New Athletes Take Track and Field Winners' Stand
By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 6, 1996 The services honored 16 new champions at the 1996 men's armed forces track and field championships, held May 22 and 23 at Santa Barbara (Calif.) Community College.
Of 18 individual events, only two defending champions repeated their 1995 performances.
Among the new faces in the winner's circle this year was Air Force 1st Lt. Matt Zuber, who claimed five medals. Zuber, assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., captured two gold, a silver and two bronze medals. Four were in field events.
Zuber's victories came in 110-meter high hurdles and the long jump. In the hurdles, Zuber edged Marine Corps Cpl. Adrian Bean by nearly a second, recording a 14.27 time. He then beat Navy Ensign Tony Walton by leaping 7.65 meters (25.24 feet) for the long jump gold. Zuber finished second in the Javelin and grabbed third in the pole vault and high jump.
Zuber's dominance in the field events carried over to his teammates. Air Force athletes captured 11 of the 24 field medals. Capt. Rich Lewis gave Air Force a 1-2 finish in the discus with a toss of 52.12 meters (171.9 feet). Second Lt. Jason Anderson led a 1-2-3 Air Force sweep in the hammer throw, recording a winning toss of 53.72 meters (177.3 feet).
Lance Cpl. Gabriel Booker captured the Marines' only gold medal, winning the shot put with a 16.3-meter (53.8 feet) toss. Navy Ensign Drew Orsinger's 5.2-meter (17.2 foot) vault gave him the pole vault title.
Army Spcs. Dionicio Napier and Gordon Sanders successfully defended their titles. Napier, the 1995 armed forces athlete of the year, retained his 200-meter title with a 20.79-second effort. He added a second gold medal in the 400 meters (40.20) and earned a third in the 1,600 relay.
Sanders captured his second straight 10,000 meter title, recording a 29:33.1 time in cruising to a nine-second win over Army teammate Sgt. Sam Natagia. Sanders also repeated his 1995 bronze medal performance, taking third in the 5,000.
Army athletes captured three field events. The javelin title went to Spc. Marco Montoya with a winning toss of 62.05 meters (204.8 feet). Staff Sgt. Charles Swindell leaped 15.02 meters (49.6 feet) in winning the triple jump, and Spc. Joel Mitre claimed the high jump title with a leap of 2.08 meters (6.8 feet).
While Air Force dominated the field events, Army controlled the track, winning nine of the 12 events. Besides the victories by Sanders and Napier, four other Army athletes earned individual titles.
With Napier on the sidelines, Spc. Bryant Williams captured the 100 meters, beating Navy Ensign Michael Jeffersone. Williams, who recorded a 10.61 in winning the 100, also grabbed silver in the 200.
Army took first and second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with 1st Lt. Christopher Rizzo beating Nagatia for the gold medal. Army 2nd Lt. Michael Bernstein earned the 5,000-meter gold medal, recording a 14:13.67 in beating Navy Lt. Mark Gilmore. Bernstein also earned a bronze in the 1,500.
In the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, Pfc. Ronald Murray's 53:02 edged teammate Pfc. Brandon Davis for the gold medal.
Air Force grabbed the other three track titles. Besides Zuber's win in the 110-meter hurdles, 2nd Lt. Nick McFalls captured the 1,500 and Capt. Doug Sersun won the 800 meters.
McFalls beat teammate and defending champion Capt. Michael Michno for the 1,500 title with a 3:46.56. Michno took the silver. Meanwhile, Sersun had little problem beating defending 800-meter champion Sgt. Francisco Gonzalez of Army.
In the relays, Army defended both 400- and 1,600-meter events. The team of Williams, Swindell, Spc. Brett Leonard and 2nd Lt. Benjamin Cureton took the 400 title, clocking a 41.35 time. Navy took second, followed by the Marines.
