WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University track & field / cross country coaching staff announced its incoming class for the 2017-18 season. A talented group on both the men's and women's side, the field boasts high school All-Americans, state champions, state record holders and athletes with international experience.
Men's Incoming Class (alphabetical order)
Downington, Pa. / Bishop Shanahan
2017 Pennsylvania Indoor State Champion (400m)
PRs Prior to GU: 200m: 21.29 (2.6W); 200m: 21.71 (wind legal); 400m: 48.21 (I)
Nate Alleyne comes to the Hilltop with a fantastic résumé showing versatility across short and long sprint events ... A key part of Bishop Shanahan's 2017 indoor state title in Pennsylvania, winning the 400-meter dash, placing third in the 200-meter dash and anchoring the winning 4x400-meter relay team.
Associate Head Coach for Track & Field Alton McKenzie on Alleyne: Nate Alleyne is a great addition to what will be a very strong core group of quarter milers and will show his range with the ability to run the 200m, having gone 21.29, and who will also contribute on sprint relay teams. He will give us the opportunity to have a strong presence in the BIG EAST Conference in the sprints and could be a significant contributor on several relays.
Washington, D.C. / McKinley Tech
PRs Prior to GU: 100m: 10.96; 200m: 22.10; 400m: 49.77
Denzell Brown was the sprint double champion in 2016 at the Outdoor DCIAA & DCSAA Track & Field Championships in 2016, after returning from an injury ... Was also the 2017 DCIAA Athlete of the Year, bouncing back from a number of setbacks his senior year.
McKenzie on Brown: Denzell has shown a lot of promise across the board in the sprints despite some adversity. He is a great addition to our sprint group and I'm looking forward to Denzell making an impact immediately at the BIG EAST level.
Liverpool, N.Y. / Liverpool
High School All-American
PRs Prior to GU: 800m: 1:57.15; 3,200m: 9:18.41
Ty Brownlow finished 14th at the 2016 Nike Cross Country Nationals, earning All-America honors ... The 2016 New York Class A State Cross Country Champion ... 2016 Nike Cross Country New York Regional Champion ... Finished 29th at the 2015 Nike Cross Country Nationals ... Finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run at the 2017 New York State Indoor Championships.
Head Men's Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey on Brownlow: Ty was one of the best cross country runners in the country the last two years and demonstrated this with two top-30 finishes at NXN. He's got great aerobic capability and will be a big boost to the cross country team in the future. He also has a lot more leg speed than people realize. He's someone that will dramatically improve his track times once he gets on campus.
Brooklyn, N.Y. / Brooklyn Tech
2017 PSAL City Champion (400m)
PRs Prior to GU: 400m:49.02; 600m: 1:22.27
Kino Cheltenham comes to Georgetown having won his first PSAL City championship title in the 400-meter dash as a senior in 2017 ... He was fifth in the 2017 NY State Indoor Championships in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:22.27 seconds.
McKenzie on Cheltenham: I'm very excited to welcome another great 400m prospect to the Hilltop and I believe Kino will thrive here at Georgetown having great training partners in his main event, the 400m. I feel he will put himself in a position to be competitive in the BIG EAST having a very strong core group to work with.
Minnetonka, Minn. / Hopkins
PRs Prior to GU: 800m: 1:54.18; 1,600m: 4:12.32; 3,200m: 9:07.64
Seth Eliason finished 37th at the 2016 Nike Cross Country Nationals ... Finished fourth at the 2016 Minnesota AA State Cross Country Championships ... Eliason finished sixth in the 800-meter run at the 2016 Minnesota State AA Track Championships ... Finished sixth at the 2015 Minnesota AA State Cross Country Championships.
Bonsey on Eliason: Seth made a big jump this past cross country season which he showed at the NXN regional and national meets. What sets him apart though is his leg speed. He's run 1:54 in the 800m and split 49 on the 4x400m. He has the talent to help us from the 800m through cross country. He's got tremendous range. I think he's going to run much faster this season on the track as the weather warms up in Minnesota.
Huntington, N.Y. / Huntington
2016 High School All-American, National and New York State champion (4x400m Relay)
PRs Prior to GU: 400m: 49.00; 400mH: 54.48; 600m: 1:21.35 (I)
Lawrence Leake comes to GU following a career where he was a high school All-American in 2016 ... A national and New York state champion in the 4x400-meter relay.
