Rodgers Sets School Record at BIG EAST Championship; Men and Women Hold On to Sixth Place with One More Day of Competition
May 3, 2008
VILLANOVA, Pa. - On a day when the temperature never went above 65 degrees and the sun graced Villanova's Jumbo Elliott Track for the first time at 4 p.m., the Georgetown University track & field team competed in the second day of events at the BIG EAST Track & Field Championship. After seven completed events, the women's team is in sixth place of 15 schools with 22 points. Louisville leads the women's field with 32 points followed by Syracuse (31), Notre Dame (27), South Florida (26) and Pittsburgh (24). After seven events for the men, Georgetown is in sixth place with 20 points. Notre Dame leads the men's field with 50 points, followed by Louisville (49), Rutgers (34), Connecticut (32) and Syracuse (22).
Senior Joanna Rodgers (Fairfax, Va./J.W. Robinson/NC State) picked up eight points for the Hoyas as she took second place in the 3000m steeplechase. Her mark of 10:18.15 is not only an NCAA Regional qualifying time but a personal best and a new school record. The previous record was set by her teammate Lise Ogrodnick (Beaconsfield, Quebec/Beaconsfield) in 2006 and was 10:39.73.
Rodgers stuck with the front pack for the entire race as the pack dwindled from five down to two. She battled with Villanova's Elizabeth Haglund on Haglund's home track and fell just shy to take second place but was 11.48 seconds faster than the third-place athlete from Notre Dame. Sophomore Lauren Gregory (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) finished eighth overall to garner points for the Blue and Gray. She was part of the first pack but an unfortunate spill left her as the lone runner in fifth place for a few laps. With two laps to go, athletes from Pittsburgh, Villanova and Syracuse hit their stride to pull ahead of Gregory who finished with a time of 11:02.28.
Senior Michael Banks (Holden, Mass./Wachusset Regional) was the first of three Hoyas to cross the finish line in the men's 3000m steeplechase as his NCAA qualifying time of 9:03.97 put him in third place overall to garner six points for the Blue and Gray. Junior Alex Mason (Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy Prep) posted an IC4A qualifying time and finished in fifth place as he timed in at 9:08.94 to score four points for GU. Senior Shane Young (Reston, Va./Herndon) was the final Hoya to cross the finish line as he scored two points for Georgetown with a time of 9:18.08.
Senior Melissa Grelli (Cupertino, Calif./Presentation) finished second in the women's 10,000m run with an ECAC qualifying time of 33:35.31 earning eight points for Georgetown. With 19 laps to go, Grelli and Providence's Danette Doetzel separated themselves from the pack. The two didn't separate by more than a meter and together lapped the field as the wind picked up throughout the race. Grelli eventually took the lead with 10 laps left in the race. Grelli held her lead until Doetzel made her move on the back straightaway and took over with 200 meters to go. Her burst was too much and Doetzel took first place with a time of 33:27.64.
With the wind gusting from the start, the men's 10,000m saw two Hoyas garner points for the Blue and Gray. Junior Mike Krisch (Hopkins, Minn./Hopkins) held steady throughout the race to take fourth place with a time of 29.45.15and pick up five points for the Hoyas. Senior Justin Scheid (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXII) ran a personal best 30:12.47 to finish sixth and pick up three points for Georgetown.
Junior Natasha LaBeaud (Folsom, Calif./Folsom) held on to third place for the second half of the race but in the last 150 meters, Cincinnati's Lilian Jelimo caugh LaBeaud and took over third. Jelimo finished with a time of 35:22.35 while LaBeaud timed in with an ECAC mark of 35:23.25 to pick up another five points for the Hoyas.
In the women's 1500m heats, the Hoyas had three automatic qualifiers who finished in the top four of their respective heats and one additional qualifier. Graduate student Elizabeth Maloy (Loudonville, N.Y./Academy of Holy Names) finished second in the first heat to automatically reach the final round tomorrow with a time of 4:26.01 - a time that qualifies her for the ECAC Championship and the NCAA Regional.
Junior Maggie Infeld (University Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) took second place in the second heat with an automatic qualifying time of 4:26.77 while graduate student Susan Hendrick (Solomons, Md./Patuxent/Columbia) also got an automatic bid to the finals as she finished fourth in the second heat with a time of 4:28.07 - both times are ECAC marks and Infeld's time is also an NCAA Regional mark. Junior Avril Ogrodnick (Beaconsfield, Quebec/Beaconsfield) finished fifth in the first heat and posted an NCAA Regional time of 4:27.67 to reach the finals tomorrow.
In the men's 1500m heats, four Hoyas made it to tomorrow's final competition as junior Andrew Bumbalough (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) and senior Matt Debole (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) won their heats to automatically qualify with times of 3:44.72 and 3:48.58, respectively. Bumbalough's time is an NCAA Regional and IC4A mark while DeBole's time is an IC4A qualifier.
Also reaching the finals tomorrow are freshman Ayalew Taye (Portland, Maine/Cushing Academy) and sophomore Sandy Roberts (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) with times of 3:49.77 and 3:50.47, respectively; both times are IC4A marks.
Freshman Chris Kinney (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge) automatically qualified for the finals of the men's 110m high hurdles when he finished first in his heat with a time of 14.10, an NCAA Regional qualifier.
Junior Kenny Mitchell (Atlanta, Ga./Weber) won his 200m trial with a time of 21.23 - the time is not only an NCAA qualifying mark but it is also an NCAA Regional qualifying mark.
In the women's 400m trials, sophomore Abigail Johnson (Willingboro, N.J./Milton Hershey [Pa.]) finished first in the first heat with a time of 55.24, an ECAC qualifying mark. Johnson led the entire way and held off her Cincinnati opponent through the final straightaway.
Automatically qualifying for the finals on Sunday, sophomore Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) took first place in her heat with a time of 2:11.47. She stayed with the pack throughout the race and pulled ahead on the inside over the last straightaway. Senior Ashley Hubbard (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) also automatically qualified for the finals as she finished second in her heat with an ECAC qualifying mark of 2:10.60. Hubbard was in the same heat as the defending conference champion from Villanova; Hubbard led through nearly 500 meters when Villanova made their move and took over first place. Hubbard did a good job of holding off West Virginia and finished one-hundredth of a second before her.
Earlier in the day, Mitchell posted an IC4A qualifying time in the 100m trials with a time of 10.61 to qualify for the finals tomorrow. Also qualifying was freshman Spenser Carter (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) who timed in with an IC4A mark of 10.68.
Sophomore Sarah Wernik (Florence, Mass./Northampton) finished third in the third heat to qualify for the women's 200m finals to be held on Sunday with a time of 24.32.
Though she did not qualify for the final day, Wernik hit an ECAC mark with her time of 12.08 in the 100m trials.
Sophomore Danny Harris (Deer Park, N.Y./St. John the Baptist) posted an IC4A time in the men's 800m trials with a time of 1:51.19; however, the time was not enough to get him back to the finals on Sunday.
Georgetown continues with the final day of the BIG EAST Track & Field Championship tomorrow, May 4 at the Jumbo Elliott Track on Villanova University's campus.