Georgetown's Chelsea Cox Crushes Existing School Record in Women's 800m Relay Carry at Penn Relays

Chelsea Cox

April 27, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - The day was perfect for track & field with temperatures just passing 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky over historic Franklin Field for the final day of the 119th Penn Relay Carnival held in Philadelphia. The brick façade of Franklin Field boasted a crowd of 48,871 screaming track fans as the Georgetown track & field team stepped on the track for five relays today. It was the perfect day for record-setting performances.

All-American Chelsea Cox crushed the existing school record in the women's 800-meter relay carry en route to the Hoyas finishing fifth in the 4x800m Championship of America with a time of 8:27.15. This was a strong performance by the same Hoya foursome who just two days ago had a tough showing in the women's DMR Championship of America.

Deseree King led off for the Hoyas. King had a strong first 600 meters but the field seemed to have a stronger kick with King slipping to seventh at the exchange.

Cox took over the second leg and put herself in a more comfortable position during the first lap as the pack came together, effectively closing the gap a bit. On her second lap, Cox started picking people off on the back straightaway and into the turn at the Wall of Fame on the east end of the stadium. Cox managed to take over third and battled with the Princeton runner for third over the final straightaway. Cox split 2:01.62.

Andrea Keklak took over the third leg and throughout most of her leg, battled for fourth place with Tennessee. Keklak stayed with Tennessee and held off her Vols counterpart, handing off in fourth place, splitting 2:06.82.

Katrina Coogan was responsible for the anchor leg and with the leaders pulling away, found herself a part of a chase pack. Coogan split 2:07.57 as the Hoyas finished fifth overall in a field that produced a new collegiate and Penn Relays record in the women's 4x800-meter relay with Villanova winning the event with a time of 8:17.45.



Cox's split was the second-fastest split of the race with LSU's Natoya Goule the only one to best her time with a 2:00.39. Cox set a new school record in the women's 800m relay carry, besting Sasha Spencer's 2:03.1 set in 2001.

The first race of the day for the Blue & Gray was the men's 4xmile relay. Bobby Peavey led off for the Hoyas and kept them in good position through the first exchange, splitting 4:08.6.

Andrew Springer took over the second leg and split 4:03.8 but with two second-leggers splitting sub 4 (Oregon, Villanova), the Hoyas were still not at the front.

Michael Lederhouse took the third stanza for GU as a chase pack seemed to form during the first two laps with Villanova, Oregon and Indiana pulling ahead. But the pack would pull back together following the third lap with Georgetown staying in the top six going into the anchor leg.

Billy Ledder ran the anchor leg with much of the stanza being run as a pack. With these circumstances, it was clear the bell lap would be an all out sprint. With much of the field kicking on the bell, Ledder's kick was not enough and the pack thinned out over the final 200 meters with Oregon and Villanova pulling ahead, both anchors splitting identical 4:03.2.

The Hoyas finished seventh with a time of 16:24.43.

The college women's 4x400-meter relay featured Tenille Stoudenmire leading off for the Hoyas. Running in lane six, Stoudenmire handed off to Cox in third. Cox stayed strong on the rail for her leg until the final turn where she started to make her move on the outside and held on for third behind St. John's and UConn.

Mirabel Nkenke took over the third leg and was part of the top three that tried to pull away from the field. Deseree King anchored for the Hoyas and took the lead as the crowd came together at the final handoff. King took the lead but on the back straight, UMES caught the Hoyas and would never give up that lead despite King's efforts to take it back. However, due to the UMES 4x400m relay squad stepping on the line, the team was disqualified and the Hoyas win the ECAC section with a time of 3:37.11.

Lederhouse would join Ryun Holder, Andrew Ogle and Zach Zingsheim for the men's 4x800-meter relay college section. The Hoyas finished 11th with a time of 7:38.84. This is the first Penn relays for the entire foursome while donning the blue and gray.

Georgetown will return to action next weekend May 4-5 for the BIG EAST Championships held in Piscataway, N.J., on the campus of Rutgers University.

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