Georgetown track makes their mark, sets themselves up for success in 2024

February 18, 2024

Design by Ryan Goodwin

If you’re ever wandering through Burleith, you might stumble upon the community track—only 320 meters around as compared to the traditional 400 meters, and the practice spot of Georgetown’s varsity track team. But despite their unusual facility, the Hoyas, both men and women, are currently in the midst of a record-breaking indoor track season.


Women’s cross country was ranked in the top 25 in the nation for most of the second half of the season, peaking at No. 3. They repeated as BIG EAST champions for the fourth consecutive year and qualified as a team for Nationals by winning the Mid-Atlantic Regional meet for the third year in a row, but came up short there placing 18th as a team. Junior Chloe Scrimgeour finished eighth overall to earn All-America honors.

“It was really exciting going into indoor [track]—I definitely saw progress with workouts from a year ago to where I was now,” junior Melissa Riggins, who runs all three seasons, said in an interview with the Voice. Georgetown’s training, in both distance and sprints, was immediately evident, with two new school records in their first weekend of competition on Dec. 2: Scrimgeour with a 15:24.36 in the 5,000-meter run and graduate student Maya Drayton with a 38.85 in the 300-meter dash. 

The women dominated yet again the weekend of Jan. 19 at the Hokie Invitational hosted by Virginia Tech, with senior Rebecca Ochan bouncing back from injury to set a new personal best in the 300, and Riggins setting a new school record in the 1,000-meter run (2:40.67). “I ended up leading most of the race, which is something I used to do in high school, but not as much in college because it does take a lot of confidence,” Riggins said.

The next weekend, at Penn State, Riggins broke another school record, this time in the indoor mile in 4:30.73. Her success was thanks to Scrimgeour running with her through the first 1,000 meters to keep her on pace. “I was really happy both for the result, but also because she could be a part of it,” Riggins said.

Most recently, over the Feb. 9 tripleheader weekend, Scrimgeour and Riggins both broke the school record for the indoor 3,000-meter with times of 8:50.97 and 8:52.82, respectively.

Looking ahead, the team’s goals are to stay healthy and keep building up fitness for the outdoor season. “It’s exciting to run fast times and of course compete at the national level,” Riggins said. “But it’s really just to prepare for outdoors.”

Despite having one of the strongest running programs in the conference, Georgetown doesn’t have any throwers, which means it’s not realistic for them to compete for BIG EAST championship team titles.“We’re competing against UConn, who fields a full track team, so we’re likely not going to take that title,” Riggins said.

At large meets, teams get points for where they place in each event. When you don’t have anyone competing in an event, as is the case for the Hoyas with most field events (weight throw, shot put, pole vault, high jump, pentathlon, and heptathlon), you’re at a huge disadvantage because you’re automatically missing out on points.

However, that doesn’t mean that Georgetown can’t compete at the national level—they just need to focus on qualifying and competing as individuals or as relays, rather than as a program. “I can speak for the distance girls, and I know that we just want to send as many people as possible to both indoor and outdoor nationals,” Riggins said. 

After one more weekend of regular season competition, BIG EAST Championships start Feb. 23, and it’s likely that we’ll see individual titles for Drayton, Riggins, and Scrimgeour. Expect to also see at least Scrimgeour, Riggins, and a distance medley relay (DMR) competing at Nationals the second weekend of March.


The men had a solid cross country season as well, finishing third at the BIG EAST championships, securing an at-large Nationals bid after a third-place finish at Regionals, and taking 30th at Nationals. 

They kicked things off indoors this winter with a pair of first-place finishes in the 800-meter and the 600-meter for freshman Tinoda Matsatsa across the first two weekends of competition. 

The biggest highlight of the men’s season thus far came shortly after at the Hokie Invitational, when Matsatsa broke the NCAA indoor record for the 1,000 in a time of 2:18.05. Three other Hoyas also broke the school record of 2:20.69 in that event. “That was an incredibly special night for Hoya middle distance running,” Brandon Bonsey, men’s track and field assistant coach, said in a press release

At Penn State the following weekend, Matsatsa won the 800 yet again, solidifying his spot as one of the best freshman runners in the country. At Boston University the weekend of Feb. 2, graduate student Tim McInerney won the 800, and senior Abel Teffra, graduate student Camden Gilmore, and graduate student Parker Stokes ran the third through fifth best indoor mile times in program history at 3:56.33, 3:57.23, and 3:57.31, respectively.

Then, just last weekend, at the Boston University Invitational, Teffra broke the Georgetown record for the indoor mile after falling just short the previous weekend, in a time of 3:54.62.

The men’s team’s future is bright: Matsatsa has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with, winning in three different events as a freshman, and there’s a strong crop backing him up. Many records have been broken or nearly broken, and this is undoubtedly one of the strongest programs that Georgetown has ever seen. 

I think we are in a great position for the rest of the indoor season,” Bonsey said. BIG EAST honors for the likes of senior Joshua Paige, Teffra, and Matsatsa are definitely within reach—though like the women, no team titles are in play without any throwers. Given his early-season performance, expect to see Matsatsa competing at Nationals in March as well.

Lucie Peyrebrune
Lucie is the Sports Editor and a sophomore in the College studying Political Economy and French. A DMV native, she is a big fan of DC sports teams (especially the Wizards and the Spirit) and anything USWNT-related.

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