Cross Country Set for Saturday's Iona Meet of Champions

Ricardo Galindo has earned the men's top finish in both meets this season.

Ricardo Galindo has earned the men's top finish in both meets this season.

Sept. 13, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army cross country will compete away from West Point for the first time this season when the squads travel to the 18th annual Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday. The women’s 6K race will kick off at 9:30 a.m., and will be followed by the men’s 8K at 10:15. The races typically feature nearly 20 different teams from throughout the region.

The Black Knights had successful showings at last season’s Iona meet, capturing sixth place on the women’s side and fourth on the men’s for their highest finishes since 1998.

Sophomore Lisa Junta, who earned Army’s second-best time at last season’s race, has gotten off to a strong start in 2012, recording the Black Knights’ top time in each of the first two meets. Freshman Lindsay Gabow and junior Liz O’Donnell have finished as Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in both races this season.

Seniors Jill Busby and Mary Prakel, and sophomore Rachel King have rotated their way through Army’s top-six finishers through the Black Knights’ two home meets in 2012.

On the men’s side, junior Ricardo Galindo has been the Black Knights’ No. 1 runner through the early part of the season, while senior James Hodgen has finished in the two-spot in both meets. Senior Mark Castelli, who missed last season with an injury, has come back strong, earning Army’s No. 3 time at the Army Open (Aug. 31) and fourth-best mark at the tri-meet with Binghamton and Cornell (Sept. 7). Senior captain Kevin Russell has also battled to be among the frontrunners as he was the third Black Knight to cross the line last Friday.

Saturday’s meet marks the final weekend of consecutive competitions of the season. After three straight weekends with events, Army will have two weeks before racing again when it travels to the Paul Short Invite on Sept. 28. Hosted by conference foe Lehigh, the annual race traditionally features over 40 teams, including a handful from the Patriot League.

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