Feb. 6, 2012
CENTRAL VALLEY, Pa. – Army freshman track standout Lisa Junta was tabbed the Patriot League’s female Rookie of the Week on Monday for the third time this season, tying a conference record. Junta recorded her third top-10 time in Academy history at Saturday’s Army-Navy Star Meet in Annapolis, Md.
Competing in her first Army-Navy track meet, Junta was handed a monumental task when she lined up against Navy’s Jess Palacio in the 3,000-meter run. Palacio, a senior, entered the meet having won every individual event she had ever competed in during Star Meets. Known as one of the strongest distance runners not only in the East but throughout the country, Palacio was legged out by the Army plebe when Junta edged her by just over one second.
Junta finished the 3,000m in 9:51.34 (compared to Palacio’s 9:52.71) to rank third all-time at the Academy. Through four collegiate meets, the Springfield, Va., native has added three times to the Army record book (No. 6 in the mile; No. 2 in the 5,000m).
The conference Rookie of the Week nod is the third of the season for Junta, tying the Patriot League record set by teammate Jari Ross (2008-09) and Lafayette’s Janica Austin (2007-08). Through five weeks of the indoor season, Army has collected four rookie honors as Katrina Donarski earned last week’s recognition.