It was an exceptional week for three Army athletes who stood tall among a field of cadet-athletes following performances in their respective sports as Samson Imonode (wrestling), Michael Matthews (rifle) and Jose Santano (track and field) were chosen to share this week’s Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week honor.
Imonode was Army’s lone winner at the All-Academy Championships in the 184-pound weight class in helping the wrestling team place fourth in the eight-team field with 71 points. The freshman authored a perfect 3-0 mark in the 184-pound class.
The native of from Phoenix, Ariz., began his run by pinning Norwich's Nick Smith before posting a 5-3 sudden-victory decision over James Mannier of Navy. In the 184 final, Imonode slipped past Air Force's Devin Hightower for a 2-1 win.
Matthews, an NRA All-American in rifle, earned medalist honors in smallbore (584) as Army outpointed its arch-rival by 20 points en route to besting Navy, 5800-5783, in the annual “Star” match for the fifth straight year.
It is also the second straight year that Matthews earned medalist honors against Navy, and is the fifth time the Army senior claimed first-place honors this year.
Santana has been tearing up the track as the freshman sprinter set Academy indoor records along with IC4A qualifying times in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash against Navy Saturday. Santana stared off the meet with a first in the 60-meter dash (6.85) to tie the school record set by Alfred Daniel in 2010. He capped his performance with a 21.77 clocking in the 200-meter dash that nipped Reggie Anderson’s Academy record by .01.
Wrestling returns to action Sunday (Feb. 9) hosting Bucknell at Gillis Field House at 2 p.m., rifle has a pair of Great America Rifle Conference matches against North Carolina State (Feb. 7) and Nebraska (Feb. 9) at 9 a.m. at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center, with track and field competing at the Armory Invite Friday (Feb. 7) and Saturday (Feb. 8) in New York City.