Feb. 4, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Despite earning 13 IC4A-qualifying marks and a pair of top-10 times in Academy history, Army men’s track and field’s six-meet winning streak against Navy came to an end on Saturday as the Midshipmen prevailed 98-83 to win the indoor Star. Navy’s win tightened the all-time series to 69-67-2 in favor of the Black Knights.
Army won seven individual events on the day, including a trio by senior jumper Tom Wagner. Wagner had a career-highlighting day, winning all three of the events in which he competed in. The Clinton, N.Y., native captured first place in the long jump (7.14 meters), triple jump (14.30m) and high jump (2.09m), all with IC4A-qualifying marks. The long jump distance was a career best for Wagner. The senior accounted for 15 of Army’s 83 points.
Also in the high jump, classmate Michael Hutchins added three points for the Black Knights, eclipsing the bar at the IC4A standard of 2.04m. Hutchins placed third in the long jump as well with a leap of 6.93m for two points.
Junior Kyler Martin and sophomore Michael Hoffman had breakout performances for the Black Knights as well, both winning individual events with times that rank on Army’s top-10 lists.
Martin won the 60-meter hurdles with his IC4A-qualifying finish of 8.22. The time ranks sixth all-time at West Point and is the second-best mark recorded in the past nine years.
Hoffman, in his first Army-Navy track meet, made noise in the 200-meter dash with his winning time of 22.09. The finish ranks ninth all-time at the Academy. The sophomore added three more points to Army’s total with a second-place finish in the 60-meter dash, crossing the line in 7.09. Classmate Jason Wilkes won the 60m with a time of 7.04.
The Black Knights captured one of the relay titles as well, with the 4x800m unit finishing first. Representing Army was Clyde Wilson, Kevin Russell, Chris Jones and Ian MacPherson. The Black Knights finished over five seconds ahead of the Midshipmen, crossing the line in 7:55.85, narrowly missing IC4A standards.
Despite not winning events, six other Black Knights punched their tickets to the IC4A Championships: Nick Snoad (weight throw; 16.82m – career best), Scott Geary (shot put; 16.14m), Ricardo Galindo (3,000m; 8:26.53 – career best), Justin Harris (pole vault; 4.80m), Dan Nix (mile; 4:14.63 – career best), and Ian MacPherson (1,000m; 2:29.76 – career best).
The Midshipmen’s strength in the throwing and distance disciplines prevailed, accounting for 46 points through six events.
“I think we had a very solid performance in general,” said Army head coach Troy Engle. “We had some kids with some good, solid breakthrough performances, but so did Navy. It was a hard-fought meet and I think what caught us was our lack of breadth which kept us from filling out across certain events. We were up against a really solid, well-rounded Navy team. We competed well, I was pleased with that, but we just have some holes to fill as a program.”
Navy improved its all-time record in Annapolis to 37-30-2, while earning the edge in the all-time indoor series against Army, 26-25-2.
The Black Knights will have one final regular-season test before postseason action begins. Army will travel to The Armory next Friday for the Lafayette-Rider Winter Games.