Army Dominates Track and Field Championships
By William Wassersug
Special to American Forces Press Service
SAN DIEGO, Jul. 13, 1998 The Army swept the men's and women's competitions here recently to dominate the Armed Forces Track and Field Championships.
Army men racked up 80 points to take the first place crown in the May 27-28 meet at San Diego State University. Army women stacked up 57 points for first place in women's competition.
The Army tallies easily outpaced second-place Air Force men, 45 points, and Navy women, 31. The Marine Corps men earned nine points, and the sailors, eight. Air Force women scored 23 points while a five-member Marine Corps squad trailed with 15.
Army picked up 41 medals, including 18 golds and 13 silvers. Spc. Tangela Stevenson, 63rd Signal Battalion, Fort Gordon, Ga., and Spc. Bryant Williams, 102nd Quartermaster Company, Fort Campbell, Ky., led Army with three gold medals each.
Williams clocked 10.43 seconds to capture first in the men’s 100-meter dash, edging Staff Sgt. Hoy Thurman, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., who finished at 10.54. Army Sgt. Dionicio Napier, 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, South Korea, was third. Williams also won the men's 200-meter and was a member of the 1,600-meter relay team that beat the Air Force by just under a second.
Stevenson won the women's 100-meter dash with a 12.10 finish and edged teammate Army Spc. Niambi Dennis of the Army World-Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colo. She followed that victory with a second gold in the 200; second place went to the Marines’ Sgt. Angelique Longstreet, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
At least one record was broken: Army Spc. Dawn Burrell of the World-Class Athlete Program leaped to gold with a 6.69-meter long jump.
Army coach Staff Sgt. Charles Swindell, Defense Information Technical Contracting Organization, Defense Information Systems Agency, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., did more than just coach -- he successfully defended his triple jump crown with 51-5 3/4 combination.
Spc. Christine Czaja, 430th Replacement Company, Hiller, Pa., won the women's discus with a 42.94-meter toss. Teammate 2nd Lt. Marilyn Senz, 3297th U.S. Army Hospital, Asheville, N.C., was second.
Army 2nd Lt. Roxanne Bernstein, Headquarters, Western Sector, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, Aurora, Colo., won the women's 1,500-meter run. Spc. Jacqueline Hunter, 24th Ordnance Company, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., won the women's 400-meter dash.
Army swept the 1,600-meter and 400-meter women’s relays. Brooks, Stevenson, Dennis and Spc. Flora Hyacinth of the World-Class Athlete Program formed the 1,600-meter team. The 400-meter squad was composed of Sgt. 1st Class Cynthia Swift, SHAPE Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium; 2nd Lt. Melinda Williamson, Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, Texas; Sgt. Simone Brooks, Personnel and Community Activities Directorate, Fort Myer, Va.; and Pfc. Jacqueline Hunter, 24th Ordnance Company, Hunter Army Airfield.
Other Army gold winners were 2nd Lt. Dan Browne, World-Class Athlete Program, the 1,500; 2nd Lt. Thomas Peterson, 7th Air Defense Artillery, Hanau, Germany, 110 high hurdles; Sgt. Tonyo Sylvester, Moncrief Army Community Hospital, Fort Jackson, S.C., shot put; Staff Sgt. Mike Mielke, Moffett Field, Calif., discus; and Sgt. Marco Montoya, Beaumont Army Medical Center, javelin.
Spc. Leon Eriberto, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, ran a personal best to finish second in the 10,000.
The Marines’ Longstreet picked up three silvers to lead her team. Coach Farley Simon named her the team's outstanding runner and presented her a pair of running shoes for her effort.
Sgt. Robert Adams, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va., won the 10,000-meter run. Cpl. Sammie Tibbs, 7th Marines, 29 Palms, Calif., won the 400-meter run and silvered in the 800. Cpl. Jennifer Mills, Camp Pendleton, Calif., also won three silvers.
Simon was pleased with the effort of his undersized 19-member squad. "I'm impressed and happy," he said. "For the number of people we brought, the amount of individual honors is great."
Air Force coach Capt. Matthew Zuber, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., was the big winner in the field events, winning golds in the long jump and the pole vault. Zuber hit 15-7 in the pole vault and had a 25-2 1/2 long jump. His pole vault won by six inches.
Other Air Force gold winners were Maj. Kimberly Markland, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, women's 5,000 and 10,000; Capt. Valerie Manning, Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, 100 high hurdles; 1st Lt. Jeffrey Kuzma, Air Force Academy, 800; Airman 1st Class Michael Reed, Dover Air Force Base, Del., 400 intermediate hurdles; and 2nd Lt. Clayton Cole, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., high jump.
The Navy's leader was Lt. j.g. Christine Stancliff, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., who took golds with a 50.94-meter javelin throw and 12.97-meter shot put. Other Navy event winners were Ensign Regina Ware, also from the Naval Academy, 800; Ensign Jonathan Clemens, Naval Aviation School, Pensacola, Fla., 3,000 steeplechase; and Lt. Julie Gould, Sea Control Squadron 33, San Diego, Calif., high jump.
(William Wassersug is a sports reporter for The Scout, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif.)