Oct. 18, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Running in his final meet at the West Point Golf Course, Army cross country senior captain Ricardo Galindo went out with a bang, claiming his second consecutive Army-Navy Star Meet individual crown en route to leading the Black Knights to a 26-29 victory over the rival Midshipmen. Galindo snapped the tape for the second straight year, becoming Army’s first multi-race winner in nearly a decade.
Racing under near perfect weather conditions, Galindo floated between third and fourth throughout the entire 8K case before switching gears around the four-mile mark where he would lead for the remainder. The senior out of Farmington Hills, Mich., cruised to the victory with a time of 24:25.49, edging out Navy’s Stephen Schroeder (24:36.82) by over 11 seconds to claim the title.
Galindo is Army’s first two-time winner since Phil Sakala won a pair of individual trophies in 2003 and 2005. Navy’s Andrew Hanko is the annual meet’s most recent multiple winner after winning back-to-back blue ribbons in 2009 and 2010.
Senior Kendall Ward led from the front throughout the race and would finish third overall, crossing the line in 24:45.27. Junior Cody Barger followed in fifth (24:54.32), while Josh Ecker (eighth; 25:07.14), Trevor Lafontaine (ninth; 25:10.28), Matt Bearden (11th; 25:18.24) and Nathan Fisher (14th; 25:32.59) rounded out the Black Knight scorers.
Army’s win ends Navy’s Star Meet winning streak at four. The Midshipmen maintain an all-time lead at 46-29-1 in a series that dates back to 1937. Army’s three-point win is its largest margin of victory since a 25-30 win in 2003.
“This is the first time since my first year (2008) that we didn’t need a miraculous superhuman performance to make it competitive,” said Army head coach Troy Engle. “We knew, before everyone else did, that we had a very good shot at winning this race. No one outside of our program thought that we were going to be good and part of that was where our focus was and that’s on our preparation, not racing. We throttled the expectations of this meet, knowing the excitement will take care of itself. I kept telling our guys that this really is just another day in the office; nothing different than Monday through Friday. All the hard work and commitment these guys have shown has finally paid off.
“Ricky Galindo and Kendall Ward are unbelievable frontrunners. It’s a great testament to Ricky’s character, same with Cody Barger, who had less than impressive races this season, to step up and run like they did today.”
The Army-Navy meet marked the final regular-season competition for the Black Knights. Army will compete next at the Patriot League Championships, slated for Nov. 2 at Lafayette. The Black Knight men finished fourth at last season’s conference meet.