May 26, 2011
Results: 800m | Hammer
Bloomington, Ind. - Junior Jess Palacio won her heat in the first round of the 800m at the NCAA East Regional to qualify to the national quarterfinals at Indiana's Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on Thursday. Palacio will be one of 24 athletes competing in three heats of the quarterfinals of the 800m on Friday at 6:30 pm. The top-12 runners will then advance to the NCAA Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. Live video of Palacio's race and live results will be available at NavySports.com and the championship central link at the top of the page.
Palacio ran in the first of six heats of the 800m and broke out of the turn in second behind North Carolina's Dominique Jackson. Palacio stayed right behind Jackson for the entire first lap, which was clocked at 62.4. Palacio then pulled even with Jackson with 300 meters to go and eventually passed her to take the lead with 200 meters remaining.
Palacio led the charge down the straightaway and crossed first at 2:07.82. Michigan's Jillian Smith caught Jackson to finish second at 2:08.14 and Jackson was third at 2:08.15. The top three athletes in the heat earned automatic advancement to the next round.
North Carolina's Ashley Verplank entered the race as the top-ranked runner in the heat, with Palacio second, but finished fourth at 2:08.58.
Palacio's heat had one of the slower paces of the six flights, but she still managed to post the eighth-fastest overall qualifying time.
Friday's quarterfinal round will feature three heats of eight runners each. The top three finishers per heat plus the next fastest three will advance to Iowa for the NCAA Championship, June 8-11. Palacio would be the first Navy female athlete to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championship.
Amanda Phelps' impressive junior season came to an end on Thursday, as she placed 29th in the qualifying round of the hammer throw. Phelps' best throw was 176-5 (53.79m), her second attempt. Phelps made a throw of 174-1 (53.08m) on her first throw and fouled in her third and final attempt.
Phelps was named the Patriot League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Meet after winning both the hammer throw and the shot put at the league meet and she also earned ECAC All-East honors in the hammer throw.
Navy still has two talented freshmen throwers waiting to compete in the regionals. Alix Membreno will compete in the javelin at noon on Friday and Lauren Allam will go in the discus at 11 am on Saturday. Membreno is ranked 13th and Allam is 21st.
"Alix has a good shot at advancing, being only one spot out of the top-12 going in," Navy throwing coach Steven Sarigiannis said. "And Lauren is one of the most determined athletes I have ever coached, so we are really looking forward to their events."
Navy's Remaining Schedule
Friday, May 27
12 noon Javelin Throw (Semifinals), Alix Membreno
6:30 pm 800m (Quarterfinals), Jess Palacio
Saturday, May 28
11:00 am Discus Throw (Semifinal), Lauren Allam
800m first round - Jess Palacio, 2:07.82, 1st in heat, 8th overall
Hammer Throw - Amanda Phelps, 176-5 (53.79m), 29th