March 4, 2012
BOSTON, Mass. - Running in his final indoor meet of his Army career, senior Taylor Kensy went out with a blaze, capturing the Academy record in the 500-meter run. Kensy was one of 11 individually qualified competitors Army sent to the 2012 IC4A and ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships at Boston's Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.
By the end of the weekend, Kensy would tack his name onto the Army record book. Beginning in the 500m trials on Saturday, the senior captain punched his ticket to the finals by finishing fifth of 32 in a time of 1:03.41. The finish ranked fifth all-time at the Academy.
Following the individual performance, Kensy joined sophomores Chris Smith and Matt Green and freshman Patrick Taylor in the 4x400-meter relay trials. The Army team qualified for the finals with their sixth-place time of 3:13.66. The mark ranks third all-time at the Academy.
With the addition of Saturday's mark to the Army record book, Kensy has now had a hand in three of the top-five 4x400 relay times, including last season's record-setting unit (3:12.65). Smith was also a member of the No. 1 relay, recorded at last season's IC4A Championships.
In Sunday's championship rounds, Taylor had a career-highlighting performance with his second-place time of 1:02.46. The time snapped Bob Mabrey's 29-year old Army record. He then joined the relay unit which ran to a fifth-place finish, crossing the line in 3:14.26.
Junior Kevin Russell also broke through to the finals after placing third of 21 runners in the 1,000 meters. Russell finished in 2:27.04 in the preliminaries to advance. In the finals, the junior captured fourth-place honors with a personal-best time of 2:26.38.
Russell was also a member of Army's 4x800-meter relay team. He was joined by Ian MacPherson, Nathan Fisher and Clyde Wilson. The squad placed 13th of 21 in the preliminaries with a 2012 team-best time of 7:39.12.
Wilson also competed in the 800m, placing 21st of 39 in the preliminaries with his personal-best finish of 1:52.93.
Sophomore Ricardo Galindo represented Army in the 3,000-meter run, placing 12th of 31 with a time of 8:23.09. Junior Justin Harris and senior Ian Quinn were entered in the pole vault, as Harris placed 14th with a height of 4.65m, while Quinn failed to record a mark.
On the women's side, senior Chelsea Prahl narrowly missed the mile finals when she placed 12th of 21 in the trials. Prahl jumped to third all-time at the Academy with her finish of 4:56.59. She entered this weekend's meet at No. 4 on Army's all-time list.
Rounding out the weekend's action was the women's 3,000-meter run with sophomore Liz O'Donnell and freshman Lisa Junta. O'Donnell jumped from No. 8 to No. 4 on Army's all-time 3,000m list with her 14th-place time of 9:51.68. Junta rounded out her first indoor season at West Point with a 26th-place finish of 10:04.34.
After the meet, Army head coach Troy Engle reflected on the weekend indoor season. "It was a great way for Taylor to finish his indoor career," said Engle. "In addition to being one heck of a team captain, he's become one heck of a long sprinter. He's clearly established himself as an individual competitor as well as in a relay.
"Equally as exciting as the individual performances is the fact that, with the exception of Taylor and Chelsea (Prahl), everyone will be back. Kevin Russell - he's set himself up very well to compete at a high level, and our women's distance runners capped off the great season with another strong performance. We're excited for what we have and where we're going."
Up next for the Black Knights, Army will travel to Tampa, Fla., for a spring break training trip March 11-18. The week of workouts will be capped by the first outdoor meet of the season - the USF Bulls Invitational on March 16.