Army men, Navy women selected to win 2011-12 Indoor Track & Field title

Navy's Jess Palacio

Dec. 5, 2011

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The men's indoor track and field season came to a dramatic end at the Patriot League Championships last season and the preseason poll suggests that a similar exciting finish is on tap for the 2011-12 Patriot League season.

The Army men, who were narrowly defeated by Navy at the Patriot League Indoor Championships last season, edged out the Mids in the 2011-12 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Preseason Poll announced by the League Monday. The Navy women, who had an easier time winning the 2010-11 title, were picked to finish first in the preseason poll that is voted on by Patriot League coaches and sports information directors.

The Navy women garnered 11 first-place votes and 95 points to finish as the preseason favorites to win the 2011-12 title, which will be competed for on Feb. 17-19 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.

Bucknell, last season's outdoor champion, finished second in the women's poll with 88 points and five first-place votes. Army edged out Lehigh 69-68 for third, while Lafayette (39), Colgate (38) and Holy Cross (36) were separated by three points. American was eighth with 15 points.

On the men's side, Army scored 90 points with eight first-place votes to finish just ahead of Navy, which had 88 points and four first-place votes. Bucknell was third with 78 points and four first-place votes. Lehigh came in fourth (62), while American was three points ahead of Lafayette with 46. Colgate (26) was seventh and Holy Cross (15) was eighth.

The Navy women return several individual indoor champions from last season, including Track Athlete of the Meet Jess Palacio, who was a double winner on the final day of the championship, collecting titles in the mile and the 800. In all, Navy won nine events to score 157 team points to beat second-place Bucknell (117 points).

The Navy men had a tougher time winning last year, rallying in the final two relays to surpass Army for the title. The Mids trailed by 32 points with four events left, but Cody Rome won the 3,000 and Ryan Kochert won the pole vault prior to Navy's sweep of the DMR and 1,600 relay. The wins in those four events gave Navy the 171-165 win over Army, which had won two straight titles prior to last season. Army returns the indoor long jump champion in Michael Hutchins.

The indoor season opened this past weekend and will continue until the Patriot League Indoor Championships on Feb. 17-19 at Bucknell University. The outdoor season will follow with the championships slated to be held May 4-5 at Holy Cross.

Men's Indoor Track & Field
Team                                             Points (First-Place Votes)

1. Army                                      90 (8)
2. Navy                                       88 (4)
3. Bucknell                                  78 (4)
4. Lehigh                                    62
5. American                                46
6. Lafayette                                43
7. Colgate                                  26
8. Holy Cross                              15

Women's Indoor Track & Field
Team                                             Points (First-Place Votes)

1. Navy                                       95 (11)
2. Bucknell                                  88 (5)
3. Army                                      69
4. Lehigh                                    68
5. Lafayette                                39
6. Colgate                                  38
7. Holy Cross                              36
8. American                                15
First-place votes in parentheses