Men's Track Has Solid First Day at IC4A Championship
March 3, 2012
BOSTON, Mass. - After the first day of competition at the 2012 IC4A Indoor Championship, the Navy men's indoor track and field team (8-2) has earned two All-East pole vault accolades and the team has secured a spot in Sunday's finals of four running events. Navy currently has 4.5 team points and is tied for 15th place after four scored events. Boston University is hosting the two-day meet at its Track and Tennis Center.
"We had a very good day and we were hitting on all cylinders," head coach Stephen Cooksey said. "The pole vaulters did well, Jeremy Haney ran a superb race in the mile and the DMR guys looked very good. Even in some of the events that we didn't advance in, like the 200 and 800, our guys ran some very good times. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow and we will have a good chance to get some more scoring in."
Sophomore Ryan Kochert and freshman Mark Vetere each earned IC4A All-East honors in the pole vault and combined for 4.5 team points. Kochert and Vetere each cleared 15-9 (4.80m) on Saturday. Kochert cleared the first two heights on his first attempt to earn sixth place. Vetere continued his successful freshman campaign by tying for seventh. Vetere won the pole vault at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship and was named the rookie of the meet. Senior Paul Neidhardt also cleared 15-9, but placed ninth.
Navy's all-senior distance medley relay team (1200-400-800-1600) of captain Dominic Della Pelle, Matt Evers, Lucas Connelly and Ken Bunnell won their heat with a season-best performance of 9:54.36. The DMR team will be the second overall seed in Sunday's final.
Junior Mitch Simmonds advances to Sunday's semifinal of the 60m hurdles. Simmonds won his preliminary heat with a time of 8.13, the fourth best time of the day. Sixteen athletes advanced to the semifinals and nine will eventually move on to the finals. Simmonds won the 60m hurdles at this year's Patriot League Indoor Championship and earned IC4A All-East honors last season with an eighth-place finish.
Senior Jeremy Haney, a 2011 All-East miler, placed second his heat in the prelims of the mile run with a time of 4:08.97, his best time of the season. Haney advances to Sunday's final of the mile run and will be seeded sixth.
In addition to qualifying for the finals of the DMR, Evers and Connelly also had strong performances in their individual disciplines.
Evers qualified for Sunday's final of the 500m run after placing second in his heat with a time of 1:03.55, a new personal record. Evers, the 2012 Patriot League 500 champion, will be seeded eighth in the final.
Connelly ran a personal record in the trials of the 800m run to place 10th, but was the first man out. Connelly's time of 1:51.14 was just 0.17 seconds outside of the ninth and final qualifying spot.
Sophomore Weston Kennedy just missed moving on in the 1,000m run. Kennedy placed 11th in the prelims with a PR of 2:28.19 and sophomore Caleb Haney was 13th (2:29.41).
Sophomore Chris Burns paced a four-man Navy contingent in the 3,000m run. Burns ran an 8:23.09 to place 13th in the finals of the event. Sophomore Sean Rynning took 20th with a time of 8:27.35.
Sophomore Brett Bogaard ran his third best 200m time of the season, a 22.05, but placed 28th in the prelims.
Senior Chris Ricks placed 13th in the weight throw with a mark of 57-2¼ (17.43m) to lead four Mids in the event. Sophomore Zack Duncavage was 18th with a 55-10¼ (17.02m), sophomore Billy Grammer was 24th (54-2¾, 16.53m) and sophomore Brandon Swindler was 29th (52-0, 15.85m).
In addition to competing in the finals of the 60m hurdles, 500m, mile and DMR, Navy will also have athletes in the high jump, shot put and 5,000m run on Sunday.
Senior Cody Rome competed individually at Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational and won the 3,000m run for the second straight year on Saturday. Rome placed first with a time of 7:55.24, which is the second best time in school history behind his own school record of 7:55.12, which he ran at last year's Alex Wilson Invite.
Rome ran behind a pack of Wisconsin runners for the first half of the race and then took over the lead with three laps to go and extended a huge margin. Rome finished over seven seconds faster than the second place finisher, Reed Connor of Wisconsin (8:02.54). Unfortunately, Rome's time of 7:55.24 was just off the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 7:52.30.
Rome won the 3,000m run title at the Patriot League indoor meet two weeks ago.