Nov. 28, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's track and field program will begin its indoor season this Saturday at Wesley A. Brown Field House. Stephen Cooksey enters his 25th season as the program's head coach and is preparing a team that swept Army in the indoor and outdoor Star Meets last season and placed second at the Patriot League Indoor and Outdoor Championship Meets.
Navy returns a large group of experienced athletes, including 32 juniors and seniors, and the coaching staff has brought in many talented newcomers. Cooksey also returns one All-American in thrower Zack Duncavage and has a number of Patriot League individual champions and IC4A All-East performers.
"It seems like we have at least two people per event that we can count on," said Cooksey. "We will need to get some more depth by having some other people step up. We also have some very good freshmen and we will be counting on them."
Navy should once again be among the best in the Patriot League at the indoor championship meet. Additionally, Navy will aim to have as many athletes as possible meet IC4A-qualifying times and marks to be able to compete in the postseason regional championship in March.
Seniors Mitch Simmonds (indoor season) and Kolton Kempel (outdoor season) will serve as the 2012-13 team captains.
The program will have four home meets during the indoor season at the Wesley Brown Field House. In addition to the Navy Invitational this Saturday, Navy will host home meets on January 12 and January 19. The annual Wesley A. Brown Invitational will be held on January 26.
Navy will meet Army in the Star Meet during the indoor track and field season on February 3 in West Point. Navy leads the all-time indoor series against Army, 26-25-2.
The Mids will return to West Point for the 2013 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship from February 15-17. The IC4A Indoor Championship will be held in Boston, Mass. from March 2-3 and the NCAA Indoor Championship will be in Fayetteville, Ark. from March 8-9.
Junior Brett Bogaard will be one of Navy's top sprinters after placing seventh in the finals of the 200m dash at the Patriot League Indoor Championship last season. Also back are sophomores Rico Goldstone and Jalen Elrod, who along with Bogaard, will run in the 60m and 200m dashes.
Two freshmen are also expected to contribute in the sprints. Austin Batiste will run in the 200m and the 400m and Jordan Sartor-Francis will run in the 60m and the 200m.
"I think we will be slightly improved over last year in the short sprints," said Cooksey. "Bogaard and Goldstone are both looking better than last year and we are looking forward to Sartor-Francis joining that group as well."
Senior outdoor team captain Kolton Kempel will anchor the 400m dash and along with freshman Austin Batiste, Cooksey has a pair of sprinters capable of running under 50 seconds in the event.
"I think we will be better in the longer sprints," Cooksey said. "Kolton Kempel and Austin Batistie have ran well in the 400, with Batiste also looking good in the 200."
Senior Joshua Shaw is back after running an IC4A-qualifying time of 1:04.92 last year in the 500m. Shaw also scored by placing sixth in the 500m at the Patriot League meet, a race that was won by recent graduate Matt Evers.
Junior Jeremy Cadiente will also contribute in the 400m and the 500m.
Navy had three athletes score in the 800m at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship, with 2012 graduate Lucas Connelly taking first and junior Weston Kennedy (3rd) and sophomore Joshua Kingsland (5th) also placing.
Joining the 800m group will be freshmen Kai Hinton and Nick Palermo, who have looked good in the preseason. Hinton and Palermo may also run in the 1,000m.
"Kingsland is only a sophomore but we are going to look to him to step up and lead that group," said Cooksey. "He really came around in the outdoor season for us last year."
Kennedy is likely to be Navy's top miler this season and has been a member of two league-champion relay teams. He qualified for the IC4A Indoor Championship last season in both the 800m and the 1,000m.
Juniors Cody Thompson (2:28.04), and Caleb Haney (2:28.95) return after running IC4A times in the 1,000m. Thompson placed fourth in the 1,000m at the league meet and 2012 graduate Dominic Della Pelle claimed the title.
Senior cross country team captain Kyle Satterwhite will be back on the track after scoring and placing sixth in the mile at the league meet last season. Navy graduated Ken Bunnell, the 2012 Patriot League mile champion, but both Satterwhite (4:12.35) Thompson (4:14.86) posted IC4A times in the mile.
Assistant coach Al Cantello's distance group will move forward without 2012 graduate Cody Rome, who won both the 3,000m and the 5,000m titles at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship. Rome's triumphs marked the third straight season that Navy has captured both the 3,000m and the 5,000m at the indoor league meet.
