Junta Wins 5K Title As Four Records Fall At ECAC, IC4A Championships

Lisa Junta

Lisa Junta

March 2, 2013


BOSTON, MASS. - Army athletes began competition on the second day of the ECAC and IC4A Championships at the Boston University Track and Field Pavilion. The Black Knights competed in 16 events, highlighted by four record-setting performances in the 5,000-meter run, 500-meter dash and both the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays.

Two weeks after smashing the 3,000-meter run record, sophomore Lisa Junta bettered the 5,000-meter record which was set on Dec. 4, 1987 by Army Hall of Fame member Teresa Sobiesk. Junta shaved over two seconds off Sobiesk's time by capturing her second ECAC Championship title in 16:31.03. Junta became Army's first ECAC track champion last spring when she won the 10,000-meter outdoor crown.

Sophomore Katrina Donarski demolished her own 500m record which she previously established against Navy on Feb. 3, by besting that time by over two seconds with a third-place time of 1:13.63. She will compete in Sunday's finals which are slated for 1:15 p.m.

Rounding out the women's record-setting performances was the 4x400-meter relay, comprised of Donarski, Ashley Gordon, Kaitlyn Love and Haley Winters. Despite not qualifying for Sunday's finals, the Army unit took over a second and a half off the West Point standard by finishing in 3:48.14.

Juniors Matt Green and Chris Smith, sophomore Patrick Taylor and freshman Stevyn Spees set the Academy standard in the 4x400 when they finished third of 25 teams in the prelims with a time of 3:12.63. Smith was on the relay unit which set the record broken on Saturday, originally recorded at the 2011 IC4A Championships alongside Jordan Cayton, Taylor Kensy and Michael Hutchins. Finals are set for Sunday afternoon, as the men's 4x400 will be the last event contested of the weekend.

Chris Smith also qualified individually in the 500-meter dash, recording the seventh-fastest time in program history with a personal-best 1:03.81. Smith finished eighth of 28 to earn the final invite to Sunday's finals which are set for 1:20 p.m.

Despite not advancing, Taylor ran the fifth-fastest 400-meter dash time in Army history, placing 16th of 30 with a time of 48.55 seconds.

The men's distance medley relay earned an invite for Sunday's final by recording the best time by an Army unit since 2008. Sophomore Andreas Kellas ran the first leg, followed by junior Jerome Raphael, freshman Mitch Dutton and sophomore Nathan Fisher to cross the line second of 22 in 9:54.09.

Other individuals to advance to Sunday are seniors Kyler Martin and Kevin Russell, and sophomore Clyde Wilson. Martin punched his semifinal ticket in the 60-meter hurdles with a ninth-place time of 8.10 seconds; the semifinals are set for Sunday at 11 a.m. Russell ran the 10th-fastest 1,000-meter time in program history with a second-place time of 2:25.86, while Wilson ran the eighth-best 800m time in Army history with a fifth-place finish of 1:51.80.

Army had an additional four athletes compete in the finals on Saturday as the Black Knights competed in the men's weight throw, while the women had representatives in the pole vault and high jump. Scott Geary and Nick Snoad battled in the weight throw, with Geary placing 29th of 32 (15.91m) and Snoad collecting 15th place (17.09m).

In the pole vault, freshman Megan Gemar moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 all-time with her seventh-place height of 3.75 meters. Senior McKenzie Majchrzak rounded out the competition by tying for 13th in the high jump with a height of 1.68 meters.

Events will conclude tomorrow as Army is slated to compete in nine events beginning with Martin in the 60-meter hurdles semifinals. For the full schedule of events, see below.

Sunday, March 3
Time - Event - Army Athletes Entered
11 a.m. - 60m-hurdles semifinals, Kyler Martin
12 p.m - 60m-hurdles finals, if qualified (M)
1:15 - 500m finals, Katrina Donarski
1:20 - 500m finals, Chris Smith
1:35 - 800m finals, Clyde Wilson
1:45 - 1,000m finals, Kevin Russell
2:15 - 3,000m (W) - Lisa Junta
2:30 - 3,000m (M) - Cody Barger, Ricardo Galindo
2:45 - DMR finals (M)
Followed by - 4x400 finals (M)

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