Navy Men's Track Set to Defend Patriot League Indoor Title
2011 Patriot League Coach of the Year Stephen Cooksey
Feb. 16, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's track and field program (8-2) will begin its defense of its Patriot League Indoor Championship on Friday at Bucknell's Gerhard Fieldhouse. All eight Patriot League member schools will be competing in the three-day meet and live results will be available throughout the weekend.
Navy will enter 32 athletes into the 20-event meet. Four of the seven heptathlon events will be held on Friday with the remaining three on Saturday. Saturday will feature the finals of the 5,000m run, the 4x800m relay and the weight throw, high jump and long jump. The finals of the remaining 14 events will be held Sunday. The top six finishers in each of the 20 events score as follows: 10-8-6-4-2-1.
Head coach Stephen Cooksey, the 2011 Patriot League Indoor Coach of the Year, will be seeking his sixth overall Patriot League team title. Cooksey has led Navy to four indoor titles, winning the Patriot League in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011.
The 2011 championship featured one of the most dramatic finishes in league history. With four events to go, Navy trailed rival Army in the team standings by 32 points, an almost insurmountable margin.
The Mids won the pole vault and the 3,000 and picked up huge points, outscoring Army 30-0 in the two events to enter the final two relays down just two points. Navy then won the DMR and Army placed second to set up the final event, the 4x400, with Navy and Army deadlocked at 161-161. Navy took first place in the 4x400 and Army was fourth. Navy won team title with 171 points and Army was second with 165.
Senior Cody Rome won the 3,000m run with a Patriot League championship meet record time of 8:07.51 and freshman Ryan Kochert won the pole vault with a clear of 15-9 to come through with clutch, late-meet performances for the Mids.
Rome will look to defend his title as the top-seeded athlete in the 3,000m (8:18.25), which is Navy's deepest event. The Mids have five of the top six ranked athletes in the event and eight of the top 10.
Rome is also seeded No. 1 in the 5,000m run (14:25.94). Navy has had great success in the 5K recently, as 2011 graduate Andrew Hanko won the event at both the 2010 and 2011 indoor league meets.
Senior indoor captain Dominic Della Pelle is the defending champion in the mile and is also seeded No. 2 in the 1,000m run (2:27.52). Senior Matt Evers is ranked No. 2 in the 500m run (1:04.18) after winning the title last season.
After running a PR in the 60m hurdles at Clemson last weekend, junior Mitch Simmonds moved to No. 1 in the event on the league rankings. His time of 8.14 was the fourth-best in school history.
Senior Chris Boniwell is seeded second in the shot put with a season-best mark of 54-5½.
Navy has won each of the past four league titles in the weight throw and senior Chris Ricks is back after claiming the 2011 title and is seeded third (59-5). Ricks leads four athletes that are seeded from 3-6 in the weight throw for Navy and the group could give Navy a big boost on Saturday in the team rankings.
Another deep field event for the Mids is the pole vault. Kochert (15-9) is back after winning the event in 2011 and Paul Neidhardt has had a banner senior season and is seeded No. 1 in the event with a mark of 16-2¾. Freshmen Mark Vetere (15-9) and Ray Matelli (15-3) are also seeded in the top six.
Senior Josh Houston adds to Navy's jumping events, returning as the Patriot League runner-up in the high jump. Houston is seeded third at 6-8¼. Also, junior Miles Snelgrove is ranked No. 3 in the long jump (23-5½), despite competing just one time this season.
Another strength of Navy will be the relays. The Mids are the defending champions in the 4x400m and the distance medley relay and are the top-seeded team in both events, as well as the 4x800m relay.
Navy, ranked No. 8 in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region, is the top-ranked team in the league in the regional rankings. Bucknell is No. 9 in the Mid-Atlantic this week and Lehigh is No. 11.
Next on Navy's schedule is the IC4A Championships in Boston from March 3-4 and the Mids currently have 29 qualified athletes. Navy may also enter its top athletes into 'last chance' qualifying meets over the next two weekends before the NCAA cut off.
Navy's Final Entries
60m Bogaard, Elrod
200m Bogaard, Elrod, Gallien
500m Shaw, Evers
800m Connelly, Kennedy, Kingsland
1,000m Della Pelle, Haney, Thompson
Mile Della Pelle, Satterwhite, Bunnell
3,000m Rome, Pearson, Sheehan, Rynning, Burns, De La Mora
5,000m Rome, Satterwhite, Pearson
60m Hurdles Simmonds
High Jump Houston, Montermini
Pole Vault Neidhardt, Kochert, Vetere, Matelli
Long Jump none
Triple Jump none
Shot Put Boniwell, Duncavage
Weight Throw Ricks, Swindler, Grammer, Duncavage
Heptathlon Montermini, Fowler
4x400m Relay Gallien, Evers, Shaw, Connelly
4x800m Relay Haney, Kennedy, Thompson, Della Pelle
Distance Medley Relay Rome, Pearson, Kingsland, Kennedy
Navy athletes ranked in the Top 6
800m 3. Lucas Connelly 1:53.45
5,000m 1. Cody Rome 14:25.94 5. Chris Galvin 14:36.08
60m Hurdles 1. Mitch Simmonds 8.14
High Jump 3. Josh Houston 6-8¼**
Long Jump 3. Miles Snelgrove 23-5¼
Triple Jump None
Shot Put 2. Chris Boniwell 54-5½
Heptathlon 5. Rand Montermini 4498 points
4x400m Relay 1. Navy 3:16.83*
4x800m Relay 1. Navy 7:41.91
Distance Medley Relay 1. Navy 10:04.83*
*2011 Patriot League Champion **2011 Patriot League Runner-up
2011 Patriot League Coach of the Year - Stephen Cooksey
2011 Patriot League Indoor Team Standings 1. Navy 171 2. Army 165 3. Bucknell 151 4. Lehigh 46.50 5. American 29.50 6. Lafayette 29 7. Colgate 20 8. Holy Cross 8