Prakel Sets Steeplechase Record As Army Loses To Navy

Kaitlyn Love

Kaitlyn Love

April 6, 2013

Results

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  – In what was the closest outdoor Star Meet since 2007, the Army women’s track and field team suffered a 107-96 setback at Navy on Saturday afternoon at Ingram Field. Despite the loss, a number of individual performances highlighted the annual academy showdown including a record-setting performance by senior tri-captain Mary Prakel.

Army was edged in track events 62-53 and throws 23-21, while jumps were split 22-22.

Prakel won the day’s first track event, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, to mark the third consecutive meet she captured gold in the event. Prakel exploded away from the field, winning by nearly nine seconds by crossing the line in 10:51.77 to establish an Army record. The time, which shaved seven seconds off her previous personal best, snapped Myra Markey’s (USMA ’06) program record of 10:53.51 established at the NCAA Regionals in 2004.

Sophomore Rachel King made the steeplechase even more valuable as she claimed third place with the fourth-fastest time in Academy history, 11:06.32, as Army collected seven points in the event.

Including Prakel’s gold medal, the Black Knights won eight of the day’s 19 events including a three-peat by Prakel’s fellow captain Kaitlyn Love. Love won both hurdle events before capping the afternoon  as a member of a winning relay squad.

Love won the 100-meter hurdles for the second consecutive Star Meet, snapping the tape in 14.84 seconds to outrun the No. 2 finisher from Navy by well over one second. The senior then followed by winning the 400-meter hurdles for the second time in three seasons, crossing the line in 1:03.96 as the only competitor to finish under 1:05.

In the day’s final running event, Love teamed with fellow captain Ashley Gordon, junior Allie Sutherland and sophomore Katrina Donarski to run the quickest 4x400-relay since 2008 to win in 3:55.08.

Donarksi rounded out Army’s winners on the track as she captured the 400-meter title for the second consecutive season. The sophomore maintained her hold on the No. 9 spot on Army’s all-time list with her finish of 56.85.

The Black Knights captured two jumping event titles, including a 1-2 performance in the pole vault. Freshman Megan Gemar put more space between herself and the No. 3 pole vaulter on Army’s all-time performance list as the plebe won the event by eclipsing the bar at 3.72 meters. Anna Diko and Hallie Huggins are in a tie for third all-time behind Gemar with heights of 3.50 meters. Gemar is .03 meters shy of the Academy standard set by Kaci Clark in 2011.

Senior McKenzie Majchrzak capped her Army-Navy career with her first long jump title. Majchrzak bested Navy’s top jumper by .04 meters with a winning leap of 5.42m.

Sophomore Azeezat Olatunde rounded out Army’s event winners on the afternoon as Olatunde recorded a personal-best throw in the shot put of 13.00m. Army finished 1-3 in the event as freshman Emily Ezerins claimed third place (12.15m).

Navy’s win marked its 10th consecutive Star Meet victory, including fifth straight outdoor triumph. With the Navy men defeating Army earlier in the day, the Midshipmen captured their second consecutive season sweep over the Black Knights. With two wins this season, the Navy women gained the all-time advantage against Army, 27-26-1.

Army’s 11-point setback was its closest outdoor loss to Navy since the 2007 meet which saw the Midshipmen edge the Black Knights by nine points.

The Black Knights will host their final home meet of the season on April 13 with the Army Quad Meet. Army will host Binghamton, Colgate and Middlebury, with the possibility of Columbia being added. Events are scheduled to begin at noon at West Point’s Shea Stadium.

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