Jan. 12, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army track and field hosted its first team-scoring meet of the season, a six-way competition featuring fellow Patriot League squad Lehigh as well as Rider, Ramapo, Binghamton and Monmouth. The Black Knight men cruised to a first-place finish, while the women placed fifth despite four marks which rank among the best in Academy history.
The Army men tallied 214 points for a 64-point cushion from runner-up finisher Rider, which collected 150. Monmouth followed in third with 149.5, while Lehigh (98.5), Binghamton (62) and Ramapo (2) rounded out the men’s team scores. For the women, Monmouth ran away with the team title with 186 points, followed by Rider in second with 154.5 and Binghamton in third (115.5). Lehigh (fourth, 111), Army (fifth, 90) and Ramapo (sixth, 21) finished in the bottom three for team scoring.
The Army women won three events on the day, led once again by sophomore Lisa Junta. Junta won the day’s first event, the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:11.17. The time ranks second all-time at the Academy and also surpassed ECAC Championship-qualifying standards. Junta achieved a similar feat a week ago in the 3,000m by qualifying for the ECACs while running the third-fastest 3K time in West Point history.
Army finished 1-2 in the women’s 800-meter run in historical fashion as well, as junior Allie Sutherland captured first place in 2:17.61, while sophomore Jennifer Comfort was runner-up with a time of 2:18.36. Sutherland’s time is the sixth-fastest in program history while Comfort’s mark ranks 10th. Sutherland and Comfort were also members of the winning 4x800-meter relay team which met ECAC standards with their first-place time of 9:25.14.
Another notable performance on the women’s side was by freshman pole vaulter Megan Gemar. A week after recording the 10th-best vault height in Academy history, Gemar bettered that by .35 meters with a second-place height of 3.45m on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Laurel Neposchlan placed fourth in the event with a leap of 3.30m.
“On the women’s side our middle distance and distance runners ruled the day,” said Army head coach Troy Engle. “Lisa Junta in the 5,000 and Allie Sutherland in the 800 and 4x800 were the high points in the women’s meet.
“As for Megan Gemar, to have a plebe move up the top-10 list coming right out of basic training and her first semester at West Point – we know that’s just the beginning for her; we expect great things from Megan. She’s a joy to have on the team because of her enthusiasm for the sport and the team as a whole.”
The Army men won five events on the afternoon, including a pair by the distance contingent. The men’s milers made a strong showing by capturing the five fastest times, all personal bests, led by senior Kevin Russell’s top mark of 4:15.14. Sophomore Andreas Kellas followed in second place (4:16.95), while fellow yearling Nathan Fisher rounded out the top three (4:17.43). Senior Mark Castelli finished fourth (4:18.05), as all four Black Knights qualified for the IC4As.
Junior Kendall Ward won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:14.62, while sophomore Clyde Wilson won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.36 to punch his IC4A ticket.
Junior Ian MacPherson, who finished third in the 1,000-meter run, met IC4A standards with his time of 2:30.16.
Army’s 4x400-meter relay until also won gold as freshman Stevyn Spees, sophomore Patrick Taylor and juniors Chris Smith and Matt Green combined for a winning finish of 3:21.06, meeting IC4A standards. The men's 4x800 relay unit of Russell, Fisher, Wilson and MaPpherson also qualified for the postseason.
Sophomore Jacob Drozd was the lone field event winner on the day for Army as Drozd matched his career-best height in the high jump with a winning leap of 1.99 meters.
Senior Kyler Martin also had a notable performance by qualifying for the IC4A Championships in the 60-meter hurdles. Martin was runner-up in the event with a time of 8.25 seconds.
“On the men’s side, the sprints and the hurdles were impressive,” said Engle. “Kyler Martin, to run as well as he did just a couple weeks off the football field is promising. The depth we have in the 400 and 500 was really exciting for us as well. Those are our bread and butter event areas in the indoor circuit, and to have that strength bodes well for us for the indoor championships. Our mile guys were pretty great as well.
“As a whole, we’re where we should be,” continued Engle. “The guts of our week were ripped out with the APFT – we didn’t expect great things, but at the same time we expect to see even better things over the next couple weeks, beginning next weekend at Harvard.”
Army will hit the road for the first time this indoor track season next Friday and Saturday for the Harvard Challenge and Multi Meet. The heptathlon and pentathlon will begin Friday in Boston, Mass., while the full meet will be Saturday and features Army, Harvard, Brown, Northeastern, Williams and MIT.