Georgetown News
Jacob Hanser finished first in the 3,000-meter steeple chase. Photo submitted
Jacob Hanser finished first in the 3,000-meter steeple chase. Photo submitted
Track & Field - Wed, Mar. 30, 2016

Georgetown College track and field opened the season Saturday at the Pioneer Invitational in Lexington, Ky. In true essence of what these teams have become under first-year head coach Luke Garnett, the team donned purple in support of epilepsy awareness' Purple Day. While touching lives, the Tiger men and women also showed great promise for the 2016 season. GC's women finished eighth with 50 points and the men were 11th with 30 points.

"It was a great day all the way around," Garnett said. "Every member was on board with supporting awareness as we've had team members directly affected by epilepsy as well as friends of the team. We showed our support and also passed out information to help other coaches and athletes know techniques to helping someone during a seizure.

"In competition, the athletes continued to do Georgetown proud with a couple of personal and school records. What a way to start the season."

Georgetown's team is small in numbers compared to others at most meets, but it is always about stacking points in everything you do. Graham Smith, competing in his first ever track meet, got things rolling right when his javelin throw of 45.47 meters landed him second. Joshua Copley made his Tiger debut in the discus with a fifth place finish.

Maggie Mollak set the pace for the women's team with a school record on her first throw as a Tiger. Her 12.10 meters also took second in shot put. Haley Oliver stacked on more field points when she cleared 2.73 meters for a victory.

Then it was time to hit the track. Jacob Hanser took off in the 3000-meter steeple chase and never looked back. The senior led wire-to-wire and won in 10 minutes 44 seconds and 78 hundredths of a second.

Tayler Godar got her senior campaign off to a good start with a second place finish in the 1,500-meter run and then came from behind to win the 800-meter race. Kristen Just was strong for the Tigers in the 5,000-meter run, finishing second.

"She wasn't even going to run that race," Garnett said. "Kristen was scheduled for the 10,000-meter run, but that event got scratched. We put her in the 5,000 and it was amazing the way she was able to change her focus and finish second."

Two male freshmen made noise. Alec Higdon-Burgess took eighth in the 100-meter dash and eighth in the 200-meter. Derek Nunnelley was eighth in the 110-meter hurdles.

Haley Carr tallied another point for the women with her eighth place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.

As the long day came to a close, everyone set for the exciting men's 4x400-meter relay.

Austin Keene, Higdon-Burgess, Grant Carr and Christian Marshall ran a 3:34.08 to take fifth and finished on the heels of Campbellsville University's guys.

Sydney Berry ran strong in the 800-meter run, taking third in her heat and finishing one spot out of scoring in finals.

Kater Riddle and Dustin Wheeler both took to the track for the first time as Tigers in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs respectively. They both beat their goal times and ran personal records for the given distances.

"I couldn't have asked for much more to open the season," Garnett said. "The weather was good. Our athletes were excited to be competing and we set the bar in a lot of ways as we go forward and continue to look at new heights."

Georgetown returns to the track this Saturday at the Centre Invitational in Danville, Ky.

 
 
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