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January 6, 2013

USMMA Starts Strong at Crowell Invitational

West Point, NY – Despite being slightly undermanned, the United States Merchant Marine Academy track and field teams put together a solid outing to open their indoor season at the Crowell Invitational in West Point, NY.

Competition was stiff, as the high caliber meet hosted by Army boasted mostly Division-I and elite clubs to go along with the field of Division-II and Division-III teams.  Teams competing included Albany, Holy Cross, Manhattan College, Central Connecticut State, Sacred Heart, NJIT, Gotham Spark, NJ Elite, Zenith Velocity, Molloy, Hunter College, Lehman, and St. Thomas Aquinas among others.

The Mariners were a bit short-handed, fielding a significantly reduced roster as many of the midshipmen were still out on winter break and were unable to make it back in time to compete.

The standout performance for Merchant Marine came from freshman Andrew Walsh who placed seventh overall in the one-mile run defeating all division-III competition with a time of 4:32.75.  This tops the Landmark Conference record for this current season by a full seven seconds and places Walsh seventh on the Academy All-Time list. 

In the 5K, freshmen John Weldon and Jason Black placed ninth and 10th overall respectively, defeating all but one other D-III runner.  Weldon's mark of 16:57.54 is the second fastest time by any Landmark Conference runner this season.  USMMA currently holds 4 of the top six Landmark Conference spots in this event.

 The Mariners continued their assault on the Landmark Conference standings in the 400m when freshman Jacob Weaver recorded the eighth best mark of the season with a time of 54.59.

Freshman Dylan tack was a Heat Winner in the 500m, placing 15th overall in a tough field.  His time of 1:09.62 bested the mark set by ECAC Qualifier Kevin Young in the same event last season.

Sophomore Mickel McGann notched a pair of times worthy of the Landmark leaderboard.  His mark of 7.29 in the 60m was good enough to capture third, and his 23.99 mark earned McGann the fifth spot.  Freshman Thomas Duncan also worked his way onto the 200m leaderboard placing 10th with a time of 24.77.

In the 3K, freshman Brendan Dooley beat all Division-III competition and bested the top time by any Mariner to open a season by a full minute.  Dooley fought for every inch of his 9:19.64 mark as he battled and eventually pulled ahead of Division-I Army runner, Ludoviz Fanrock, down the stretch.

Sophomore Luke Kolbeck placed fifth overall in the Long Jump, falling just .01 meters short of his indoor lifetime best.  It also topped the opening meet mark set last year by Chris Cook, who would eventually go on to win the Landmark Conference Championship in this event.  Also besting their start from last year, the 4x400m relay team began this indoor season with a time of 3:36.94.

For the women, who only had five athletes compete, senior Christie Gallo set a pair of lifetime best marks in the 60m and 200m recording respective times of 9.38 and 31.80.  Both marks are faster than any female Mariner had to begin the season last year in these events.

The rest of the women who competed included:

Freshman Nicole Mautino who had a strong finish to the 60m Hurdles after being struck by a competitor and toppling over.  She also recorded a solid time of 32.23 in the 200m.

Freshman Kate Stanislaw who ran a 1:12.94 400m and a 31.95 200m

Freshman Emily Bull who did the one-mile run in 6:46.51

And last year's outdoor Landmark Conference Weight Throw Champion, Tara Mulligan, who achieved a distance of 10.56m in the same event.

"I was excited to get the season started," said Head Coach Gregory Lott.  "Things got off to a positive start, and I thought we had a strong performance despite the lack of numbers.  I'm looking forward to getting the entire team back as we prepare to head to Coast Guard next week."

Both the men's and women's teams will travel to New London, CT next Saturday, Jan. 12 to participate in the Coast Guard Quad Meet hosted by the United States Coast Guard Academy.