WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army cross country will host Cornell and Binghamton on Friday for a tri-meet against its regional foes at the West Point Golf Course. The men’s 8K race will begin at 4:30 p.m., and will be followed by the women’s 5K competition.
The three-way meet is a repeat of last season’s showdown between New York schools which was hosted by the Big Red in Ithaca. At the 2011 meet, Cornell swept the competition, with Army taking second place in both the men’s and women’s meets, while Binghamton took third.
Army’s rivalry with Cornell is one of the oldest and most contested in program history. The women’s squads have battled every year since 1988 and first met in 1983, while the men have squared off every year since 1974, with their series dating back to 1935. Navy is the only school the Black Knights have faced more than Cornell.
The Army women return two of their top-three finishers from a year ago in sophomore Lisa Junta and junior Liz O’Donnell. Junta, who won the individual title at last Friday’s season-opening meet at West Point, the Army Open, was the Black Knights’ top finisher at the 2011 tri-meet and placed eighth overall. O’Donnell, who finished third at the Army Open, placed 14th against the Big Red and Bearcats in 2011.
On the men’s side, the Black Knights also return two of their top-three finishers from last season’s tri-meet in junior Ricardo Galindo and senior Kevin Russell. The pair finished sixth and seventh overall, respectively, while graduated senior Barrett LeHardy collected Army’s top mark in third place. Galindo opened 2012 with a runner-up time at the Army Open, while Russell, the team captain, placed sixth.
The Big Red rank among the top teams in the Northeast Region, signified by their rankings in the USTFCCCA preseason poll. On the men’s side, Cornell landed at No. 6 while Army was spotted at No. 15. For the women, the Big Red stood at No. 4 after finishing the 2011 season at No. 3. Binghamton was unranked in the poll released Aug. 26, while the Army women also missed the cut.
Following Friday’s meet, Army will travel to the Iona Meet of Champions on Sept. 15. The annual competition typically features nearly 20 teams and over 200 individual entrants at historic Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.