Women's Track and Field wins ECAC title for first time in program history, men finish fourth

By Army Athletic Communications Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 Time: 17:02 EST
The Army West Point women's track team won the ECAC title for the first time in program history on May 12 in Fairfax, Va. The men finished fourth. (Photo provided by Army Athletic Communications)

FAIRFAX, Va. – The Army West Point women's track team won the ECAC title for the first time in program history on May 12. The men finished fourth.

Mikayla Cheney won the 1500m with a time of 4:30.27 and Charlotte Richman won the 5k at 16:44.45. Brooke Stratman was the third and final individual winner for the Black Knights.

A very balanced performance of nine top three finishes, led to the Black Knights finishing with 83.75 points, Richmond came in second with 72, and Navy finished third with 65.25.

The 4x800m squad was second with a time of 8:53.41. Aysia Salas was third in the shot put at 14.49m. Isabella Palchak was third in the high jump with a height of 1.70m. Sophia Dykstra finished second in the discus with a 48.60m toss. With a time of 10:35.10, Joanna Halfhill finished second in the steeple chase.

On the men's side, they had six top three finishers. Mitchell Burr finished third in the 800m with a time of 1:49.82. Maximus Haynia finished third in the 3k with a time of 8:30.15. Marc Baroncini was second in the 10k at 29:29.26. Stephen Campana was third in the discus with a toss of 49.92m. Cameron Smith was second in the hammer throw at 66.34m. Robby Manse was third in the shot put at 17.10m.

"This women's team is the best that we have ever had at the Academy.  We have broken more records than at any other time in our history, we have top level performers in almost every event, and we had just enough of those people with us this weekend to win the ECAC championship.  

"There wasn't any one person that rose to some special level, it was more a combination of our top-level performers doing what they have done all year and that was better than everyone else.  The names are all familiar:  Brooke Stratman '24, Charlotte Richman '26, Emma Taylor '24, Mikayla Cheney '27. 

"Brooke came off the best meet of her life on Thursday and put up another strong series in winning the javelin title here. She wasn't fresh and the conditions were less than ideal with on and off rain coming down most of the day yesterday. Adverse conditions have never seemed to bother Brooke and although she may have been tired, she was consistent and that won the day.  She has risen to the #5 performer in the NCAA East region, is a solid entry into the Olympic Trials this summer and good enough to come away with a win today.  

"Charlotte came off a tough weekend double of the 10k and 5k at the Patriot League last weekend and gritted out a tough solo win in the 5k here last night. She always delivers her best effort.  

"Emma Taylor has anchored our sprint events all year and this weekend she gave us her best effort again in making the final in the 100m on Saturday and claiming fourth in that event in the final today.  She came back later to get fifth in the 200 to close out one of the finest sprint careers in the history of the Academy.  

"Mikayla Cheney was the other outstanding performer for us this weekend.  She won the 1500 meter race in what turned out to be a match race with Lehigh's top middle distance runner.  Mikayla hung on her shoulder for 1400 meters then pounced in the last 100 meters to pull away for the victory.  Seeing her cross the finish line in first place has become common place and while I appreciate her talent it is her competitive mindset that has set her apart all year.  She has a knack for getting to the line first.  You can't coach that.  Her win was not her fastest time nor her best race but it was an example of just how consistent she is.  She never has a bad day. She came back at the end of the meet and anchored our 4x800 to a runner up finish in one of the fastest times ever run by an Academy quartet.  She has had an extraordinary plebe year. The 4x800 runner-up finish ended our scoring at the meet and solidified our first ever ECAC title.  The meet has been contested since 1984 and today's title was a fitting end for this group of women.  We will now wait and see who qualifies for the NCAA East preliminary round in 2 weeks and then look to advance to the NCAA championships in Eugene, Oregon in June."