Feb. 18, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Sophomore distance runner Lisa Junta and freshman point guard Kelsey Minato were named Army Athletic Association Co-Athletes of the Week on Monday. Junta attacked the women's track record book this weekend at the Patriot League Indoor Track & Field Championships at West Point, while Minato led Army women's basketball (19-6, 8-2 Patriot League) to a pair of wins last week, including the first-place Black Knights' first regular-season sweep of rival Navy since 2008.
Junta became Army's first 5,000-meter champion since 1998 and just the third overall by recording the second-fastest time in Academy history on Saturday afternoon. Junta finished in 16:52.02, the best time at the Patriot League Championships since the record (16:06.20) was established in 1992. Junta, who shaved over 19 seconds off her previous personal best, is one of just two 5,000-meter conference champions to record sub-17-minute times to capture first place. She bested the runner-up finisher by over six seconds.
One day later, Lisa Junta snapped Teresa Sobiesk's 3,000-meter Army standard which had been on the books since 1986. Junta crossed the line in 9:44.93, besting the runner-up finisher from Navy by over 10 seconds. The sophomore's mark is the best at the conference meet since 2004, and is just 0:04.52 off the Patriot League record recorded in 2001. Junta is Army's first 3,000-meter run champion since 1998 and just the third all-time. Following the weekend's competition, she became just the second Black Knight runner in program history to be voted Patriot League Track Performer of the Meet, and first since 2008.
Minato garnered national attention after yet another week of averaging nearly 20 points through a pair of games, including an emotional 48-40 victory in the Star Game against Navy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday. The freshman play-caller recorded 20 points and six rebounds in a home win (70-57) against Lafayette on Wednesday before the contest with the Midshipmen.
At Navy, Minato shot north of .500 from the floor (6-of-11) en route to a game-high 19 points while also snagging six rebounds. Through two games against the Midshipmen, the Huntington Beach, Calif., native has averaged 18 points per game to rank tied for fourth-best in Army-Navy game history with the Black Knights' all-time leading scorer Katie Macfarlane. She enters the second-to-last week of the regular season on a 10-game double-digit scoring streak and is the Patriot League's leading scorer in conference games, averaging a 16.5-points per game clip. Minato was recognized Sunday night as one of three nominees for espnW's National Player of the Week.
Army track and field will have this week off from competition and will return to its postseason March 1-3 at the ECAC and IC4A Championships in Boston, Mass. Junta has qualified for the mile, 3,000m, 5,000m and 4x800-meter relay. Army women's basketball will travel to Hamilton, N.Y., on Wednesday, eyeing a regular-season sweep of Colgate. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.