May 14, 2004
Annapolis, Md. - The Navy men's outdoor track and field team will take
on over 600 of the top athletes in the east this Saturday and Sunday
when it competes at the IC4A Championship at Yale in New Haven, Conn.
"There will be 73 teams competing with over 600 athletes entered this
weekend," said Navy head coach Stephen Cooksey. "We've have several
individuals who should challenge for titles this weekend. While we may
not have the team depth, I still think we could finish in the top 10 and
should do no worse than the top 20 as a team. With 73 teams competing,
to finish that high would say a lot about our team."
Navy has athletes qualified in 12 events with several seeded near the
top of their events.
Eric Porter (Sr., Brookeville, Md.) has the third-fastest time in the
IC4A in the 400 meters heading to New Haven, while fellow senior Erik
Schmidt (Sr., Spokane, Wash.) should challenge in the 1,500 meters.
Schmidt qualified based on his indoor performance after missing several
meets with a broken collarbone are ranked in the top 20. Joshua Sink
(So., Welcome, N.C.) has the team's top time at 3:48.11, while Schmidt
ran 3:48.40 last week in his first meet in several weeks. Both are
seeded in the top 20 of the event. Trey Hines (Fr., Douglasville, Ga.)
and Shalimar Brazier (Sr., Detroit, Mich.), who have posted times of
10.81 and 10.83 respectively in the 100-meters dash, will figure into
the overall picture in the event. After claiming gold at the Patriot
League Championship in the 110-meter hurdles, Adesina Ekundayo (Sr.,
Randallstown, Md.) has the 24th-fastest time (14.57) going into
"Porter should be able to drop a lot of time in the meet and compete for
the championship because he hasn't competed with athletes of this
caliber yet this season and I think they will pull him to a fast time,"
said Cooksey. "He won the Patriot League title in the 400 by 1.5
seconds, but with stronger competition I expect him to stay with them
and post his best time of the season.
"Erik has been hurt, but he was back on the track last weekend. I really
expect him to run much faster this weekend."
The Mids will also compete in two relays - the 4x100 meters and 4x400
meters. David Hunt (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.) will team with Hines, Brazier
and Porter in the 4x100. The foursome has the seventh-fastest time
entering the IC4As with a mark of 41.17. Cooksey is sending a young, but
talented, squad consisting of Jamar Green (So., Pineville, La.), Matthew
Bowman (Middletown, Del.), Michael Levinson (Fr., Willingboro, N.J.) and
Eric Brye (Jr., Winona, Ohio) to race in the 4x400.
"I think the 4x100 relay has a good chance to break the school record of
40.56 this weekend," said Cooksey. "We have a young team going in the
4x400 that we are letting gain some experience. We want to expose them
to the higher level of competition that competes at the IC4A so they
will be more prepared next season when we are counting on them more.
"We also wanted to let Porter and Schmidt focus more on their individual
events by having younger guys in some of the relays. Those two seniors
have given a lot to the team over the years and this is an opportunity
to give them a shot to show they are national caliber athletes in their
In the field events, Nate Michael (Sr., Pilot Point, Texas) is ranked
fifth in the IC4A in the discus with a toss of 178'11". Pole-vaulter
Bobby Sparks (Sr., Yorba Linda, Calif.), who has battled a hamstring
injury in recent weeks, has cleared the fifth-highest height in the IC4A
at 16'10-3/4". Kyle Obrock (Sr., Boalsburg, Pa.) in the javelin
(212'15") and Ralph Lukfin (Jr., Basking Ridge, N.J.) in the hammer
throw (192'3") are also in the top 15 of their events. Cooksey also
expects freshmen Stephen White (Marietta, Ga.) and Cole Herron (Sanger,
Calif.), who have both cleared a season high of 6'8-3/4", to be amongst
the top competitors in the high jump.
"Nate has been throwing well lately," said the Navy coach. "He was
throwing close to 185' in practice recently. I also think our high
jumpers will be up there. They have competed with and beat a lot of the
guys that have the top heights in the event."