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Georgetown Sets DMR Record at Big East

GEORGETOWN SETS DMR MEET RECORD TO CAP DAY-ONE OF BIG EAST CHAMPS
By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW
YORK (21-Feb) — A new meet record of 10:55.63 was run by Georgetown
University in the women’s distance medley relay, highlighting the
opening day of competition here at the Big East Conference
Championships at The New Balance Track & Field Center at The
Armory. Hannah Neczypor, Emma Keenan, Andrea Keklak, and Katrina Coogan
combined to run not only a meet record, but also a facility record and
the second fastest mark in the NCAA this season.

“I think that
today was the first day that we really ran to our potential,” said
Coogan, speaking to members of the media alongside her teammates. “It’s
cool to finally pull it together, especially at Big East.”

Beginning the relay was Neczypor, who timed an unofficial 3:19 1200 meter leg as she battled Villanova’s Stephanie Schappert.

“I
haven’t run many 1200’s but that is definitely a big PR for me,” said
Neczypor. “It was just helpful knowing in the back of my mind that I
needed to be up there for these girls and get them in a good position
for the rest of the race.”

Villanova was still hot on
Georgetown’s heels during the 400m and 800m legs, as Keenan handed off
to Keklak. While Keklak created a small gap, it was Coogan who did the
most damage on the anchor leg. As soon as Coogan –daughter of
Olympians Gwynn and Mark Coogan– received the baton for the final
1600m leg, the race was all but over. Even though Villanova countered
with Emily Lipari, a mile specialist in her own right, no one was going
to catch Coogan. Going out faster than usual, the 20-year-old pushed
herself to an unofficial 4:32 split, defeating Villanova and Lipari by
four seconds.

“I kinda went out a little too fast. I was
hurting the rest of the leg,” admitted Coogan, a gold medal draped
around her neck. “I was focusing on running for these girls and my
teammates and doing it for them. When you think of it like that, you
just start running and you just go.”

Georgetown’s final time,
10:55.63, breaks the previous meet record of 11:06.99 by more than ten
seconds, a mark set by Connecticut last year. It also ranks second in
the NCAA this season to Stanford (10:54.04), and is a new school record.

In
the men’s distance medley relay, Villanova’s Dusty Solis came from
behind in the final mile leg to claim victory in 9:42.08. Joining him
on the winning quartet was Christopher O’Sullivan, Cory Serfoss, and
Ben Malone. Georgetown was a close second, timing 9:45.26.

Villanova’s
Patrick Tiernan sprinted home to win the 5000m title over Georgetown’s
Collin Leibold. Tiernan, the reigning Big East Cross Country champion,
entered the meet as the favorite, having run 13:37.73 for 5000m just
last weekend.

Waiting until 1000 meters remained, Tiernan
injected a hard surge that strung out the already single-file field.
While most of the field fell behind, Leibold hung tight off the
Australian’s shoulder. They would race neck-and-neck until the bell,
when Tiernan pulled away for the victory.

Finishing first in
14:04.26, Tiernan earned Villanova ten team points. Leibold took second
in 14:05.79, while Sam McEntee of Villanova rounded out the top three
in 14:12.91.

“It went out pretty slow, just as we were
expecting,” said Tiernan, who is slated for tomorrow’s 3000m. “The last
couple laps were a bit harder than I would have liked them to be, but
still came away with a win and Sam got third. It was a great result for
us.”

From the get go, the women’s 5000m was a two-way race.
After one circuit of The Armory’s 200 meter oval, Providence’s Emily
Sisson and Laura Nagel had an eight meter cushion on the field, a gap
that would continue to grow with each lap completed.

Executing
their pre-race strategy to perfection –work together, exchange the
lead every 400 meters– Nagel and Sisson seemed to be running
comfortably until a quarter mile remained. That’s when they switched
from workout mode to race mode.

Sprinting all out around the final bend, it was Sisson overtaking Nagel for the victory, 16:08.01 to 16:08.34.

“Going
in we wanted to break it up every 400 [meters], take turns and go the
last 400 all out,” said Sisson, quickly giving credit and praise to
Nagel, a New Zealander. Both will return tomorrow for the 3000m.

All
the pre-race favorites advanced in the women’s 800 meters, led by
Villanova’s Nicky Akande. Akande, who placed fourth in the 800m at last
year’s championships, ran away from the first heat to time 2:07.17.

In
the second heat, it was locals taking the top two spots. Villanova’s
Kelsey Margey, formerly of Friends Academy and a resident of
Huntington, N.Y., won in 2:08.67, followed closely behind by Georgetown
freshman Sabrina Southerland. Southerland, a graduate of Benjamin
Cardozo High School in Queens, drew many cheers from her hometown fans.

Georgetown’s
Ryan Manahan topped the list of men’s mile qualifiers with a time of
4:13.00. Villanova favorites Jordan Williamsz and Robert Denault were
second and third fastest; both are sub-four minute milers.

Prelims
for the women’s mile and men’s 800m, as well as the men’s and women’s
1000m, were scratched from the meet program. All entrants in those
respective disciplines will move on to tomorrow’s finals.

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