Feb. 4, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy women's indoor track and field team (16-1) defeated Army in the indoor Star Meet for the seventh straight year on Saturday at Wesley A. Brown Field House. Navy thumped the Black Knights, 112.5-68.5 and the 44-point margin was just one point shy of Navy's largest margin of victory in the indoor series (113-68, 2000). Navy won 14 of 17 events and took maximum points by going 1-2 in six events.
After losing the first nine indoor Star Meets to Army, Navy now holds a 13-12-1 advantage, taking the series lead for the first time on Saturday. Additionally, if the Class of 2012 defeats Army in the outdoor Star Meet on April 7, they will become just the second class (2002) to go 8-0 against Army in indoor and outdoor track and field.
"I was exceptionally proud of the way everyone performed today," said head coach Carla Criste, who is 12-2 against Army in her last 14 indoor Star Meets. "There were some great unselfish displays by our team leaders. Jess Palacio went out there and set the pace for the rest of the team and ran an unbelievable volume today. Mansfield Murph also sacrificed a first place in the 500m to better the team. She moved to the 400 and the 800 and was able to hold off our opponents and get some more team points."
Senior Jess Palacio competed in three events on the day, running over 5,600 meters and accounting for 13 team points. Palacio won the mile (4:57.58) and the 1,000m (2:54.90) and she also placed second in the 3,000m (9:52.71). The Sun Valley, Nev. native nearly pulled off the triple, but couldn't quite catch Army's Lisa Junta who won the 3,000m with a 9:51.34. It was the first time in Palacio's last 21 indoor individual races that she was not the first collegiate finisher.
Palacio has now won 10 events at Army-Navy Indoor Star Meets and she was under the ECAC qualifying standard in all three events Saturday.
Senior captain Mansfield Murph highlighted Navy's 4x400m relay team, taking the baton trailing Army and handed it off to anchor Natasha Druggan with a solid lead over Army's anchor. Junior Arabia Littlejohn and sophomore Veronica Ffrench also competed on the relay team that set a new Army-Navy Indoor Star Meet record with a time of 3:55.94.
Murph, the team's indoor captain and defending league champion in the 500m, moved away from her specialty to compete in other events where the team had less depth. Murph placed second in the 400m (58.22) and third in the 800m (2:23.14), securing important team points for the Mids. Navy went 1-2 in the 400m and 1-3 in the 800m.
The Mids dominated the field events, winning all four jumping events and sweeping the weight throw and the shot put.
Senior Amanda Phelps established a new PR in the weight throw with a first-place distance of 58-7½ (17.87m, ECAC). It was the fifth-best throw in school history and moves her to the top of the Patriot League performance list. Phelps also had a PR in the shot put of 44-4 (13.51m, ECAC) to place second. It was the ninth-best throw in school history.
Sophomore Teronda Brown won the shot put with a PR of 46-0¾ (14.04m, ECAC), the second-best throw in school history and the best in the Patriot League this season. Brown also hit a PR in the weight throw, placing third with a mark of 49-0¼ (14.94m).
Junior Jordan Kronshage placed first in the pole vault with a PR of 11-3¾ (3.45m). Freshman Sarah Barnum won the triple jump with a season-best effort of 36-4 (11.07m).
Junior Kristin Smith won two events on the day and matched her indoor PR in the high jump, winning the event with an ECAC clear of 5-7 (1.70m). Junior Melanie Sluzewicz tied for second with a clear of 5-5 (1.65m). Sluzewicz also won the long jump with a PR of 18-0½ (5.50m) and Ffrench was third (17-10¼, 5.44m).
Smith also won the 60m dash with a team season-best time of 7.87 and Ffrench was second at 7.93. Ffrench won the 200m dash with a time of 25.89 and competed in a team-high four events on the day (60m, 200m, long jump, 4x400m), tallying 15 team points.
Junior Brigid Byrne was third in the 3,000m run with a 9:58.79, qualifying for the ECAC Championships for the first time this season in the event.
Littlejohn won the 400m dash (58.08) with Navy's top time of the season and also placed second in the 200m (26.08). Junior Natasha Druggan won the 500m with a PR of 1:16.31 and freshman Sarah Bernhardt was second (1:17.74).
Freshman Shannon Cuthbert won the 800m with a 2:19.08. Senior Ashley Aitken was second in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.97. Freshman Annie-Norah Beveridge placed third in the mile (5:02.55) and was also third in the 1,000m (3:00.06).
Navy will next host its annual Sweetheart Meet on Thursday, February 9 at Wesley A. Brown Field House.