Oct. 14, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. - For the first time since 2007, Navy swept Army in the annual cross country Star Meet as the Midshipmen won the men's race, 19-37, and the women's competition, 25-31. Senior Barrett LeHardy led Army on the men's side, while sophomore Liz O'Donnell earned the Black Knights' top finish in the women's race.
The weather showed promise right up until the gun went off for the men's race, as the skies opened up and caused the course to become muddy and slippery while removing any form of home-course advantage for the Black Knights.
Navy earned the top-three finishes in the men's race, as Cody Rome crossed the line first overall with an 8K time of 24:21.40. LeHardy, Army's top finisher, placed fourth, crossing the line in 24:35.40. Sophomore Ricardo Galindo followed closely after, finishing in 24:46.40 for fifth place.
The Midshipmen squeezed into the sixth and seventh spots, while Black Knights Dan Nix (24:58.50) and Dan Jester (25:03.50) claimed eighth and ninth, respectively.
Junior Mike Mitchell ran to an 11th-place finish for Army, crossing the line in 25:05.50, while junior James Hodgen (25:31.70) and freshman Cody Barger (25:37.60) rounded out the Black Knight scorers in 15th and 16th place, respectively.
On the women's side, Navy finished 1-2 as Jess Palacio won the individual title for the second straight season with a 6K time of 20:49.00.
Army followed closely behind, capturing third, fourth and fifth place. O'Donnell crossed the line third overall, finishing in 21:31.00. Senior captain Chelsea Prahl placed fourth with a time of 21:31.50, while junior Marcie Nordt rounded out the Black Knights' top three with a mark of 21:41.10.
Navy took four of the next five times as Army sophomore Katie Collins squeezed in the middle, placing eighth with a time of 22:05.00. Freshmen Lisa Junta (11th, 22:13.50) and Katrina Mecklenburg (14th, 22:59.30) and junior Mary Prakel (16th, 23:05.40) rounded out the scoring contingent for the Black Knights.
"We had a couple of very good performances but it doesn't diminish the fact that it was a disappointment," said Army head coach Troy Engle. "We knew we had to have a super-human day to beat them and we only had an okay day. It's sad that it was probably the first time all season that all of our cylinders didn't fire at once.
"The nice thing is that we're a younger team than they are. A lot of the kids that had great breakthroughs are kids that will be back next year. While it smarts, we still competed and we look now to come back in two weeks and hope that everybody puts together a good race at Patriots."
Navy extended its all-time lead on the men's side to 45-28-1, including three straight meets, while the Navy women pushed their series lead to 16-10, ending Army's two-meet winning streak.
The Navy meet marked the final regular-season contest for the Black Knights as they will next compete at the 2011 Patriot League Championships at Lehigh on Oct. 29.