Jan. 24, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's track and field team held its own amongst an impressive six-team field, producing seven IC4A-qualifying marks and six season-best performances during the inaugural Wesley A. Brown Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
Over the course of Saturday's six-team invite, which featured five individual athletes ranked amongst the top-10 nationally in their respective events (eight within the top-20), new Wesley A. Brown Field House records were set in eight of the 16 events with Tennessee and preseason No. 21 Georgetown leading the way achieving three marks apiece.
"Coming into the weekend we knew it was going to be a strong meet with more than a couple nationally-ranked athletes," said Navy head coach Stephen Cooksey. "We did a good job of not getting too caught up with the caliber of some of the competition we were facing and I thought, for the most part, we competed well and did a good job of holding our own.
"With the new field house, I think we have the chance to host a meet of this caliber year-in and year out, added Cooksey. "It's a great opportunity for our guys to gain some valuable experience and also for our fans to see some of the nation's best athletes. We wanted to have a very competitive meet and I think we succeeded in doing that today. A couple teams have already indicated they would like to come in next year and we will look to them and try to build on that."
The excitement inside the state-of-the art, $52 million field house could be felt in the air right from the onset of Saturday's competition, as both the meet-opening 35-lb.weight throw and high jump included some of the nation's elite field performers.
In a stacked weight throw field, Princeton's Alex Pessala, who ranked No. 10 nationally entering the meet, came in as the favorite amongst an impressive group of throwers. Pessala, already with a 64'3" (19.58m) throw to his credit this season, did not disappoint uncorking an NCAA provisional-qualifying toss of 64'1/4" (19.51m) to win the event.
The Mids fared well in what has been one of the team's strongest events this season, as senior Chris Bordino
(Gastonia, N.C.) and junior teammate Mark Van Orden
(Morris Plains, N.J.) earned third and fourth-place honors, respectively.
Bordino, the reigning Patriot League Track Performer of the Week, produced the second-longest toss of his career at 60'2" (18.34m), while Van Orden built upon his own personal record of 57'9" (17.66m) established in the team's 2008-09 opener, with a throw of 58'10-1/4" (17.94m).
Meanwhile in the high jump, the third-ranked high jumper in the nation, Maryland's Dwight Barbiasz, cleared 7'1/4" (2.14m) to set a new field house standard and pace a field which also included a two-time NCAA finalist in Princeton's Justin Frick, who took second with a 6'10-1/4" (2.09m) clearance.
Senior Nic Crowell (Olalla, Wash.) helped the Midshipmen get off to a strong start as the running events got underway with a third-place effort in the 5,000. With his time of 14:44.13, Crowell became Navy's third IC4A qualifier in the event this season. The senior's effort was part of a strong all-around afternoon by the Mids' corps of distance runners, which accounted for five of the team's seven IC4A performances.
The 3,000-meter run saw three of those four IC4A efforts as seniors Matthew Leyndyke (Traverse City, Mich.) and Bill Prom (New Berlin, Wis.), along with freshman Ken Bunnell (Kennet Square, Pa.), crossed the line in fifth (8:22.04), sixth (8:25.73) and seventh-place (8:25.79), respectively.
The 3K field saw each of the top-five finishers, led by Georgetown's Dan Nunn and his 8:14.02 clocking, turned in times which would have stood as facility records coming into the meet.
The competition in the five-team distance medley relay field was just as spirited as every squad clocked in more than six seconds ahead of the IC4A standard in the event.
The Navy foursome of freshman Jeremy Haney (Palmyra, Va.), Isaac Teichgrab (Camano Island, Wash.), Gavin MacGarva (Bellevue, Wash.) and Michael Sheehan (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) turned in a team season-best and IC4A time of 10:06.55 to finish just 0.22 seconds behind runner-up Princeton in third place.
In the mile, Navy freshman Dominic Della Pelle (Kennett Square, Pa.) continued his strong rookie campaign, taking third with a season-best time of 4:14.78. Georgetown's Sandy Roberts used a late surge on the race's final lap to win the event with an IC4A and facility-record time of 4:10.74.
