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Palacio Breaks Her Own School Record at ECAC Championship

Senior Jess Palacio

May 13, 2012

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PRINCETON, N.J. - The Navy women's track and field team tied for 24th place with 13 team points at the ECAC Outdoor Championship at Princeton's Weaver Stadium this weekend. Navy produced three ECAC All-East performers, including two repeat selections, and broke one school record. Duke won the team title with 77.5 points.

"It was a pretty decent meet for us and we had some great individual performances," head coach Carla Criste. "Now we'll have a week to recover and then get ready for the NCAA Regional in two weeks."

Senior Jess Palacio broke her own school record in the 800m run, placing a fourth-place time of 2:05.22. Her previous personal record and school record was 2:05.42, which she ran at last year's ECAC Championship. Palacio owns eight Navy school records (five individual and three relays).

Palacio also clocked a 2:06.59, Navy's fifth-best time in school history, in the preliminary round of the 800m. Palacio has now earned ECAC All-East honors at the last three ECAC Outdoor Championship meets.

According to the pre-weekend rankings, Palacio's 800m time is the 13th best in the NCAA East Region. Palacio is also ranked 36th in the 1,500m run and will likely be able to qualify for the NCAA's East Regional Championship in either event.

Palacio won the 800m and the 1,500m titles at the Patriot League Championship last weekend in helping Navy win the team title. Palacio was named the league's track-athlete of the meet.

Sophomore Alix Membreno earned ECAC All-East honors for the second straight year, placing third in the javelin. Membreno posted a mark of 150-3 (45.80m) on her second attempt, which is her best of the season and the eighth-best in school history. Membreno improved upon her fifth-place showing at last year's championship meet.

After entering the weekend ranked 65th in the region, Membreno has moved up to 24th according to the latest NCAA East Region performance list. The ECAC meet was the final opportunity for Membreno to get in to the top 48 and she will advance to the NCAA East Regional Championship for the second straight year.

Junior Melanie Sluzewicz also earned ECAC All-East honors by placing seventh in the heptathlon with 4439 points. Sluzewicz placed third in the heptathlon field in the high jump (5-4½, 1.64m), fifth in the 200m (26.76), sixth in the long jump (16-8½, 5.09m) and sixth in the javelin (103-2, 31.46m).

Sluzewicz earns her first career All-East accolade and is coming off a runner-up finish in the heptathlon at last weekend's Patriot League Championship.

Junior Kristin Smith and sophomore Veronica Ffrench both cleared 5-7 (1.70m) in the high jump, which tied for the seventh best showing but were bumped down due to the previous attempts high jump tiebreaker. Ffrench placed 13th and Smith was 17th.

Sophomore Lauren Allam just missed the top eight cutoff for All-East accolades by placing ninth in the discus throw at 147-10 (45.06m). Sophomore Teronda Brown took 12th place at 144-4 (44.00m) and sophomore Maressa Guynn was 13th at 143-7 (43.77m).

Brown also competed in the shot put, placing 19th with a mark of 42-2 (12.85m).

Navy's 4x100m relay team of Colleen McFadden, Ffrench, Smith and Jessica Ridgway ran a 47.09 to place 12th in the trials. The time was the second-best in school history, behind only the same team's 47.06, which was set earlier this season.

Navy's 4x400m relay team of Sarah Bernhardt, McFadden, Mansfield Murph and Natasha Druggan clocked a 3:50.20 to place 20th in the prelim round.

Senior Ashley Aitken clocked a 14.77 to place 19th in the prelims of the 100m hurdles.

Palacio, Membreno, Allam and Smith are all likely to receive qualification to the NCAA's East Regional Championship by ranking in the region's top 48 in their respective events. The regional meet will be held in Jacksonville, Fla. from May 24-26.

ECAC All-East Performers (Top 8)
Alix Membreno		3rd	Javelin
Jess Palacio		4th	800m
Melanie Sluzewicz	7th	Heptathlon



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