Navy Men, Women take first place in Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Preseason Polls

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Navy's Zack Duncavage
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Navy's Zack Duncavage
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

March 25, 2013

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Navy has never swept the titles at the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, but that's just what poll voters are predicting this season by placing the Mids at the top of both the men and women's rankings on Monday.

The Mids edged out Bucknell in the men's rankings, finishing with 92 points and nine first-place votes to 90 points and seven first-place votes for the Bison. Army finished third with 76 points, followed by Lehigh (62), Lafayette (50), American (31), Colgate (29) and Holy Cross (18).

Navy's advantage over Bucknell was slightly higher on the women's side, with the Mids accruing 95 points and 11 first-place votes to 89 points and five first-place nods for the Bison. Lehigh came in third place with 72 points, while Army (63), Lafayette (47), Holy Cross (41), Colgate (27) and American (14) rounded out the standings.

The men and women's preseason polls were voted on by the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field head coaches and sports information directors, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The 2013 Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Lehigh's Goodman Campus Track on May 3-4.

The Bucknell men and Navy women were the winners at the 2012 Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Holy Cross' Hart Turf Track on May 4-5. Bucknell held off Navy and Army for its third-consecutive title on the men's side, while Navy edged out the Bison and Lehigh to end Bucknell's three-year reign on the women's side and win its first title since 2003.

It was the Navy men and Bucknell women that came with the titles at the 2013 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 15-17 at Army's Gillis Field House. The Mids recorded the highest point total since 2002 on the men's side to hold off the Bison, while the Bucknell women easily outdistanced the field with Navy finishing second. The Bison and Mids have finished in the top two in each Patriot League Track and Field Championship since the start of the 2012 season, with Bucknell winning four titles in that span and Navy taking a pair.

Individual winners that return from last year's Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships include Bucknell's Leonard Joseph (hammer throw), Navy's Mark Vetere (pole vault) and Zachary Duncavage (discus), Lafayette's Nick Hepp (400-meter dash) and Colgate's Chris Johnson (5,000-meter run and 10,000-meter run). Duncavage and Joseph each went on to earn All-America recognition, while Vetere was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year.

Returning on the women's side after winning individual titles at last year's championships are Army's Lisa Junta (10,000-meter run), Kaitlyn Love (100-meter hurdles) and Jessica Waggoner (discus), Holy Cross' Stephanie Okpoebo (100-meter and 200-meter dash), Bucknell's Jennifer Zymet (400-meter dash) and Emily Ando (pole vault), Navy's Veronica Ffrench (high jump) and Lafayette's Rachel Pena (hammer throw). Junta was named last year's Patriot League Rookie of the Meet, and took home the Track Athlete of the Meet honor at the Indoor Championships in February.

The Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field season is underway, with most teams taking part in their first competition last weekend. Teams will be in competition each weekend leading up to the Patriot League Championships on May 3-4.

Patriot League Men's Outdoor Track and Field Preseason Poll
1. Navy, 92 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Bucknell, 90 (7)
3. Army, 76
4. Lehigh, 62
5. Lafayette, 50
6. American, 31
7. Colgate, 29
8. Holy Cross, 18

Patriot League Women's Outdoor Track and Field Preseason Poll
1. Navy, 95 points (11 first-place votes)
2. Bucknell, 89 (5)
3. Lehigh, 72
4. Army, 63
5. Lafayette, 47
6. Holy Cross, 41
7. Colgate, 27
8. American, 14