20. Georgetown Hoyas
Coach: Brandon Bonsey
Notable Departures: Scott Carpenter, Michael Lederhouse,
Michael Clevenger, Christian Alvarado (?)
Notable Additions: Seth Eliason, Ty Brownlow
Projected Scoring Five:
Jonathan Green (Rs. SR) [TSR#9], Amos Bartelsmeyer (Rs. SR),
Jack Van Scoter (SO), Matthew Bouthillette (SO), Eion Nohilly (Rs. FR)
The grass is green, the sky is blue, and Georgetown will qualify for Nationals in 2017. One of the NCAA's premier powerhouse teams have been the Georgetown Hoyas and although they lose a huge chunk of key runners, this team will find a way to rebound for this upcoming cross country season.
Expectations were high for the Hoyas in 2016. Green had proven that he was one of the best in the nation in 2015, Notre Dame low-stick Michael Clevenger entered the program as a graduate student, and a strong group of recruits were catching attention from fans around the nation. What could possibly go wrong?
The first meet of their season was at Paul Short which they were favored to win. Unfortunately, Green had a poor race and Clevenger struggled in his season debut. Apparently, Green was coming off a summer in which he sustained an injury. It would be the first and only race of Green's 2016 season.
Iona would go to win with a monster score of 34 points. Georgetown was runner-up with a score of 115.
With Clevenger struggling to adjust and Green out for the rest of the season, the pressure was now on Georgetown to use the guys they had to be successful. Luckily, Scott Carpenter had reached a completely new level of fitness which was evident by his Paul Short win. At the same time, Christian Alvarado was a sophomore showing promise while Bartelsmeyer and Lederhouse provided excellent experience for the squad.
The next stop on the schedule was the Wisconsin Invite and the result would be a bit more positive than Paul Short. Scott Carpenter would once again put together a huge performance by placing 13th overall. The rest of the squad was spread out rather evenly by placing 51, 84, 106, and 145. The Hoyas would place 14th overall and beat future regional auto-lock teams like NC State and Michigan State (which earned them Kolas points).
BIG East's was where we saw a bit more consistency from the Hoyas with finishes of 2, 5, 6, 9, and 11. Georgetown would easily take the conference title and shift their focus to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships with the goal of qualifying for Nationals. Sure enough, the Hoyas took care of business with a strong score of 66 points to defeat a deep Navy team and take the regional title.
Although their success in the post-season had been strong, NCAA's would prove to be a different beast. Despite a great 8th place finish by Carpenter (in the team scoring), the rest of the team struggled with finishes of 46, 134, 171, 175. The Hoyas would go to finish 21st overall.
Admittedly, 2016 was a rough year for the men in DC. It doesn't help that they lost one of the best runners in the NCAA in their very first meet and it also doesn't help that their star transfer (Clevenger) had difficulty adjusting to a new environment. There were also expectations that Darren Fahy would be racing that season, which wasn't the case.
Still, when you consider everything that happened, Georgetown actually held their own quite well. A program can only handle so many low-stick absences and this team responded very well to the challenges.
In 2017, things will not get much easier for the Hoyas thanks to a lack of eligibility removing three scorers from their roster. Carpenter, Clevenger, and Lederhouse were guys that kept this team competitive. To no longer see them in the Hoya lineup will be a huge blow.
We also can't overlook the fact that Christian Alvarado is missing from Georgetown's 2017 roster. Is that simply a mistake? Did Alvarado quit? Leave the team? The uncertainty of his status is concerning and until we know more, we have to assume he is no longer with the team.
That said, the names that do return are capable of filling the void left by these big names. Jonathan Green is set to return for his final cross country season and although he had difficulties with injuries last fall, his performances during outdoor track indicate that Green is back to full health and fitness. Do not undervalue what he could bring to the team.
Amos Bartelsmeyer is another race-savy veteran who has consistently given the Hoyas a reliable scorer to lean on. As long as he can produce similar results to 2016 (or better) than Georgetown should be very solid up front.
The next two scorers will most likely consist of sophomores Jack Van Scoter and Matthew Bouthilette, two high school stars that did very well in their first year of collegiate competition. The great thing about this duo is that we've seen guys of similar talent levels make significant improvements during their sophomore years with Georgetown. I strongly believe that this duo will follow suit and continue to build on their experience from last year.
It's difficult to say who the next scorer is going to be, but if I had to guess, I would say Eion Nohilly is a good option. Why? I am a firm believer that the best track event to showcase cross country fitness is the steeplechase (due to it's variability and irregular racing layout). If we look at Nohilly, he had some very solid success in the steeple this past spring and posted a personal best of 9:05 as a true freshman.
Even if Nohilly doesn't make his way into the scoring five, there are still plenty of names that could step up and play a role.
Michael Crozier was someone who found a spot in Georgetown's starting lineup last year. He could end up bettering his performances in 2017. Additionally, the Hoyas bring in an excellent recruiting class which includes sub-15 minute 5k runner, Seth Eliason and NXN All-American, Ty Brownlow. Either of these incoming freshmen could have a role on this 2017 team.
Yet, at the end of the day, the biggest reason why Georgetown will be successful is not because of their elite low-sticks, top-tier recruiting, or solid depth. This program will be successful simply because they are the Georgetown Hoyas. In the past 19 years, G-town has only missed out on Nationals once. That stat alone should make you think twice before betting against the Hoyas.