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Men's Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season in San Diego Saturday

The site of the Point Loma Open

March 16, 2012

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's outdoor track and field program will cap off a week of West Coast spring break training sessions with the Point Loma Open on Saturday in San Diego, Calif. The Mids will compete at the scenic Point Loma track, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Head coach Stephen Cooksey and a large contingent of Midshipmen have been in San Diego all of this week, which is the Naval Academy's spring break, training for the outdoor season and will use Saturday's meet as a starting off point.

The meet will begin at 9:00 AM PT with the javelin thrown and the first running event is slated for 11:30 AM PT. The final event, the 4x400m relay, will be contested at 5:00 PM PT. Other teams in competition include: Point Loma, Hamline, Cal State San Marcos, St. Thomas, Wisconsin-Stout, Azusa Pacific and San Diego. There will be no team scoring.

The Mids will shift their focus to the outdoor season after a successful indoor season that saw the Mids defeat Army to reclaim the N-Star, a runner-up team finish with 10 event victories at the Patriot League Indoor Championship and seven athletes garnering IC4A All-East honors. Navy earned an 8-2 record in dual-scored meets and ranked ninth on the final USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region Indoor poll.

The throwers will take on three new events as the team moves from indoor to outdoor with the hammer throw, discus throw and the javelin. Additionally, the longer hurdles (110m and 400m) will be contested, compared to just the 60m hurdles for indoor. Other outdoor-only events are the decathlon, 100m dash, the 10,000m run, the 3,000m steeplechase and the 4x100m relay. The mile also morphs into the 1,500m run outside.

Sophomore Zack Duncavage will highlight Navy's entries in the field events on Saturday. Duncavage qualified for the NCAA's East Regional in the discus as a freshman in 2011, where he placed 36th. Duncavage also earned IC4A All-East honors in the event with a seventh place showing at the East Coast meet and was the Patriot League discus runner-up. Duncavage is the top-seeded athlete in the discus field and he is also scheduled to compete in the shot put and hammer throw.

Duncavage made the best throw of his young career at last year's Point Loma Open (March 19) with a mark of 171-8 (52.32m). That distance ranks fourth on the Navy outdoor track & field performance list during the Stephen Cooksey era (1989-Present).

Senior Chris Ricks, who is Navy's outdoor track & field team captain, will compete in the javelin and the hammer throw. Ricks will be the top-seeded hammer thrower and his PR of 183-11 (56.06m) is ranked ninth on the Cooksey era performance list. Ricks was the Patriot League runner-up in the hammer throw last season and won the event at Point Loma in 2011.

Senior Chris Boniwell is the defending Patriot League outdoor shot put champion and will compete in both the shot and the discus on Saturday.

Senior Paul Neidhardt won the pole vault at the Point Loma meet last season and will be joined by 2011 Patriot League indoor pole vault champion and 2012 All-East honoree Ryan Kochert.

Junior Mitch Simmonds, the 2012 Patriot League 60m hurdle champion, will compete in both the 110m and 400m hurdles on Saturday. Simmonds won the 110m hurdles at this meet last season.

Senior Alex Jackson won the 400m dash at last year's Point Loma Open and will be back to defend his title, and will also compete in the 200m.

The Mids will enter a number of talented half-milers into the 800m run with seniors Matt Evers and Lucas Connelly leading the way. Connelly won the 800m at the Patriot League indoor championship and Evers won the 500m and was named All-East in the 500m run as well. Joshua Shaw and Joshua Kingsland will also run the 800m.

Navy's distance runners will not be in competition this weekend.

As always, a highlight of Navy's spring schedule will be the Army-Navy Star Meet, which will be held in West Point on April 7. Holy Cross will host the 2012 Patriot League Outdoor Championship (May 4-5), the IC4A Outdoor Championship will be in Princeton (May 11-13) and the NCAA postseason will begin with the NCAA's East Regional in Jacksonville, Fla. (May 24-26).

Navy will next host American and Colgate in a tri-meet next Saturday at Ingram Field, its only home meet of the outdoor season.



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