AUSTIN, Texas – The Army track & field teams expanded its list of ECAC/IC4A qualifiers by four over the weekend as the Black Knights wrapped up competition at both the Texas Relays and the Bobcat Invitational hosted by Texas State in San Marcos. In addition, the Black Knights posted nine performances that ranked among the program’s all-time top 10 in their respective events.
Azeezat Olatunde highlighted the Black Knights’ efforts with a third-place showing in the shot put in San Marcos. Olatunde’s 14.31-meter heave surpassed the ECAC qualifying standard and moved into fourth place on Army’s all-time ledger.
Earlier in the weekend, Olatunde posted her second ECAC-qualifying mark in the discus with a toss of 44.72 meters. In addition to being her best effort of the season, the throw ranked eighth on the Black Knights’ all-time top 10.
Olatunde led a strong group of field event performances for the Black Knight women’s squad. Completing in the pole vault at the Bobcat Invitational, Megan Gemar finished fifth, clearing the bar set at 3.70 meters to surpass the ECAC qualifying mark. It was the third-best vault in Army history. Ashley Zeitvogel and Laurel Neposchlan tied for fifth on Army’s all-time list at 3.55 meters. In the women’s javeline, Justine Rennekamp posted her second ECAC mark of the season, launching a throw of 42.89 meters. It ranked s the ninth best in program history.
The Army men’s hurdler group had a good weekend. Chris Smith surpassed the IC4A mark twice in the 400-meter hurdles. He crossed the line in 52.99 seconds in Austin and posted a fourth-place finish with a time of 53.74 at the Bobcat Invitational. In the 110-meter hurdles at Texas, Taylor Andrews beat the IC4A standard for the second time this season with a time of 14.61, his fastest time of the young season. He also competed in San Marcos, hitting the IC4A mark again at 14.65 seconds.
Jacob Drozd highlighted the men’s field event crew with a 12th-place finish in the javelin during the competition in Austin. His throw of 61.37 meters beat the IC4A mark for the second time and landed as the ninth-best toss in Army history.
The men’s 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams also turned in strong performances. The Black Knights’ 400-meter quartet of Jason Wilkes, Jose Santana, Kyle Wolffe and Michael Hoffman hit the line in 41.85 seconds, their fastest time of the season and the team’s second IC4A mark of the season.
The 1600-meter group of Santana, Clyde Wilson, Patrick Taylor and Matt Green reached the finals of the Texas Relays with a time of 3:10.11. It was the fifth-fastest time in Army history and the team’s second IC4A mark of the season. In the finals, the group took more than a second off that time to finish ninth in 3:09.80. It was the fourth-best time in program history.
Army makes its home outdoor debut on Saturday, April 5 when it hosts Navy at Shea Stadium in the annual Star Meet.