Navy's Jess Palacio
Feb. 1, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Navy senior distance runner Jess Palacio was less than two seconds away from qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the mile and she’ll have a few more chances to make up that time.
If she does, she’ll become just the fifth female student-athlete from the Patriot League to qualify for an event at the NCAA Championships. She also can qualify if she remains in the top 14 in the nation — her time currently ranks eighth in the NCAA.
Palacio, who was named the Female Track Athlete of the Week for a Patriot League record seventh time in her career, finished first in the mile at the Navy Women’s Classic with a time of 4:38.43. The NCAA qualifying mark is 4:37. It was good enough to qualify for the ECAC Championships. Palacio owns the Patriot League Indoor Championship record in the mile after her time of 4:43.58, which she set at the 2011 indoor championships.
Palacio was one of three Mids honored this week by the Patriot League.
Senior Cody Rome won his fourth weekly award being named the Male Track Athlete of the Week. He finished second in the 5,000 at the Wesley A. Brown Invitational, posting an IC4A time of 14:25.94, which was a personal best. He currently ranks No. 1 in the Patriot League this season in the 3,000 and the 5,000.
Freshman Daniel Gallien picked up the Mids’ third award, winning the Male Rookie of the Week. He finished ninth in the 400 (49.66) and second in the 1,600 relay, which posted an IC4A-qualifying time of 3:17.68.
Bucknell senior Tom Barr also had a big weekend, posting a pair of IC4A-qualifying marks in the field, earning the Male Field Athlete of the Week award for the fourth times this season. He ties a record for most weekly awards in a single season.
Barr placed first in the shot put at the Bison Open & Multi with a distance of 53-10¼, and on the same day, he competed at the Penn State National Invite, recording a third-place finish in the weight throw with a distance of 63-9½. Both were career-best performances.
Lehigh and Army also won weekly awards with the Mountain Hawks’ Alexandra Doersam winning the Female Field Athlete of the Week award and the Black Knights’ Katrina Donarski winning the Female Rookie of the Week award.
Doersam first in three events and second in another helping Lehigh defeat Lafayette in a dual meet. She also had an ECAC-qualifying mark in the long jump with a distance of 18-10.
Donarski finished 13th in the 400 at the Saturday Night at the Armory II meet in New York with a time of 58 seconds, which was the third best 400 time posted in the Patriot League this season. It was the top time by any freshman in the League.
Patriot League Notebook
USTFCCCA RELEASES REGION POLL
The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its first region poll Tuesday, Jan. 24, with five Patriot League men’s teams and two women’s teams cracking the top 15 in their respective regions. The Navy men pulled in the highest ranking, placing fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Region poll with 187.06 points. Bucknell is ninth (119.20) and Lehigh is 10th (115.29).
The Army men are ninth in the Northeast Region with 103.95 and Colgate is 13th (72.60).
On the women’s side, Navy is ranked 10th in the Mid-Atlantic Region with 107.34 points and Army is 10th in the Northeast Region with 107.21 points.
The regional team index uses data provided by Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS) for only the 2012 indoor season and is a reflection of a team’s all-around strength. The regional team index is scored using the current national-team ranking formula as if there were separate regional championships across the country.
PALACIO ON A ROLL
Navy senior distance runner Jess Palacio has had a strong career for the Mids, winning several Patriot League honors.
She most recently won the individual title in cross country, and has been named an Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet three times in her career, including twice last season at both the indoor and outdoor championships. She also earned the award at the 2010 outdoor meet.
She can make it four straight at this year’s championship if she continues to run like she has all season.
Palacio has now been the top collegiate finisher in each of the last 18 individual indoor races in which she has competed and all six races this season.
With the Army-Navy Indoor Star Meet set to be contested Saturday in Annapolis, Md., and with Palacio likely competing in multiple events, she could have the opportunity to increase her winning streak to 20.
Palacio also has a decent shot at making the NCAA Championships if she remains in the top 14 in the nation in the mile. Her mile time of 4:38.43 at the Navy Women’s Classic on Saturday places her eighth in the nation. Palacio, whose time was just 1.43 seconds off the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 4:37.00, will have to either meet the standard in the next couple weeks or stay in the top 14 to become just the fifth female student-athlete from the Patriot League to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
RAISING THE BARR
Bucknell senior Tom Barr has had a big season in the field for the Bison and looks to keep it going as the Patriot League Championships are less than three weeks away.
The Bison, who swept the men’s and women’s titles during the 2011 outdoor season, will host the indoor championship from Feb. 17-19. Bucknell has not won the men’s indoor championship since 1993 when the Bison wrapped up their third straight title. Since then, it’s been a back-and-forth battle between Army and Navy.
The Mids won last season, but Barr said he’s hoping the Bison can use the momentum from the outdoor titles to defend their home track.
Barr will be a big part of that as he has had several IC4A performances in the shot put and weight throw this season. He continues to impress with the weight throw, posting his career-best mark of 63-9½ at the Penn State National Invitational on Saturday. He also finished first in the shot put (53-10¼) at the Bison Open & Multi.
Barr tied a Patriot League single-season record set by Bucknell’s Tyler Hoffman (2006-07) and Leonard Joseph (2010-11) with his fourth Male Field Athlete of the Week award.
Last season, Barr won the shot put at the League Championships, earning First Team All-League honors with a toss of 52-11.