Women’s Track and Field edge Navy, earns ‘Star’

By Nick Lovera Army Athletic Communications

February 7th, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 The Army West Point Women’s Track and Field team defeated Navy in a thrilling Army-Navy Indoor Star Meet Feb. 2 at Gillis Field House. The Black Knights edged out their rival 89.5 to 88.5, clinching the victory in the final event of the afternoon.  Photo provided by Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point Women’s Track and Field team defeated Navy in a thrilling Army-Navy Indoor Star Meet Feb. 2 at Gillis Field House.
The Black Knights edged out their rival 89.5 to 88.5, clinching the victory in the final event of the afternoon.
Army’s two track and field teams combined for a sweep over their rival to pull even at seven in the 2018-19 Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA.

Coach’s Corner: Head Coach Mike Smith
“Today was emotionally draining for me, so I cant imagine what it was like for our kids, but you wouldn’t know it from watching them perform. I told the team last night to expect ups and downs today and we got plenty of both. They have their strengths and we have ours and we entered the meet with the goal of getting it to come down to the relays.
“We stacked our 4×800, fully expecting to have to win it to win the meet and that is exactly how it played out.
“I can’t say that I expected us to set a meet record in the process, but that is what you get in this meet. These kids will perform at incredible levels because it is Army-Navy. We saw that over and over from both teams.
“Our throwers were special today. What can you say bout those women? They were throwing lifetime bests by meters. How do you explain that? It is just an incredible meet. I am a realist. I know that there are plenty of athletes out there performing at higher levels than some of our kids, but our kids are doing these incredible things in a dual meet. That just doesn’t happen in track and field in today’s world where most meets are built for individual performance.
“This meet is all about competition and it brings out the best in these athletes at a level that amazes me. There were so many highlights. We had our fair share of winners, but so did Navy. We just had some people that Navy had no answer for. What do you do about Abby Halbrook, Calli McMullen, Haley Watson, Cassie Mundekis, Samantha Coletti. Those women have never lost an Army-Navy Indoor Star Meet and they would not be denied today.
“If I really look at the way that we won, I have to point out the seconds and thirds that put us over the top. Shelby Piccinic fought her way to third in the 3000 with a huge personal best; Grace Reinhardt earned a tie for third in the high jump. Emily Mikoud was a star out there in getting second in the weight and scoring in the shot.
“Then there was Sydney Smith running our lead leg in the 4×800. I didn’t tell her that we needed to win the relay to win the meet, I told her I didn’t know and that she should just focus on handing off the baton in the lead. She got gapped early in the race, looked a bit overwhelmed and then came on with a furious kick to put away the Navy girl and set us up to run away from them. Not bad for a kid that didn’t even run track in high school.
“Each of those kids I just listed is a plebe. How incredible for them to step up when it mattered most and make contributions that changed the outcome of the meet. That is what this institution is all about: performing under pressure and adversity. We saw that today time and time again from all of our people.
“In the end, we took some risks in how we entered the meet and they all paid off. It doesn’t always work that way, but we have won five of these in a row and every one of them has been hard fought. You have to take some chances. We knew our opponent’s tendencies and used that to our advantage so that the outcome of the meet would come down to our strength in the middle distances. I am so proud of our entire team and coaching staff. It was truly a team effort out there today.”

Event Winners:
• Women’s High Jump: Olivia Gervan—1.62;
• Women’s 60m: Calli McMullen—7.67;
• Women’s 60mh: Lynne Mooradian—8.86;
• Women’s 200m: Calli McMullen—24.94;
• Women’s Mile: Cassie Mundekis—5:05.41;
• Women’s 800m: Haley Watson—2:13.25;
• Women’s 1,000m: Samantha Coletti—2:55.43;
• Women’s 3,000m: Abby Halbrook—9:59.46;
• Women’s 4×800: Sydney Smith, Cassie Mundekis, Samantha Coletti and Haley Watson —9:05.53 (indoor star meet record).