Top Ten Efforts Highlight Outdoor Debut

Jennifer Comfort

Jennifer Comfort

March 22, 2014

Shamrock Invitational Results

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Plebe sprinter Jose Santana made the most of his first collegiate outdoor meet, qualifying for the IC4A Championships in two events, and junior Jennifer Comfort posted two all-time top 10 performances to lead the Army track & field teams at the Shamrock Invitational hosted by Coastal Carolina.

“This was a solid performance at the end of a great week of preparation,” head coach Troy Engle said. “We don’t have a lot of time before we face Navy so we needed a good experience this week and next. We were able to get that this week. Jennifer Comfort really  had a great meet for us.”

Comfort put her name in the Army record book twice in the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run. She hit the tape first in the 1,500 in a time of 4:38.35, the seventh fastest in program history. Comfort’s fifth-place finish in the 800 was the fifth-fastest on Army’s top 10 list at 2:12.59. She was also part of the Black Knights’ 4x800-meter relay team that finished third and participated in the 4x400-meter relay.

Santana was one of four Army individuals to reach postseason qualifying marks, including three men and one member of the women’s squad. The Black Knights posted a total of seven all-time 10 performances.

Santana’s 100-meter preliminary time of 10.82 not only bettered the IC4A mark, but also tied for 10th place on Army’s all-time list. He shaved nearly two-tenths of a second off that mark in the finals, crossing the tape fifth in a time of 10.63 seconds. It tied for the fifth-fastest time in program history.

Santana was part of the Black Knights 4x100-meter relay team that finished sixth with a time of 41.94 seconds and qualified for IC4A competition. He was joined by Patrick Taylor, Kyle Wolffe and Michael Hoffman. Santana joined Jason Wilkes, Wolffe and Hoffman to make up the 4x200-meter relay unit that finished fifth with a time of 1:28.28.

Christopher Kittle registered the Black Knights’ highest individual finish, capturing the decathlon with a score of 6,528. Kittle finished in the top eight in nine of the 10 events, including top-three performances in the long jump (1st), 110-meter hurdles (1st), high jump (2nd) and 400-meter dash (3rd). Kittle’s hurdle time of 15.16 broke his own meet record set last season (15.81).

Jacob Drozd and Taylor Andrews also hit IC4A qualifying marks in the javelin and 110-meter hurdles, respectively. Drozd’s 62.69 meter heave was good enough for fourth place and represented the eighth best in Academy history. Andrews reached the standard with a time of 14.84 seconds.

On the women’s side, sophomore Justine Rennekamp finished in third-place finish in the javelin. Rennekamp’s toss of 43.40 meters bettered the ECAC standard and landed eighth on Army’s all-time top 10.

Rennekamp was one of five Black Knights to post all-time top-10 marks. The pole vault duo of Ashley Zietvogel and Laurel Neposchlan finished third and sixth by clearing 3.65 meters and 3.50 meters, respectively. Zeitvogel’s vault was the third best in Academy history, while Neposchlan’s performance tied for fourth. On the track, sophomore Lindsay Gabow was sixth in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:02.99, the sixth best in the Black Knights’ record book.

The Black Knights head to the Lone Star State to compete in the Texas Relays from March 27-29. The trip to Austin will mark the final warm-up before hosting Navy in the annual Star Meet on April 5.

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