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Women's Track Opens Indoor Season at Home Thursday

Team captain Stephanie Payne

Dec. 5, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy women's track and field program will open the 2012-13 indoor season with the Navy Lid Lifter on Thursday at 5:00 PM at the Wesley A. Brown Field House. Navy is scheduled to compete against American, Bowie State, Delaware, Delaware State, Georgetown, Mount St. Mary's, Morgan State and Towson in a double-dual scored meet.

Navy won seven events to post a 5-0 record at the Navy Lid Lifter last December. The Mids took first place in the 3,000m, 5,000m, 60m hurdles, 4x800m relay, high jump, pole vault and long jump.

Following the Navy Lid Lifter, the Mids will have over a month off before competing at home on January 12.

Navy Lid Lifter Meet Schedule
5:00 	Weight Throw (Shot Put follows)
5:00	Long Jump (Triple Jump follows)
5:00   	Pole Vault
5:00	5,000m
5:25   	60m Hurdles
5:35  	60m Dash
5:55   	Mile
6:00    High Jump
6:05    400m Dash
6:25   	800m
6:35   	200m
6:55 	3,000m
7:05  	4x400m Relay
7:15  	4x800m Relay

Parking Information/Shuttles
All fans without a Department of Defense sticker on their vehicle must park outside of the U.S. Naval Academy grounds. Fans may park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for $5. Free shuttle buses will run every 10 minutes between Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the Wesley A. Brown Field House. The shuttle buses will start running at 3:00 pm on Thursday and will continue to 8:00 pm. Shuttle schedule and pick up location are subject to change. Please call 1-800-US4-NAVY for more information.

2012-13 Indoor Season Preview
After having an NCAA Division I All-American last season, four individual league champions, two all-region performers and a team runner-up finish at the Patriot League Championship, 22nd-year head coach Carla Criste has the Navy women's indoor track and field team poised for another successful season in 2012-13.

"We're excited for this season," Criste said. "We are pretty well-rounded with one or two solid performers in each event. It's also great to have our distance girls coming off a Patriot League Cross Country title and bringing that 'Expect to Win' tone to the whole team."

Navy garnered 11 first-place votes and 95 points overall to top the 2013 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field preseason poll. Navy placed second to Bucknell at last year's indoor meet, but did win the outdoor league championship last spring.

In addition to the season-opening home meet Thursday, Navy will also host home meets at the Wesley A. Brown Field House on January 12 and February 7.

This season's Army-Navy Star Meet will be held in West Point, N.Y. on Sunday, February 3. Navy defeated Army, 112.5-68.5, in 2012, winning 14 of 17 events. The victory was Navy's seventh in a row and the Mids took a 13-12-1 edge in the all-time series.

The 2013 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship will be hosted by Army 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 Veronica Ffrench and senior Jessica Ridgway will lead Navy in the short sprints in the 2012-13 indoor season. Ffrench placed third in the 60m dash at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship and was sixth in the 200m dash. Ridgway placed fifth in the 60m dash at the indoor league meet.

Ffrench owns two of the top 10 indoor 200m times in school history and her personal record is a 25.32.

Senior Arabia Littlejohn is the defending Patriot League Indoor champion in the 400m dash and ran a personal-best time of 57.26 to take the individual title. Senior Natasha Druggan ran a 1:15.53 in the 500m run to place fourth at the league championship.

Senior indoor team captain Stephanie Payne will also compete in the sprints, as will senior Kristin Smith and freshman Ashley Ross and freshman Christina Shawver. Shawver will also run middle distance events.

Middle Distance
Sophomore Shannon Cuthbert was Navy's top 800m runner during the indoor season last year and nabbed seventh place at the league championship. Sophomore Madeline Zell will also run in the 800m.

Sophomore Annie-Norah Beveridge is coming off a very successful fall cross country season that saw her lead Navy to a Patriot League team title. Beveridge was the medalist at the Patriot League Cross Country Championship, earned All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors and competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championship.

Beveridge ran a season-best mile time of 5:02 last winter and also clocked a 2:20 in the 800m and a 2:56 in the 1,000m run. Beveridge also has experience in the longer distance events.

