May 14, 2012
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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Freshman Lisa Junta was named the Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week on Monday in the season's final installment of the recognition. Junta captured the Black Knights' first individual ECAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship title in 14 years to earn the honor.
Competing in the 10,000-meter run Friday night at Princeton's Weaver Stadium, Junta bested a field of 24 in the top time by a Black Knight since 1998. The freshman crossed the line in 35:17.90 for the third-best finish in Academy history. Junta, who won last weekend's Patriot League title in the 10,000m, entered the weekend ranked fifth in the event on Army's all-time list.
Junta, who became the first ECAC individual champion since Heather Lawson's hammer throw victory in 1998, stands at No. 48 on the NCAA East Region descending order list. The top 48 in each event qualify for the NCAA Championship First Round, as the Springfield, Va., native edged her way in by the narrowest of margins.
Junta and sophomore discus thrower Jessica Waggoner are the first Black Knight women to earn NCAA Championship invites since 2009 (Kim Mallard; hammer), while Junta is the first runner since 2008 (Ebony Thomas; 100m, 200m) to punch her postseason ticket. The NCAA First Round is scheduled for May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The AAA Athlete of the Week honor is the first of Junta's career, while she becomes the third member of the track and field squad to be recognized. The reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Meet joins seniors Tom Wagner (Feb. 6, May 7) and Taylor Kensy (March 5) as 2012 Athlete of the Week representatives from track and field.