Navy Women's Track Heads to Patriot League Championship
Feb. 16, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy women's track and field team (21-1) will compete in the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship this weekend. Bucknell will host the three-day, eight-team meet that will begin on Friday at Gerhard Fieldhouse in Lewisburg, Pa. Live results will be available throughout the weekend. Navy is the defending indoor team champion.
Each team can enter a maximum of 32 athletes into the field and there are 20 total events. The women's pentathlon will be contested on Friday and the finals of the 5,000m run, 4x800m relay, weight throw, long jump and high jump will be on Saturday, along with the prelims of the shorter sprints and hurdles.
Sunday's action-packed schedule will feature the finals of the remaining 14 events, with the last women's event (4x400m Relay) being contested at 4:30 pm. The top six finishers in each of the 20 events score as follows: 10-8-6-4-2-1.
Head coach Carla Criste has been named the Patriot League Indoor Coach of the Year at the conclusion of each of the past three league championships. Criste won her third career indoor title in 2011.
Navy is currently the only Patriot League team ranked in the USTFCCCA regional rankings. The Mids enter the Patriot League Championship ranked No. 14 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and were voted as the league favorites in the preseason poll.
Navy senior Jess Palacio enters the league meet having earned track-athlete of the meet honors in each of the past three championships. In 2011, Palacio accounted for 30 team points by winning the 800m, mile and the 4x800m.
Palacio's winning mile time of 4:43.58 last season was a Patriot League championship meet record. The mile has been her best event this season and her season-best time of 4:38.43 is a Navy record and is the 14th best time in the NCAA.
Palacio also won the mile run at the 2010 league championship and enters the meet with nine career Patriot League track and field titles. She will likely compete in two individual events and two relays this weekend. She was recently named the league's track-athlete of the week for the fifth time in 2012.
Senior Amanda Phelps returns as the defending weight throw champion and is seeded No. 1 in the event at 58-7½. She is also third in the shot put (44-4). Also, junior Kristin Smith is the defending champion in the high jump and like Phelps, is seeded No. 1 (5-7). Smith is also Navy's top-seeded sprinter in the 60m dash (7.87, 4th).
Other returning champions are junior Arabia Littlejohn in the 400m, senior indoor captain Mansfield Murph in the 500m and senior Arian Davis in the pentathlon. Littlejohn is seeded fourth in the 400m (58.08), Murph is third in the 500m (1:16.15) and Davis is fourth (3059) in the pentathlon.
Sophomore Teronda Brown enters the weekend as the favorite in the shot put with a season-best throw of 46-0¾. Other highly ranked athletes include junior Brigid Byrne in the 5,000m (17:06.17, 2nd), senior Ashley Aitken in the 60m hurdles (8.96, 3rd), sophomore Veronica Ffrench in the high jump (5-5, 3rd) and junior Jordan Kronshage in the pole vault (11-3¾, 3rd). Senior Katie Taylor is seeded fourth in the 5K (17:28.90) and sixth in the 3K (9:56.33).
Junior Melanie Sluzewicz could be poised for a breakout weekend at the league meet in the field events and multis. Sluzewicz is seeded third in the pentathlon (3069), third in the high jump (5-5) and fourth in the long jump (18-0½).
Next on Navy's schedule is the ECAC Championships in Boston from March 3-4 and the Mids currently have six qualified athletes (Palacio, Phelps, Brown, Smith, Byrne and Taylor). Navy may also enter its top athletes into 'last chance' qualifying meets next weekend.
Navy's Final Entries
60m Smith, Ffrench, Ridgway
200m Smith, Ffrench, Ridgway, Littlejohn
400m Littlejohn, McFadden
500m Murph, Druggan, Payne, Bernhardt
1,000m Palacio, Beveridge, Arnone
Mile Palacio, Beveridge
3,000m Byrne, Taylor
5,000m Byrne, Taylor
60m Hurdles Aitken, Davis, Graham
High Jump Smith, Sluzewicz, Ffrench, Scales
Pole Vault Kronshage, Graham, Evans
Long Jump Sluzewicz, Ffrench, Barnum, Scales, Hutchinson
Triple Jump Barnum, Hutchinson
Shot Put Brown, Phelps, Allam
Weight Throw Phelps, Guynn, Brown
Pentathlon Davis, Sluzewicz
4x400m Relay Littlejohn, Druggan, Murph, Ffrench
4x800m Relay Cuthbert, Druggan, Murph, Palacio
Distance Medley Relay Palacio, McFadden, Cuthbert, Arnone
Navy Athletes Ranked in the Top 6
60m 4. Kristin Smith 7.87 6. Veronica Ffrench 7.88
1,000m 1. Jess Palacio 2:49.53
Mile 1. Jess Palacio 4:38.43*
60m Hurdles 3. Ashley Aitken 8.96**
Pole Vault 3. Jordan Kronshage 11-3¾
Long Jump 4. Melanie Sluzewicz 18-0½
Triple Jump 5. Sarah Barnum 36-4
Weight Throw 1. Amanda Phelps 58-7½*
4x400m Relay 3. Navy 3:55.94*
4x800m Relay 3. Navy 9:29.26*
Distance Medley Relay 5. Navy 12:44.82
*2011 Patriot League Champion **2011 Patriot League Runner-up
2011 Patriot League Indoor Team Standings 1. Navy 157 2. Bucknell 117 3. Lehigh 95 4. Army 67 5. Colgate 58 6. Lafayette 50 7. Holy Cross 48 8. American 28