McKenzie on Leake: Lawrence brings a diverse set of skills that will serve Georgetown well as he can contribute in several events on the track as well as on the runway in the long jump. I believe he will be able to step in right away and score in the BIG EAST in the 400m hurdles, addressing an area we haven't covered in recent time.
London, Ontario / John Paul II Catholic
PRs Prior to GU: 400m: 48.48; 800m: 1:49.26
Ruach Padhal won the senior boys 800-meter run at the 2016 OFSAA championships ... He finished fourth in the senior boys 400-meter dash at the 2016 OFSAA Championships ... A 2016 and 2017 WOSSAA 800-meter champion, as well as the 2017 WOSSAA 400-meter champion.
Bonsey on Padhal: I identified Ruach as one of the elite 800-meter junior prospects in the world. He possesses elite leg speed and has great natural aerobic talent. He's extremely raw as he's new to the sport but as he trains more and learns more about the sport the sky is the limit. He's never trained year round for track so I'm excited to see what he can accomplish when he is committed to running full time. Ruach will have a big impact in the 800 at the NCAA level the day he steps on campus.
Old Bridge, N.J. / Old Bridge
2017 New Balance Nationals National Champion (800m) | High School All-American
PRs Prior to GU: 800m: 1:49.56; 1,000m: 2:28.56
Rey Rivera finished second in the 800-meter run at the 2017 New Balance Indoor Nationals, earning All-America honors ... A two-time New Jersey MOC indoor 800m champion ... Two-time New Jersey MOC outdoor 800-meter champion ... Ranked No. 4 in the United States all-time in the indoor 800-meter run for a junior.
Bonsey on Rivera: Rey has been on my radar since he won the 800m at the New Jersey MOC meet as a sophomore. I knew that day that he would be a great fit at Georgetown. I feel that he has the best range in the country as he routinely splits 47 on the 4x400 and is also a very accomplished cross country runner. Rey will step in immediately and be one of the elite 800-meter runners in the NCAA but I feel he has a huge upside in the 1,500-meter run. He's a huge addition to an already deep middle distance group.
Women's Incoming Class (alphabetical order)
Media, Pa. / Cardinal O'Hara
Two-time PIAA State Champion (800m)
PRs Prior to GU: 400m (relay): 55.4; 800m: 2:06.80; Mile: 4:55.68
Olivia Arizin comes to the Hilltop as a two-time PIAA state champion (800m), joining a seasoned middle distance program at GU.
Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley on Arizin: Olivia has the potential to join the ranks with Georgetown's legendary 800m / 1,500m stars. She will spend the early part of her career on the Hilltop nurturing her speed and building aerobic strength with the intention of moving up to the 1,500m / mile. The depth of Olivia's talent is immense and we look forward to helping her mature as an athlete and developing her into one of the nation's best collegians.
Lexi Del Gizzo
Tenafly, N.J. / Tenafly
2016 NJSIAA Meet of Champions Winner (800m) | New Balance Nationals Outdoor All-American
PRs Prior to GU: 200m: 25.32; 400m: 56.47; 800m: 2:07.83
Lexi Del Gizzo, the 2016 NJSIAA Meet of Champions winner in the 800-meter run, joins a Hoya middle distance program that has showcased consistent depth in her event.
Culley on Del Gizzo: Lexi comes to the Hilltop as a 400m / 800m athlete and, although she is the reigning 800m New Jersey Meet of Champions winner, she is fairly new to the event with a lot of untapped potential. She will make an immediate impact on our relays and we will work to develop her aerobic strength to make her a fierce competitor in the 800m.
Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington HS
Three-Time West Virginia Champion (2017 outdoor 100mH; 300mH, LJ)
PRs Prior to GU: 100mH: 14.35; 300mH: 44.51; Long Jump: 18' 0.25"
Malika Houston is a versatile hurdler who is the state record holder in the 100-meter hurdles ... Scored in four events at the 2017 West Virginia Outdoor State Championships, posting wins in the 100-meter hurdles (state record), 300-meter hurdles and the long jump and placing third in the 200-meter dash.
McKenzie on Houston: In addition to the depth achieved in the hurdles with Malika's addition, I'm also looking forward to having a long jumper and I believe she will be very competitive at the BIG EAST level on the track hurdling as well as on the runway as a jumper. Her four-event combination at the West Virginia state meet tells us we're getting a pretty tough competitor.
