Navy Men Earn Runner-Up Finish at Patriot League Indoor Track Championship
Feb. 19, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Navy men's indoor track and field team (8-2) placed second at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship this weekend with 176.25 team points, just 8.75 points shy of first-place Bucknell (185). Bucknell hosted the three-day meet at Gerhard Fieldhouse. Navy, the 2011 indoor team champions, has now placed first or second in seven of the last nine indoor league championships.
"Our guys did a good job this weekend and any time you win half the events you are doing pretty well," head coach Stephen Cooksey said. "But Bucknell was an extremely good team today and they were really hitting on all cylinders. We know we left some points on the board and we'll be playing it over in our head on the bus ride back trying to figure out where those extra eight and three quarters' points could have been."
Freshman Mark Vetere won the pole vault with an IC4A clear of 15-9 (4.80m) to mark the second straight year that a Navy plebe has won the indoor vaulting title. For his efforts, Vetere was named the Patriot League Indoor Championship Rookie of the Meet.
"Mark was extremely good today," said Cooksey. "He was focused and he got the job done and that was a big plus for us. We talked about how important total attempts would be and he didn't have any misses until he went out."
Senior Paul Neidhardt earned 3.25 points in a four-way tie for third place in the pole vault with a clear of 15-9 (4.80m, IC4A). Vetere was able to claim the title based on previous attempts, as he cleared every height on his first attempt. Sophomore Ryan Kochert, the 2011 champion, was eighth (15-3, 4.65m).
Navy was dominant in the running events this weekend, winning the 500m, 800m, 1000m, mile, 3000m and the 5,000m runs and the 4x800m and distance medley relays. The Mids won 10 of 20 events overall.
"We did a really good job in the running events today," Cooksey said. "Some of our distance guys ran two or three times and they brought home some good points."
Led by senior Cody Rome, Navy had an outstanding showing in the 3,000m run, placing 1-2-4-5 and capturing 24 team points. Rome, Navy's school record holder in the event, defended his 2011 indoor 3K title with a first-place showing of 8:17.13 (IC4A) to win by eight seconds. Rome also won the 5,000m run on Saturday to account for 20 points individually.
Senior James Pearson placed second in the 3,000m run with a time of 8:25.26 (IC4A). Sophomore Christopher Burns was fourth (8:27.29) and sophomore Sean Rynning took fifth (8:27.75). Senior Michael Sheehan placed seventh (8:30.09).
Senior team captain Dominic Della Pelle won the 1,000m run with a time of 2:28.23 (IC4A). Sophomore Cody Thompson placed fourth in the event with a time of 2:29.77 (IC4A) as Navy took 14 team points in the race.
Senior Ken Bunnell won the mile run to pace a Navy group that went 1-2-6 to earn 19 team points. Bunnell won with a time of 4:11.72 (IC4A) and Della Pelle was second at 4:12.41 (IC4A). Junior Kyle Satterwhite took sixth place with a 4:16.96. Bunnell would later run on Navy's winning distance medley relay team.
Della Pelle, who also won the 4x800m Saturday, now has eight career All-Patriot League certificates.
Junior Mitch Simmonds won his first Patriot League title, claiming first place in the 60m hurdles with a PR of 8.11. Simmond's 8.11 is the third-best time in Navy history and was under the IC4A-qualifying standard.
Senior Matt Evers successfully defended his league title in the 500m run, winning the event with a time of 1:04.26 (IC4A) to earn 10 team points. Junior Joshua Shaw also scored by placing sixth with a time of 1:05.94 (IC4A).
Senior Lucas Connelly won his first individual league title, winning the 800m run with a time of 1:55.49. Sophomore Weston Kennedy placed third at 1:55.65 and freshman Joshua Kingsland was fifth at 1:56.60. The trio combined to earn 18 team points in the event. Connelly and Kennedy also were on Navy's winning 4x800m relay team on Saturday and Kennedy and Kingsland ran on Navy's winning distance medley relay team.
Navy's Jeremy Haney teamed up with Kingsland, Kennedy and Bunnell to win the distance medley relay with a time of 10:05.81, taking 10 team points on the second to last event of the day.
Navy's 4x400m relay team of freshman Daniel Gallien, Connelly, Shaw and Evers placed second with a time of 3:18.73 (IC4A), narrowly being edged by Army (3:18.59).
Gallien had a strong debut at the league meet, as he also earned six team points by placing third in the 400m dash with a time of 49.68.
Senior Chris Boniwell placed fifth in the shot put with a mark of 50-8¼ (15.45m), earning two team points.
Sophomore Brett Bogaard just missed scoring in the 200m dash, placing seventh at 22.43.
Navy will next send its qualified athletes to the IC4A Championship in Boston from March 3-4.
All-Patriot League First Team / Champions
500m Run Matt Evers 800m Run Lucas Connelly 1,000m Run Dominic Della Pelle Mile Run Ken Bunnell 3,000m Run Cody Rome 5,000m Run Cody Rome 60m Hurdles Mitch Simmonds Pole Vault Mark Vetere 4x800m Relay Weston Kennedy, Lucas Connelly, Jeremy Haney, Dominic Della Pelle Distance Medley Relay Jeremy Haney, Joshua Kingsland, Weston Kennedy, Ken BunnellAll-Patriot League Second Team
Mile Run Dominic Della Pelle 3,000m Run James Pearson 4x400m Daniel Gallien, Lucas Connelly, Joshua Shaw, Matt EversFinal Team Scores
1. Bucknell 185 2. Navy 176.25 3. Army 106 4. Lehigh 65 5. Lafayette 41.25 6. Colgate 29.50 7. American 10 8. Holy Cross 7
Patriot League Championship Rookie of the Meet Mark Vetere