May 26, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior Cody Rome (Eagle, Idaho) and freshman Mark Vetere (Andover, Mass.) wrapped up Navy's competition in the NCAA Track and Field East Regional Championship at North Florida's Hodges Stadium on Saturday. Rome ran in the 5,000m and Vetere competed in the pole vault.
Rome ran a 14:24.40 to place 23rd overall and 10th in his heat in the 5,000m and ran near the front of the lead pack for the entire race in the 24-person field. William Mulherin won Rome's heat with a time of 14:17.45 and Paul Chellimo of UNC-Greensboro took first place overall at 14:00.51.
"Cody ran a fairly decent race tonight and everyone was packed in there and then on the final lap some of the guys were able to pull away," head coach Stephen Cooksey said. "Cody has been a great competitor for us and he's had a great career. We are really going to miss him."
This was Rome's third straight year competing at the NCAA East Regional. He placed 30th in the 5,000m run last season and was 24th in the 1,500m run in 2010.
Earlier this week Rome was named the winner of the NAAA Sword for Men, the highest athletic honor bestowed upon a male member of the Naval Academy's graduating class.
Rome was a five-time Patriot League individual champion and a six-time runner-up. Rome also earned CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America honors in 2011.
Vetere placed 43rd in the pole vault on Saturday afternoon. Vetere cleared the opening height of 15-11¾ (4.87m) but was unable to clear the next height of 16-5½ (5.02m).
"Mark jumped well when he started off today but couldn't get over that second height," Cooksey said. "But he had a great year with everything he has accomplished and this will be a great learning experience for him going forward."
In addition to qualifying for the NCAA Regional, Vetere was an IC4A All-East performer in the pole vault this spring and claimed a pair of Patriot League pole vault titles in just his first year at Navy. Vetere was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Meet at both the indoor and outdoor championships.
Navy will continue its season at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6. Sophomore Zack Duncavage (League City, Texas) placed seventh in the discus at the East Regional earlier this week to become the first Midshipman since Paul Harris in 2007 to qualify for the outdoor national meet.