Toronto, Ontario / Havergal College
PRs Prior to GU: 1,500m: 4:24.54; 3,000m: 9:32.72
Martha McDonald brings a wealth of accolades to Georgetown, including as a member of the 2017 IAAF World Championship U-20 team ... Finished 32nd overall at the 2017 IAAF World U-20 Cross Country Championships ... The 2016 OFSAA Senior Girls Cross Country Champion ... A runner-up at the 2017 OFSAA Track & Field Championships in the senior girls 3,000-meter run.
Culley on MacDonald: Martha has incredible range from the 1,500m through cross country and has raced at the highest level in Canada and internationally. She will make an immediate impact on our cross country team and will develop nicely in the shorter events early in her career. We see her skill set coming together to make her one of the best 5,000m athletes GU has seen in a number of years.
Lenox, Mass. / Lenox Memorial
PRs Prior to GU: 200m: 25.30; 400mH: 60.60
Shannon Meisberger joins the Hoya family as part of a strong core group of hurdlers ... Meisberger ran 60.60 in the 400-meter hurdles to win the MIAA All-State championships ... A state runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles as a junior ... Showing versatility, she has the ability to contribute in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, as well as on sprint relays.
McKenzie on Meisberger: Shannon is a wonderful addition to our track & field program. She has room for sharp improvement having never competed in indoor track. She will be able to provide a major lift as part of the group of sprint hurdlers and will make her mark, in particular, in the open 400m and in the 400mH.
Simsbury, Conn. / Simsbury
2017 New England Indoor Champion (55mH)
PRs Prior to GU: 55mH: 8.25; 100mH: 14.44; 300mH: 45.71
Vickie Milledge comes to Georgetown as one of the most accomplished hurdlers in Connecticut, having multiple titles at the state level, and she just won the 2017 New England championship in the indoor 55-meter hurdles.
McKenzie on Milledge: Vickie comes in ready to be a major contributor in the sprint hurdles for the Hoyas. I look forward to her making us very competitive in the hurdles at the BIG EAST level as she joins a strong core group of hurdlers in her recruiting class.
Bloomfield, Conn. / Bloomfield
2017 CIAC Indoor State Champion 2016 (60m; 300m; 4x200m)
PRs Prior to GU: 55m: 6.99; 100m: 11.96; 200m: 24.76 (I)
Cassidy Palmer comes to the Hilltop as the Connecticut indoor state record holder in the 55-meter dash (6.99 seconds) and she is the first high schooler in Connecticut history to break seven seconds ... Ran a personal best 11.96 in the 100-meter dash as a senior and 24.76 indoors in the 200-meter dash ... Named the 2016-17 All-Courant Girls Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
McKenzie on Palmer: I'm excited to have such a talented sprinter join our Hoya Family. Cassidy will make an immediate impact to strengthen our sprint group and be a major contributor at the BIG EAST level. I look forward to seeing her develop into a competitive sprinter throughout her career at Georgetown.
Bronxville, N.Y. / Bronxville / Yale
PRs Prior to GU: Mile: 4:43.51; 3,000mSC: 10:07.93
Meredith Rizzo arrives at Georgetown after spending her undergraduate career at Yale ... A 2017 NCAA Outdoor East Preliminary qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase ... The 2017 Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal runner-up in the mile ... The 2016 ECAC indoor mile champion.
Culley on Rizzo: Meredith joins the Hoyas after a breakthrough fourth year at her alma mater, Yale University, running personal bests in the 1,500m, 3,000m, and the steeplechase. Meredith brings a level of experience and maturity to Georgetown that will land her a role as an immediate impact performer and leader on our squad. We are excited to add her to a crop of senior class talent that should carry the Hoyas to new levels of training and competition.
Brooklyn, N.Y. / Paul Robeson-Pathways Tech
2016 NB All-American (4x400m)
PRs Prior to GU: 55mH: 8.28; 400mH: 61.91
Sandy was named the MVP of the 2016-17 NY PSAL City Championships ... Hails from the powerhouse Paul Robeson HS track program in Brooklyn ... Was a member of several city and state championship 4x400- and 4x200-meter relay teams throughout her high school career ... Member of the No. 1 New York state all-time 4x400-meter high school foursome as a junior.
McKenzie on Sandy: Bryann comes from a very strong athletic tradition with Paul Robeson HS being one of the best girls track programs in Brooklyn. She has run on some very impressive relays but will have a great opportunity to show her ability as a 400m hurdler. She had a great senior year running 61 seconds in the 400mH, and I look forward to addressing a much-needed area for us. She will also use some of that great relay experience from high school to contribute on sprint relay teams at Georgetown.