Oct. 27, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army cross country will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday for the 2011 Patriot League Championships. Scheduled for Lehigh’s Goodman Course, the men’s 8K race will start at 11 a.m., followed by the women’s 6K at noon.
Both Army squads ran to third-place finishes at the 2010 conference meet, while four Black Knights took home league accolades.
On the men’s side, Bryce Livingston earned first team All-Patriot League recognition after placing sixth of 85 overall, while Barrett LeHardy earned second-team honors with his 12th-place finish.
For the women, Elizabeth O’Donnell was named Rookie of the Meet as she was the first freshman to cross the line with her 15th-place finish. Marcie Nordt was named to the All-Patriot League second team for finishing 11th of 87 overall.
The Army men return four of its top-five finishers from last season’s meet, losing Livingston to graduation this past May. The Black Knights also have the added benefit of senior Mike Mitchell in the lineup this season, who missed the 2010 championship with an injury. Mitchell has consistently been in Army’s top group all season, including the team’s fifth-best time at its most recent meet, the Navy dual on Oct. 14.
LeHardy has led the Black Knights throughout 2011, earning the team’s top time in four of five meets this season, including a fourth-place finish in the Star Meet.
The Army women return three of its top-five runners from the 2010 meet, including Nordt and O’Donnell. Sophomore Katie Collins earned the Black Knights’ fifth-best finish last season, placing 31st overall.
Senior captain Chelsea Prahl has been the workhorse for the Black Knights this season, earning Army’s top time in three of five meets and the second-best finish in the remaining two. Freshman Lisa Junta has made an instant impact during her first season in the Black and Gold, finishing in Army’s top five in every race, including a team-best time in Sept. 9’s triangular with Cornell and Binghamton.
The Army men are in search of their first Patriot League title since 2008, and will be looking to halt Navy’s three-meet win streak. The service academy rivals tied for first place in 2008. The Black Knight men own the most conference belts in league history with seven, including a Patriot League-best eight individual titles. Jonathan Anderson was the last cadet-athlete to win the individual championship, doing so in 2008.
The Black Knight women last won the Patriot League Championship in 2004, and have five team titles to their name. Bucknell leads the team title race with eight trophies. Colgate won the program’s first Patriot League crown in 2010, led by back-to-back individual champion Elise DeRoo.
Jessica Jones was the most recent Army women’s runner to win the individual title, doing so in 1996. Jones and two-time individual winner Catherine Gaffigan (1993, ’94) are the Black Knights’ only solo champions in program history. The Bison own the most individual titles as well, grabbing five straight between 1997 and 2001.
Following Saturday’s conference championships, Army will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Regional Championships which are scheduled for Nov. 12 in Buffalo, N.Y.