Women's Track Looking to Halt Navy's Run

Katrina Donarski

Katrina Donarski

Feb. 2, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army women’s track and field team will look to stop Navy’s Star Meet winning streak on Saturday when the Black Knights travel to Annapolis, Md., for the annual indoor showdown between academy rivals. Events will begin with the pole vault at 2:30 p.m.

The Midshipmen have won the last six Star Meets, with Army’s last win coming at the 2008 outdoor meet at West Point. The Black Knights’ most recent indoor Star came in 2005. Army leads the all-time series 26-24-1, with the indoor series knotted at 12-12-1. The Mids have an edge on their home turf, leading 13-11-1 at Star Meets in Annapolis.  

Army won five events at last season’s indoor meet with four of those winners graduating last May. Army head coach Troy Engle, however, is not deterred by that fact.

“We’re a better team than we were last year, without question. Yes, we lost a big class with Tonya Stallard, Kaci Clark and Hallie Huggins, among others, but the foundation we have right now with not only our veterans but with our tremendous plebes makes us a better program than we were at this time last year.

“Every week we have kids crack the top-10 lists at the Academy. Our distance runners like Chelsea Prahl and Liz O’Donnell, running better than they have in the past, even when Liz was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Freshmen like Katrina Donarski, Jennifer Comfort and Lisa Junta already earning times that rank among the best in Army history. We’ve had some outstanding performances this season. I’m not sure if the team scores will indicate how solid we’ve been, even if we win, it won’t indicate where we are as a team.”

An Engle mentioned, the Black Knights have had a major impact on the Army record book so far this season. Nine top-10 marks have been recorded over the first four weeks of the season, including two apiece by freshmen Jennifer Comfort (No. 9 in 800m; No. 8 in 1,000m) and Lisa Junta (No. 2 in 5,000m; No. 6 in mile).

Army ranks among Patriot League leaders in 2012 as well, boasting 10 marks that rank on the conference’s top-5 lists. Along with the aforementioned athletes, junior McKenzie Majchrzak and senior Christie Johnson are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the league’s high jump list, while freshman Laurel Neposchlan ranks tied for third in the pole vault.

The Midshipmen boast one of the strongest distance runners in the East Region in Jess Palacio. Palacio owns the Patriot League’s top times in the 1,000m, mile and 3,000m this season, and has won all 13 events she has ever competed in at Star Meets.

Following Saturday’s meet Army will return to The Armory for the second time this season when the Black Knights compete at the Lafayette-Rider Winter Games on Feb. 10.

2012 Star Meet Schedule of Events
2:30 Pole Vault
20# Wt
Long Jump
Shot Put (follows 20# Wt)
Triple Jump (follows L.J.)
3:00 Mile
3:10 60 Meter Hurdles
3:20 400 Meters
3:30 500 Meters
3:40 60 Meter Dash
3:45 High Jump
3:50 800 Meters
4:00 1000 Meters
4:10 200 Meters
4:20 3000 Meters
4:35 4 x 400 Meter Relay
4:45 4 x 800 Meter Relay

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