the day with a lone loss to the Nittany Lions. No. 11 Penn State went 6-0 on the day, followed by No. 26 Georgetown (5-1), Syracuse (4-2), Pittsburgh (3-3), Bucknell (2-4), West Virginia (1-5) and Edinboro (0-6). However, when the race was scored as a seven-team meet, the Hoyas finished first of the seven squads with 50 points followed by Penn State’s 53 points.
“We held out a few members of our varsity roster and still technically won the meet against several good teams,” Culley continued. “It’s too early to make grand assumptions about the season, but we showed how experienced and ready we are for a great year. We are looking forward to traveling most of our roster to Boston in a few weeks.”
Women’s Individual Results: Pl. Name, Time (Points)
5. Piper Donaghu, 21:25
6. Madeline Perez, 21:27
10. Autumn Eastman, 21:42
14. Maegan Doody, 21:51
15. Margie Cullen, 21:52
18. Josette Norris, 21:59
21. Aleta Looker, 22:08
The Hoyas return to action on Friday, Sept. 22 as the women travel to Boston, Mass., for the Battle at Beantown. The men’s team, joined by the women’s squad, will be in action on Friday, Sept. 29 when travel to Bethlehem, Pa., for the Paul Short Run.