Navy returns four athletes that hit IC4A-qualifying times in the 3,000m last season in juniors Christopher Burns (8:22.62), Sean Rynning (8:23.66) and C.J. Elward (8:25.86) and also sophomore Brian De La Mora (8:24.57). Burns took fourth in the 3,000m run at the league meet and Rynning was fifth as the Mids captured 24 total points in the event.
Kyle Satterwhite will also compete in the 3,000m run this year. He also has experience in the 5,000m as he placed fourth in the event at the league meet last February and recorded a season-best and IC4A-qualifying time of 14:27.40.
Senior Christopher Galvin (14:36.08) and junior Robert Patterson (14:43.52) also qualified for the IC4A Championship in the 5,000m run. Patterson will also compete in the 3,000m.
Galvin had a strong cross country season this past fall, earning All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors. He was also named the Patriot League Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Sophomore John Sweeney and freshman Steve Schroeder also had solid cross country seasons. Sweeney earned All-Patriot League First-Team honors by placing sixth at the league meet and Schroeder was tabbed as the league's rookie of the year after being the first freshman to cross at 18th place.
Senior indoor team captain Mitch Simmonds will anchor the hurdles. Simmonds won the 60m hurdles at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship. He won the league title with a time of 8.11 and also clocked an 8.10 at the IC4As, the third-best time in program history.
"Mitch Simmonds will lead the hurdles," Cooksey said. "He was the Patriot League champion last year and he is going to be tough to beat."
Behind Simmonds in the hurdles will be junior Isaac Losee. Losee turned in a season-best time of 8.48 in the 60m hurdles and achieved an IC4A-qualifying time in the 110m hurdles during the outdoor season.
The pole vault will once again be a strength for Navy, as the team returns each of the last two Patriot League Indoor pole vault champions. Sophomore Mark Vetere won the pole vault at both the indoor and outdoor league meets in 2012 and junior Ryan Kochert won the indoor pole vault title in 2011.
"We are looking very solid in the pole vault, as we have a host of guys that can compete," Cooksey said.
Vetere cleared 16-8 during the outdoor season last spring and advanced to the NCAA's East Regional Championship. Vetere also earned IC4A All-East honors last winter and was named the Patriot League's Rookie of the Meet.
Kochert's career-best clear is a 15-9 and he placed sixth at the IC4A indoor meet in 2012 to earn All-East honors.
Vetere's twin brother, Adam Vetere, will also be looked upon to contribute in the pole vault, as will sophomore Ray Matelli and newcomer Jiles Maness.
Navy brought in 2008 NCAA Division I pole vault champion Rory Quiller as a volunteer assistant pole vault coach for both the men's and women's teams.
"The addition of Rory is a big plus," Cooksey said. "That will give us some help and he is excited about what he sees with our guys."
Freshman Jeremy Granderson will provide an immediate boost to the high jump after clearing 6-10½ at Colonial Forge High School in Fredericksburg, Va.
Senior Rand Montermini is a multi-eventer who will also compete in the high jump along with Granderson and sophomore Hank Leslie.
Granderson, Goldstone and junior Randon McKain will compete in the long jump and triple jumps for Navy in 2012-13.
Junior Zack Duncavage will lead Navy's throwing unit after earning All-America honors in the discus last spring. Duncavage set a school record in the discus at the NCAA's East Regional Championship and went on to place 16th at the national meet to capture second-team All-America honors.
Duncavage enters the indoor season as Navy's top-ranked weight thrower. Duncavage surpassed the IC4A-qualifying standard in the weight throw last season and had a season-best throw of 57-2¼ (17.43m). He placed fifth in the weight throw at the league meet.
Junior Brandon Swindler surpassed the IC4A-qualiying mark in the weight throw last year and junior Kyle Fortney has looked strong during the preseason.
"I am very pleased with what we have in the throws," Cooksey said. "Duncavage will lead us and Fortney and Swindler have both been looking good."
Duncavage, senior Andrew Wondolowski, junior Derrick Petett and newcomer Tom Swanson will compete in the shot put for assistant coach Chris Campbell.
Navy has two veteran multi-eventers for the 2012-13 season. Seniors Rand Montermini and Chris Fowler will both compete in the heptathlon during the indoor season.
Fowler placed fourth in the heptathlon at last year's Patriot League Indoor Championship with 4721 points. Montermini's top heptathlon total is 4725 points.