Stalnaker Earns First Team All-America Honors at NCAA Championships
EUGENE, Ore. – Navy track and field distance runner Lucas Stalnaker recorded a time of 29:08.81 in the 10,000-meter run to finish fifth overall and earn First Team All-America honors at the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday evening at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Stalnaker became the second Midshipmen in school history to earn All-America honors in the 10,000m run, joining John Mentzer (1997 and 1998). He is the first Mid to earn All-America accolades in track since Jay Stell in the javelin in 2016.
“He was bounced all over the place, like a pinball out there, but he was not intimidated,” distance coach Al Cantello said after the race. “That is the kind of athlete we love at the Naval Academy. I am so proud of him.”
“I expected the race to be a little faster and not as tactical as it was,” Stalnaker said. “My goal was to finish in the top 16 and get into the Second Team All-American. As the laps went around, I noticed that I was in a position to not just get second team, but I could go for first team.
“With three laps to go, I decided to try to push the pace a little bit. My goal was to build as much of a cushion as I could with three laps to go so when the guys that have faster legs than I do kicked, I could still finish in the top eight.”
The senior posted his fastest time of the season with a 29:08.81 to top his best time of 29:11.82 by three seconds. Stalnaker qualified for the national meet after clocking a time of 29:57.92 to finish third overall at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Lexington, Ky.
“I walked onto the team after just one year of running in high school,” Stalnaker added. “Going from a guy who was a nine-plus minute mile guy to finishing fifth at the NCAA Championship, it really is a dream come true.”