Navy's Zack Duncavage
April 9, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - It was rivalry weekend in the Patriot League, with Army-Navy and Lehigh-Lafayette both renewing acquaintances in competitive meets.
The Navy men and women each won the Star at home against Army, with the men holding on for a 105-97 victory and the women posting a 107-96 win. The Navy men sweep Army in the indoor and outdoor season for the second year in a row, while the women swept the season series for the fifth straight year against the Black Knights.
The most competitive dual matchup came on the women's side of the Lafayette-Lehigh clash, with the Leopards edging their rival by a 102-101 score at home. Rachel Pena won the hammer throw and shot put and Devin Smith finished first in the 200 and 400-meter dashes to help lead Lafayette to the narrow win. The Lehigh men posted a 119-84 win over their counterparts from Lafayette.
Pena was honored for her role in Lafayette's victory, while Navy's Zack Duncavage and Austin Batiste earned Patriot League weekly awards for their performance in the Star Meet victory. Student-athletes from Bucknell, Holy Cross and Army were also recognized after a busy weekend of competition.
Patriot League Track and Field Weekly Awards
M-F ATHLETIC MALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
CHRISTIAN LUPICA, BUCKNELL So., Newtown, Pa.
Lupica set three IC4A-qualifying times on a big weekend at the Colonial Relays. He finished second overall, and first among collegiate finishers, with a school-record time of 14.25 in the 110-meter hurdles. Lupica also placed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.24, and led the Bison to a first-place finish in the 4 X 100 relay by running the anchor leg to help the team finish in 41.53.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
STEPHANIE OKPOEBO, HOLY CROSS Jr., Chelmsford, Mass.
Okpoebo had a pair of ECAC-qualifying times at the Duke Invitational over the weekend. She ran an 11.92 to finish fourth in the 100-meter dash, and a 24.19 to take seventh place in the 200-meter dash. Both marks were the best in the Patriot League during the outdoor season, and the 200-meter time set a Holy Cross school record. Okpoebo also ran on the Holy Cross 4 X 100 relay team that just missed an ECAC time with a finish of 48.10.
M-F ATHLETIC MALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
ZACK DUNCAVAGE, NAVY Jr., League City, Texas
Duncavage continues to shine in the outdoor season, earning his second M-F Athlete Male Field Athlete of the Week honor this season after a strong showing in the Army-Navy Star Meet on Saturday. Duncavage won the discus with an IC4A-qualifying and school record toss of 56.44 meters, and also set IC4A marks while winning the shot put with a toss of 15.93 meters and placing fifth in the hammer throw at 53.03 meters. The discus throw is ranked 11th in the NCAA East Region and clinched the victory for the Mids while breaking his own school record. Duncavage has already won eight individual events this season.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
RACHEL PENA, LAFAYETTE Jr., Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Pena played a key role in Lafayette's narrow 102-101 win over rival Lehigh on Saturday by placing first in both the hammer throw and shot put. Pena put up a personal-best mark of 57.52 meters in the hammer throw that set the ECAC-qualifying standard and is the best toss in the Patriot League this season. Her shot put mark of 13.02 meters is an outdoor personal best. Pena is named M-F Athletic Female Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.
M-F ATHLETIC MALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
AUSTIN BATISTE, NAVY Fr., Long Beach, Calif.
Batiste had another outstanding day in a fine freshman season by winning both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes at the Army-Navy Star Meet on Saturday. He just missed the IC4A-qualifying time with a 21.83 in the 200-meter, then hit the IC4A mark with a time of 48.21 in the 400-meter. Batiste has placed first or second in all six of his 200m and 400m races in the outdoor season. He also ran on a 4 X 100 relay team that finished in an IC4A-qualifying time of 41.49.
M-F ATHLETIC FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
MEGAN GEMAR, ARMY Fr., Walnut Creek, Calif.
Gemar hit right on the ECAC-qualifying standard in the pole vault with a leap of 3.72 meters at the Army-Navy Star Meet on Saturday. She won the event with the second-best mark in Army history and best by a Black Knight since 2011.
MARK LEININGER, AMERICAN Sr., Colts Neck, N.J.
Leininger took second place in the 10,000-meter run at the Colonial Relays with an IC4A-qualifying time of 29:30.97.
