April 25, 2014
PHILADELPHIA - The Georgetown University track & field team competed on Friday at the 120th Running of the Penn Relay Carnival in front of a crowd of 38,135 at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The Hoyas put up strong performances against some of the nation's elite competition from both the east and west coast. The weather was favorable for the Hoyas with light showers starting just as the Blue & Gray got off the track. Temperatures crept close to 70 degrees today as the sun was bright over the track during the early events - however, the breeze and clouds rolling made the temperatures drop quickly for the evening's events.
The day started with the Women's 4x1,500-Meter Relay Championship of America that featured many of the same teams and even familiar lineups as Thursday's distance medley relay. All-American Hannah Neczypor (Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) led off for the Hoyas and hugged the rail through the first 400 meters. As the field started to pass her on the outside, Neczypor made a move out to gain better position. By the end of her stanza, Neczypor was teetering between seventh and eighth place, splitting 4:26.6, the fastest carry time recorded by the Blue & Gray foursome.
Haley Pierce (Wilmington, Del./Tatnall School) ended up in a race with Tennessee and Dartmouth chasing the lead pack after 400 meters. The pack thinned out considerably following 1,000 meters as Pierce found herself running primarily on her own. Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore./Jesuit Prep) had an impressive close over her leg to make up some necessary ground, splitting 4:27.5, the fourth-fastest third leg split of the race.
Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) took over the anchor leg and she was able to poach two runners to pull the Hoyas up to sixth place with a time of 18:02.84.
The first race of the weekend for the men's team was the Championship of America Distance Medley Relay. The Hoyas put together the foursome of Cole Williams (San Francisco, Calif./Occidental College), Hansel Akers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield), All-American Billy Ledder (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga) and Michael Lederhouse (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West). Williams opened the 1,200-meter leg and in a competition boasting the likes of track powerhouses Stanford and Oregon, Williams kept the Hoyas right in the mix. Akers took over the baton for the 400-meter leg and had to battle through a crowded handoff area both at the beginning and end of his stanza.
When Ledder took over, he immediately worked on his positioning by overtaking his immediate competition and settled in to seventh place following his first 400 meters. Through the final exchange, the Hoyas were in eighth place. Lederhouse pulled in to seventh through 400 meters, a position he held strong. The bell lap and kicks from LaSalle and the Air Force Academy would prove problematic as he was clipped over the final 15 meters to give Georgetown a final time of 9:40.17 for ninth place.
Following a break, the Hoyas returned to the track for the women's and men's sprint medley relay (200m/200m/400m/800m) just as the clouds rolled in and the temperatures dropped.
All-American Deseree King (Oxon Hill, Md./Oxon Hill) led off for the Blue & Gray in the Championship of America SMR and made a nice move on the back straight before the handoff to put the Hoyas in good position. Mirabel Nkenke (Orange, N.J./Immaculate Conception) took over the second leg and was able to hand off with the Hoyas in second place. All-American Chelsea Cox (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) was in charge of the 400-meter leg as the Hoyas got through the final exchange with a time of 1:47.36 with Shanique Dasilva (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Ford) on the anchor leg. Dasilva was able to pick off Bucknell and Pittsburgh over the first 400 meters to take third place, a position she would not relinquish. The Hoyas finished third in their heat and 17th overall with a time of 3:59.14.
To end the day, GU put together the foursome of Tyler Smith (Jeffersonville, Pa./Norristown), Akers, Mike Andre (Ocean, N.J./Ocean Township) and Zack Zingsheim (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic) for the second heat of the Championship of America SMR. Smith came out well and Akers held on through his 200-meter leg, his second relay of the day, handing off to Andre for the 400-meter leg. Through the final handoff, the Hoyas were in fifth with a split of 1:33.79 as Zingsheim was taking over the anchor leg. Zingsheim caught two teams and was able to give the Hoyas a third-place finish in their heat with a time of 3:26.17 (16th overall).
The Hoyas return to Franklin Field on Saturday for the final day of the 120th Penn Relays.