Sophomore David Ash led Navy's efforts in the 800-meter run, turning in a fifth-place effort in a time of 1:54.72.
The Mids also received season-best efforts from junior Matthew Hanley (Rapid City, S.D.) and freshman Alexander Jackson (Elmhurst, Ill.), who both faced strong fields in the 60-hurdles and 400 dash, respectively. Hanley ran an 8.37 in the prelims to reach the finals where he finished eighth, while Jackson finished with the team's best 400-clocking in 50.34.
Saturday marked the fourth consecutive and final regular season home competition for the Navy men. The Midshipmen are now off for a week before returning to action on Saturday, February 7 in West Point, N.Y. in the annual Star Meet competition against archrival Army.
A year ago, Navy recorded its 20th N-Star sweep in its program history, topping Army during the indoor campaign for a seventh-straight season with a 95-86 win in Annapolis, and then taking 14-of-19 events in a convincing 118-85 victory during the outdoor season in West Point.
Navy's Top Performers By Event
WT Chris Bordino 3rd 60'2" (18.34m)
Mark Van Orden 4th 58'10-1/4" (17.94m)
PV Paul Neidhardt 3rd *14'3-1/4 (4.35m)
TJ Phillip Martin 4th 43'1-3/4" (13.15m)
HJ Joshua Houston 6th 6'4-1/4" (1.94m)
SP Devan Clark 6th 45'10-1/2" (13.98m)
LJ Thomas Jones 10th 20'10-3/4 (6.37m)
5000m Nicholas Crowell 3rd 14:44.13
60 Jesse Iwuji 9th 7.22
60H Matthew Hanley 8th *8.37 (p)
400 Alexander Jackson 14th *50.34
800 David Ash 5th 1:54.72
200 Isaac Teichgrab 6th 22.79
Mile Dominic Della Pelle 3rd *4:14.78
3000m Matthew Leyndyke 5th *8:22.04
Bill Prom 6th 8:25.73
Ken Bunnell 7th 8:25.79
4x400 Jackson, Ash, Evers 6th 3:23.27
DMR Haney, Teichgrab, 3rd *10:06.55
* Denotes Navy season-best time/distance
-The inaugural Wesley A. Brown Invitational was held in honor of the
building's namesake, Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Brown, USN (ret.), who became the
first African American midshipman to graduate from the Naval Academy in 1949.
-Eight Wesley A. Brown Field House records were set on the afternoon.
New standards were set in the following events: 35-lb. WT, High Jump,
Triple Jump, Mile, 800m, 200m, 3000m, DMR.
Wesley A. Brown Field House Track & Field Records
Event Name School Time/Dist.
35 lb. Weight Throw Alex Pessala Princeton 19.51m
Shot Put Eric Plummer Princeton 17.77m
High Jump Dwight Barbiasz Maryland 2.14m
Pole Vault David Slovenski Princeton 5.12m
Long Jump Predist Walker Hampton 7.48m
Triple Jump Akeem Hardnett Tennessee 15.30m
5000m Bill Prom Navy 14:33.0
60m Hurdles Predist Walker Hampton 8.03
60m Dash Manuel Reynaert VCU 6.78
1 Mile Run Sandy Roberts Georgetown 4:10.74
400m Kevin Bowen Morgan State 48.03
800m Joseph Franklin Tennessee 1:53.25
200m Evander Wells Tennessee 21.17
1000m Ian Fitzgerald William & Mary 2:26.45
500m Mike Eddy Princeton 1:04.84
3000m Dan Nunn Georgetown 8:14.02
4 x 400 relay Clarke, Easton, Delaware State 3:15.97
4 x 800 relay Anastasia-Murphy William & Mary 7:51.29
Fitzgerald, Bilsborrow, Sklodowski
DMR Mason Perron, Hill, Georgetown 9:57.47
### GO NAVY! ###