Oct. 24, 2012
HAMILTON, N.Y. – Postseason begins this Saturday for the Army cross country teams as the Patriot League Championships are slated to kick off at 11 a.m., at Colgate. The women’s 6K race on the Raider’s Harry H. Lang Course will be contested first, followed by the men’s 8K competition.
Army earned a pair of fourth-place finishes a season ago on a snow-covered course at Lehigh. The Black Knight men return their top finisher from 2011 in senior Dan Jester, while 2012’s top performer, Ricardo Galindo, earned Army’s No. 2 time at last season’s conference meet.
Galindo has earned the Black Knights’ best finish in all five meets this season, including his first place overall time at the Army-Navy Star Meet on Oct. 13 in Annapolis, Md. Galindo narrowly missed earning All-Patriot League honors in 2011 after finishing 16th overall in the conference championships. The top-seven runners earn first-team accolades, while eighth place through 14th get named to the second team.
The Army women are without four of their top-five finishers from 2011 as two have graduated (Chelsea Prahl, Marcie Nordt) and two are recovering from injuries (Liz O’Donnell, Katie Collins). Senior captain Mary Prakel earned the Black Knights’ fifth-best time in 2011, while 2012 standout Lisa Junta earned an uncharacteristic 50th-place finish (seventh for Army) at her first conference meet.
Junta and Prakel have been the frontrunners for Army this season, with Junta earning the Black Knights’ top time in all five meets and Prakel right behind her in the two most recent races.
Navy swept the Patriot League races last season, while Army most recently won in 2008, when the Black Knight men tied with the Midshipmen for first place. The 2008 competition also marked Army’s most recent individual champion, as Jonathan Anderson finished first overall. The Army women last won the team crown in 2004, while the most recent female individual champion was Jessica Jones in 1996.
Overall, the Black Knight men have won seven team trophies and eight individual belts, while the women have five team titles to their name and three individual champions.
Following Saturday’s races, Army continues its postseason at the NCAA Regionals. The Regionals will be contested in Madison, Conn., on Nov. 9 at noon.