MITCH SIMMONDS, NAVY Sr., Eagle, Idaho
Simmonds set IC4A-qualifying times in the 400-meter hurdles (53.27) and as part of the 4 X 100 relay team (41.49) at the Army-Navy Star Meet on Saturday.
BRIGID BYRNE, NAVY Sr., Vienna, Va.
Byrne won the 5,000-meter run at the Army-Navy Star Meet with an ECAC-qualifying time of 16:54.22.
LAUREN ALLAM, NAVY Jr., Pasadena, Md.
Allam won the discus at the Army-Navy Star Meet with an ECAC-qualifying mark of 47.31 meters.
RAY HOLMES, BUCKNELL Jr., Campbell, N.Y.
Holmes placed second in the triple jump at the Colonial Relays with a career-best and IC4A-qualifying mark of 15.04 meters.
MACKENZIE ARNDT, HOLY CROSS So., Merrimack, Mass.
Arndt finished in third place in the pole vault at the Duke Invitational with an ECAC-qualifying and school-record tying mark of 3.85 meters.
DEVIN SMITH, LAFAYETTE Fr., Andover, N.J.
Smith took first place in four different events to help Lafayette to a one-point win in a dual meet against rival Lehigh on Saturday, and set the school record with a time of 56.33 in the 400-meter dash.
Patriot League Notebook
Best of the Rest
While Patriot League rivals were squaring off, three other conference teams also had some standout showings at meets over the weekend. Bucknell and American both competed at the Colonial Relays where the Bison men finished second with strong performances from both Christian Lupica and Ray Holmes. American's Mark Leininger had a solid second-place finish in the 10,000-meter run, while on the women's side Bucknell's 4 X 200 relay team set a school record as the Bison placed eighth. Holy Cross went to the Duke Invitational where Stephanie Okpoebo ran the best outdoor time in the Patriot League this season in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes.
Another Busy Weekend Ahead
All Patriot League teams are in action this weekend, and most will be meeting up wtih at least one other League squad. Bucknell hosts the Bison Outdoor Classic, which includes American and Lehigh in the field, while Army welcomes Colgate as part of a Quad Meet at West Point. Lehigh and Lafayette will both compete at the Moravian Open as well. Holy Cross and Navy head their own ways, with the Crusaders at the UMass Invitational and the Mids at the George Mason Invitational.
Patriot Leaguers Rate High in the East
Eleven Patriot Leaguers are rated in the top 25 in the NCAA East Region in an event, with multiple representatives in three different events. American's Mark Leininger (14th), Colgate's Chris Johnson (20th) and American's Mark Allen (24th) all rate high in the men's 10,000-meter run, while Navy's Jay Stell (20th) and Army's Jacob Drozd (25th) have top marks in the javelin. On the women's side, Lafayette' Rachel Pena (16th) and Lehigh's Jimil Ataman (20th) are each among the top 20 nationally in the hammer throw. Additional top marks in the East are owned by Army's Nicholas Snoad (9th, hammer), Navy's Zack Duncavage (11th, discus) and Lehigh's Brooke Astor (11th, heptathlon) and Ryan Paquin (23rd, decathlon). For all of the Patriot League track and field top times, go here
Navy Picked First on Both Sides
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.
Bucknell, Navy with Rivalry Building
Bucknell and Navy have combined to win all six Patriot League titles since the start of the 2012 season. The Bison swept last year's indoor crowns, while the Bucknell men and Navy women won the 2012 outdoor titles. At this year's Indoor Championships on Feb. 15-17, it was the Navy men and Bucknell women that emerged victorious.
Returning Event Winners
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.
Wrapping Up the Indoor Season
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. Bucknell led all schools on the men's side at the IC4A Championships with 20 points, led by a victory for Leonard Joseph in the weight throw and second-place finish for Ray Holmes in the triple jump. Holy Cross was the highest-scoring team on the women's side at the ECAC Championships with 19 points, led by top-eight finishes in the 60 and 200-meter dash events by Stephanie Okpoebo a fourth-place showing by Brittany Gorski in the 800-meter run and a third-place finish for Mackenzie Arndt in the pole vault. Army's Lisa Junta, the Patriot League Female Track Athlete of the Meet, continued her run of success by winning the 5,000-meter run. Lafayette's Elise Buffinton was second in the pole vault, while Bucknell's Hana Casalnova (10,000-meter run) and Caroline Tolli (mile) and Lafayette's Rachel Pena (weight throw) each recorded third-place finishes.