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Women's Indoor Track and Field

Army Takes Both Indoor Track And Field Stars

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army West Point track and field team defeated Navy on the men's and women's side to claim two stars on Saturday at West Point. 

The Black Knights were strong across the board, posting just the third 100-point indoor Star Meet performance in program history on the men's side. On the women's side, Army edged out the Mids' for its fifth consecutive indoor Star Meet victory. 

The wins kept the sides deadlocked in the 2018-19 Star Series presented by USAA with seven wins apiece. 

COACH'S CORNER: Head Coach Mike Smith
Men's Track and Field: 
"I was really pleased with how our men performed today. I told our team last night that there would be some ups and downs in the meet, but as it turned out, we really had almost no mistakes. We have a good team with almost no holes and that showed today.

I don't know if we could have done anything better. We have a lot of personal bests out there today. The guys in the throws were great, our jumpers were special, the sprint/hurdle guys were dominant and the middle distance and distance crew stepped up and got the job done where they needed to. We were not perfect, but we were very close. 

To win dual meets, you have to have winners or you need to have depth. We have both. We won 12 of the 17 events and we picked up a lot of the secondary points. It has taken us some time to build the roster up to this level, but we have done it with a patient approach and here we are.

Ben Sims and Tyrese Bender were incredible today. It is one thing to win, it is another thing to sweep and then to put up the marks they put up? Incredible. 

Geoff Kirk won the shot today and broke his own personal record. Prior to last week, that record has stood since 1979. I can't say enough about that kind of performance. Lots of people set personal best marks at track meets. Our kids are doing it in a dual meet. That is really, really hard to do. I know I sound like I am gushing, but there is nothing comfortable about these meets. If you don't perform, you get chewed up and spit out and that didn't happen to our kids today. I told them last night that no one would give them anything today. That's what happened. We didn't have anything given to us, we went and took it from them. 

Today was great, but we are not finished. You have to have a short memory in sports and our conference championship is in two weeks. That title has eluded us and I know the guys are ready. It is a great day to be a Black Knight.

Women's Track and Field: 
"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 4x800, 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 HalbrookCalli McMullenHaley WatsonCassie MundekisSamantha 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 teh high jump. Emily Mikoud was a star out there in getting second in teh weight and scoring in the shot. Then there was Sydney Smith running our lead leg in the 4x800. 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.