Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Pre-Madness Run joins team and fans

The GW men’s basketball team took a run around the Reflecting Pool Wednesday afternoon, marking the end of preseason training. The first annual “Colonials Run” was three-mile race run by players, coaches and members of the community. Head Coach Karl Hobbs said it was indicative of the team’s upcoming game plan.

“We’re going to be a team that runs,” he said. “So this is a nice way to start the year off.”

Junior Jaason Smith broke out with an early lead as runners headed east from 17th Street toward the Lincoln Memorial before rounding the Reflecting Pool. About 30 fans ran with the team, although most trailed far behind. Runners rounded the Washington Monument and made one more lap around the pool.

It was a battle at the end with sophomore Darnell Miller pulling away from freshman T.J. Thompson down the stretch to cross the line in 16:28.

“Number one,” Miller said, “That’s all that counts.”

GW’s top four finishers were Miller, Thompson (16:35), sophomore Greg Collucci (16:43) and junior Jaason Smith (16:48). Albert Roma rounded out the bottom with a 20:03, about two-and-a-half minutes ahead of assistant coach Steve Pikiell. Hobbs, who trailed from the get-go, finished last in 24:40 with some players cheering, and some lightly jeering.

“I feel pretty good,” Hobbs said at the finish line.

This was a light-hearted race intended to put a fresh face on a team surrounded by doubt and uncertainty. There are only 10 players on the roster, and the team must find a way to overcome the loss of former guard SirValiant Brown.

“Everything’s brand new,” Miller said. “Brand new.”

Members of the GW community who ran with the team viewed the event as a success. They applauded Hobbs’s efforts to give the team a new image and supported the effort to create a bond between the team and the community.

There was not an overwhelming crowd on hand, but those who did participate enjoyed the event and looked forward similar events in the future.

GW alumnus (’70) and self-described avid GW basketball fan Ron Tipton has followed the team ever since the ’60s and welcomed the opportunity to interact with the players.

“I’ve been a GW basketball fan since I was a student in the ’60s and a season ticket holder since the ’70s, and this is the first time they ever gave us the opportunity to do this,” Tipton said. “I applaud coach Hobbs for doing these kind of events and more.”

Tipton’s goal for the day was to beat Roma.

“The second reason (I ran) was I wanted to beat him. But you know, he only got me by about 10 yards, so I didn’t feel too bad,” Tipton said.

Some current GW athletes joined the alumni in supporting the team. Sophomores Michelle Singler and Emily Garofalo from the novice crew team ran with the team.

“Our coach told us they were doing this today so I thought I’d come out and support the basketball team,” Singler said. “I know for any team other teams supporting them is always an awesome thing, whether or not you play basketball.”

The crowd agreed that the event was a success but would be even better in future years with a bigger turnout.

“We need a bigger crowd but it’s a start,” Tipton said. Hobbs said he’d consider moving the starting time back to accommodate students’ class schedules.

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