April 20, 2012
WALNUT, Calif. - Senior Jess Palacio (Sun Valley, Nev.) and junior Brigid Byrne (Vienna, Va.) each set personal records in their respective events at the Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium late Thursday evening.
Palacio broke her own school record in the 1,500m run with a 4:20.87, placing fifth in her section and ninth overall out of 129 runners. Palacio was the fifth overall collegiate finisher in the 1,500m.
"Jess ran very well tonight," Navy distance coach Karen Boyle said. "She seems to be peaking at just the right time and her time tonight should definitely qualify her to the NCAA Regional."
Palacio broke her own school record of 4:22.58, which she set last season and she is the owner of all five of Navy's middle distance school records (indoor: 800m, 1,000m, mile; outdoor: 800m, 1,500m).
Palacio's time is currently ranked 13th in the NCAA's East Region and the top 48 will advance to May's Regional in Jacksonville. Palacio earned All-America honors in the mile run after competing in the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Byrne also established a new personal record, clocking a 35:35.51 to place fifth in her 34-member section of the 10,000m run, which was contested at 10:30 pm (PT). Byrne's time is the fifth-best in school history.
Thursday marked just the second time that Byrne has ran the 10,000m. Her previous 10K time was a 36:50.06, which placed her second in the event at the 2011 Patriot League Outdoor Championship.
Byrne's time is currently ranked 31st in the NCAA's East Region rankings.
Both Palacio's and Byrne's times were well under the ECAC-qualifying standards.
"The Mt. SAC meet was everything I had hoped for Brigid and Jess. They had perfect race situations and took full advantage of getting everything out of it to get big time personal bests. They were also able to showcase the Naval Academy track talent at a big time West Coast meet," Boyle said.
The Navy women's track and field team will send a full squad to Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational this weekend.