WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University track & field team arrived in Villanova, Pa., on Thursday in advance of the 2017 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at the Jumbo Elliott Track at Villanova Stadium on Friday and Saturday, May 12-13. The Hoyas have a pair of athletes looking to defend their event titles from the 2016 championships. The two-day meet will be broadcast live in its entirety on the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN).
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Georgetown finished fourth at the 2016 BIG EAST Outdoor championships behind four event titles. Two Hoyas will be in the mix to defend their event crowns from a season ago in All-Americans Joe White (Clifton, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and Darren Fahy (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon), competing in the 800-meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.
White, a three-time BIG EAST outdoor champion, is the two-time defending 800-meter champion, having won the event in 2016 and 2015. The Hoyas have captured the title three-straight years as former Hoya standout and All-American Ahmed Bile won the event in 2014. White enters the field with the fastest time in the league this year, a personal record (PR) 1:46.07, joined by a quartet of Hoyas including All-American Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) who has been a member of two championship outdoor 4x800-meter squads.
Georgetown leads all BIG EAST schools with 12 men's 800-meter titles, followed by Villanova with nine. In 2016, White became just the fifth athlete in BIG EAST history to win both the indoor and outdoor 800-meter titles in the same year. Most recently, GU's Bile achieved the feat in 2014 and the other three instances were in 1985 (John Marshall, Villanova), 1981 (Brian Jenning, Seton Hall) and 1980 (Jim DeRienzo, Georgetown).
Fahy garnered his lone BIG EAST event title in 2016 when he handily won the steeplechase. He will be in the field again this year along with All-American Scott Carpenter (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial), Eion Nohilly (Golden's Bridge, N.Y./John Jay) and Matthew Bouthillette (North Providence, R.I./La Salle Academy). Fahy, Carpenter and Nohilly sit atop the BIG EAST leaderboard with Fahy and Carpenter as the lone competitors to break nine minutes. Fahy will also compete in the men's 1,500-meter run, entering the championships with the fifth-fastest time in the league.
All-American Jonathan Green (Berlin, Mass./Saint John's School), the reigning BIG EAST 10,000-meter champion, is in the men's 5,000-meter field this year. Green is coming off a Penn Relays 10,000-meter crown just two weeks ago, the first one in program history in the 30th installment of the event at the famed meet.
The Blue & Gray enters the championship meet with seven Hoyas posting times among the top five in the conference in their respective events. GU will look to the experience of Daniel Anderson (Ozark, Mo./Ozark), Bartelsmeyer, Fahy, Nathaniel Gordon (Spartanburg, S.C./Spartanburg), Green and White who have all previously won outdoor titles. Georgetown will also rely on Carpenter, Nick Sullivan (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) and Quincey Wilson (Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain), who all captured their first BIG EAST titles at the 2017 indoor championships.
The Blue & Gray finished fifth at the 2016 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships behind a pair of event titles. The Hoyas will look to fresh faces to make their mark at the championships this year.
Georgetown looks to defend its 4x800-meter title, an event the Hoyas have won the last two years and 10 times in program history. From last year's championship squad, the duo of All-American Emma Keenan (Gwynedd Valley, Pa./Gwynedd-Mercy Academy) and Aleta Looker (Ellsworth, Maine/Ellsworth) are in the mix this year. The Hoyas lost the other two from that squad, All-Americans Katrina Coogan and Heather Martin, to graduation.
The Hoyas will look to Jody-Ann Knight (Bentonville, Ark./Bentonville), who is entered in the 100- and 200-meter dash. She owns the fifth-fastest 100m and third-fastest 200m and had a breakout meet at the indoor championships where she PR'd in every race. Also owning a top five time are Keenan in the 800-meter run (4th), and All-Americans Piper Donaghu (Portland, Ore./Grant) and Kennedy Weisner (St. Marys, Pa./Elk County Catholic) in the 1,500-meter run (4th and 5th, respectively).
The steeplechase will be an event to watch for the Hoyas as Autumn Eastman (Hinesburg, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), who just started competing in the event this season, has the second-fastest time in the league entering the meet. She will be joined by teammate Margie Cullen (Needham, Mass./Needham), who has clocked the fifth-fastest time in the league.
In the 2017 field, Donaghu, Jocelyn Hubbard (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield/Northeastern), Keenan and Looker have all won a BIG EAST outdoor title during their career.