Feb. 23, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Navy men's track & field multi-event athlete Ron Belany (Sr./Haiku, Hawai'i) provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championship, broke the school and broke the league championship records in the heptathlon and also won the long jump to lead the Midshipmen to a first-place score after the second day of the Patriot League Championship on Saturday at Bucknell's Gerhard Field House.
The Midshipmen tallied 63.5 points to earn a 16.5-point cushion over second-place Bucknell's 47 points. Army stands at third with 45 points, followed by American's 11 points, Colgate's 7.50 points, Lehigh's seven points, Lafayette's four points and Holy Cross's one point.
"Ron Belany was on fire today," stated Navy assistant coach Al Cantello. "This was one of our better days at the league championship in recent memory. However, we have some weaker events for us tomorrow."
Belany totaled 5,311 points in the heptathlon to smash the previous Patriot League record of 5,062 points set by Army's Brandon Lewis last year. Belany produced career-best, IC4A marks in both the long jump and pole vault. The Navy senior soared 23'10" (7.26 meters) to capture 876 points and soared over the 16'3-1/4" (4.96 meters) bar in the pole vault for 898 points. He also claimed 920 points for his 8.25-second showing in the 60-meter hurdles and 813 points by virtue of his 7.20-second clocking in the 60-meter dash.
Belany's was not done yet, as he also competed in the long jump championship and won with an equally impressive distance of 23'9-1/2" (7.25 meters). In addition to Belany in the long jump, Dante Marshall (Sr./Hermitage, Pa.) placed third with a 22'10" (6.96 meters) performance. Belany also qualified for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles on Sunday afternoon with his second-place time of 8.29 seconds. Teammate Matthew Hanley (So./Rapid City, S.D.) led all hurdlers in the preliminary round with a time of 8.28 seconds.
The Midshipmen came away with 18 points in the weight throw, courtesy of their first- and second-place IC4A marks. Christopher Bordino
(Jr./Gastonia, N.C.) won the event with a toss of 57'4-3/4" (17.49 meters), while Mark Van Orden
(So./Morris Plains, N.J.) followed in second with a career-best mark of 56'6-1/2" (17.23 meters).
Navy's other event victory on Saturday came in the 4x800-meter relay. The quartet of Paul Harris (Sr./Fairburn, Ga.), Craig Meekins (Sr./Baldwin, N.Y.), Ben Kozy (Sr./Houston, Texas) and Lucas Burke (Sr./Bakersfield, Calif.) combined for an IC4A time of 7:36.58, 1.01 seconds ahead of Army's second-place relay.
Two Midshipmen distance runners claimed points in the 5,000-meter run on Saturday. John Olsen (Sr./Staten Island, N.Y.) produced an IC4A time with a 14:40.14 showing for fourth place, followed by classmate John Kress's (Sr./Colorado Springs, Colo.) 15:03.12 fifth-place clocking.
Navy's Shun White (Jr./Memphis, Tenn.) also produced the fastest 60-meter dash time in school history during the semifinal round to qualify for the finals. He placed third in the semifinals with a time of 6.87 seconds, 0.05-second better than the previous record set by Trey Hines at the 2004 Patriot League Championship.
The Midshipmen will look to wrap up their third league title within the last-five years during the third and final day tomorrow. The action is slated to begin at 10 a.m.