Sophomore Maria Arnone ran a 5:07 in the mile last year and sophomore Christina Blair ran a 5:14. Blair also placed in Navy's top-five in every cross country race this fall.

Freshman Dale Lescher can also run a number of middle distance events and sophomore Paige Miller will has ran well in the mile during the preseason.

Navy will move forward without 2012 graduate Jess Palacio, who earned Second-Team All-America honors in the mile run last March. Palacio ran a school-record mile time of 4:38.43 to qualify for the NCAA's and placed 16th at the national meet.

Palacio graduated as the owner of every middle distance school record for both indoor and outdoor track and field. She was a three-time NCAA Regional Qualifier, a four-time Patriot League Track Athlete of the Meet honoree and an 11-time Patriot League champion.

Navy's distance runners are coming off a second straight Patriot League Cross Country title and will transition well to the track and field season. Senior cross country team captain, and 2012 Academic All-American, Brigid Byrne is the defending Patriot League Indoor 5,000m run champion. She ran a 17:03 to win the event, the second-best time in school history. Byrne placed second at the league's cross country championship in the fall and was Navy's first or second finisher in every race.

Freshman Kelley Robinson also had a strong cross country season. Robinson placed in Navy's top four in every meet and had three top-10 finishes. Robinson placed sixth at the Patriot League Cross Country Championship to earn all-league first-team honors.

Sophomore Emily Jensen will also be competing in the long distance events.

Sophomore Amanda Graham is Navy's top returnee in the 60m hurdles after clocking a 9.88 last season. Also scheduled to compete in the 60m hurdles will be Kristin Smith and freshmen Frankie Gale and Marissa Stewart.

Senior Katie Whitcombe, who recently received a Rhodes Scholarship, will also compete in the 60m hurdles.

One of Navy's strongest events this season will be the high jump. Senior Kristin Smith tied the school record in the outdoor high jump last spring at 5-8¾ (1.75m) and owns an indoor personal best mark of 5-7¾ (1.72m). Smith earned ECAC All-East honors after placing sixth at the postseason regional meet last year.

Junior Veronica Ffrench is the defending Patriot League indoor and outdoor champion in the high jump. Ffrench won both titles with her personal record height of 5-7 (1.70m).

Senior Melanie Sluzewicz, who will serve as Navy's outdoor season team captain, was the Patriot League runner-up in the high jump during the indoor and outdoor season in 2011. Sluzewicz's personal best is 5-7 (1.70m).

Sluzewicz is also one of Navy's top athletes in the long jump and triple jump. Sophomore Sarah Barnum returns in the horizontal jumps and Navy brought in a talented triple jumper in freshman Crystan McLymore.

Senior Jordan Kronshage, sophomore Amanda Graham and freshman Marissa Stewart will headline Navy's pole vault contingent in 2012-13. Kronshage owns a personal best clear of 11-5¾ (3.50m) and Graham cleared 11-7¾ (3.55m) as a freshman last season. Kronshage placed third at the Patriot League Indoor Championship in 2012.

Also vaulting for Navy will be junior Eli Rubin and freshmen Lindsey Adams and Elizabeth Rodes.

Navy has been solid in the throws for the last several seasons and is poised to build upon that success in 2012-13.

Junior Teronda Brown placed second in the shot put at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship with a mark of 46-2 (14.07m), the second-best mark in school history. Brown will also compete in the weight throw.

Junior Maressa Guynn placed sixth in the weight throw at the league championship meet and is Navy's top returnee in the event after posting a mark of 52-2½ (15.91m) last winter.

Junior Lauren Allam, Navy's school-record holder in the discus, will also compete in the throws during the indoor season. Allam posted a personal-best shot put mark of 43-3¼ (13.19m) in 2012.

Navy will welcome three newcomers to the throwing unit in Kat Johnson, Becca Skovira and Angie Cleveland.

Melanie Sluzewicz will once again compete in the multi-events this season. Sluzewicz took fifth place in the pentathlon at last season's Patriot League Indoor Championship. She also earned All-East honors by placing seventh in the heptathlon at the 2012 ECAC Outdoor Championship.

Freshman Frankie Gale and sophomore Sierra Parks will also be used in the multi-events.



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