Napier, Cureton, Pfc. William Davis and Pfc. David Texada gave Army the 1,600 title. The foursome completed the relay in 3:13.33, edging Air Force by only four-tenths of a second. Marines took third.
In the team competition, Army repeated as service champion. Army recorded 84 points; Air Force (50) took second, followed by Navy (26) and Marines (20). The Naval Construction Battalion Center at Port Hueneme, Calif., hosted the 1996 competition.
100-meter dash -- 1. Spc. Bryant Williams (A, Louisiana
State University ROTC, Baton Rouge), 10.61, 2. Ensign Michael
Jefferson (N, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.), 10.84, 3. Sgt.
Hoy Thurman (AF, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas), 10.85.
200 -- 1. Spc. Dionicio Napier (A, Louisiana State
University ROTC), 20.79, 2. Williams 20.80, 3. Jefferson, 21.73.
400 -- 1. Napier, 47.20, 2. Cpl. Lamar Horne (MC, Camp
Pendleton, Calif.), 48.47, 3. Pfc. David Texada (A, Schofield
Barracks, Hawaii), 48.65.
800 -- 1. Capt. Doug Sersun (AF, Randolph Air Force Base,
Texas), 1:51.63, 2. Sgt. Francisco Gonzalez (A, U.S. Army South,
Panama), 1:52.31, 3. Capt. Mike Michno (AF, Randolph Air Force
1,500 -- 1. 2nd Lt. Nick McFalls (AF, Randolph Air Force
Base), 3:46:56, 2. Michno, 3:49.25, 3. 2nd Lt. Michael Bernstein
(A, Fort Hood, Texas), 3:52.26.
3,000-meter Steeplechase -- 1. 1st Lt. Christopher Rizzo (A,
Schofield Barracks), 9:26.77, 2. Spc. Sam Ngatia (A, Fort Lee,
Va.), 9:37.20, 3. 2nd Lt. Chris Linhorst (AF, Moody Air Force
Base, Ga.), 9:53.05.
5,000 -- 1. Bernstein, 14:13.67, 2. Lt. Mark Gilmore (N,
Navy District of Washington), 14:26.52, 3. Spc. Gordon Sanders
(A, Fort Campbell, Ky.), 14:28.66.
10,000 -- 1. Sanders, 29:33.1, 2. Ngatia, 29:42.92, 3. Lt.
Cmdr. Mark Donohue (N, Naval Reserve Center, Roanoke, Va.),
110-meter high hurdles -- 1. 1st Lt. Matt Zuber (AF, U.S.
Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.), 14.27, 2. Cpl.
Adrian Bean (MC, Camp Pendleton), 15.17, 3. Spc. Ludgerio Mora
(A, Fort Campbell), 15.20.
400 intermediate hurdles -- 1. Pfc. Ronald Murray (A, Fort
Leonard Wood, Mo.), 53.02, 2. Pfc. Brandon Davis (A, Fort Lewis,
Wash.), 54.41, 3. Senior Airman. Roddre Massey (AF, Kadena Air
Base, Japan), 54.89.
400-meter relay -- 1. Army [Spc. Brett Leonard (Military
District of Washington), Staff Sgt. Charles Swindell (Fort
Belvoir, Va.), 2nd Lt. Benjamin Cureton (Fort Polk, La.),
Williams], 41.35, 2. Navy, 41.52, 3. Air Force, 42.05.
1,600 relay -- 1. Army [Texada, Cureton, Pfc. William Davis
(Fort Campbell), Napier], 3:13:33, 2. Air Force, 3:13.75, 3.
Marine Corps, 3:16.18.
Hammer -- 1. 2nd Lt. Jason Anderson (AF, U.S. Air Force
Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.), 52.12 meters, 2. Staff Sgt.
Byron Grays (AF, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany), 28.82, 3. Maj.
Kevin McGinnis (AF, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.), 24.08.
Javelin -- 1. Spc. Marco Montoya (A, William Beaumont Army
Medical Center, El Paso, Texas), 62.05, 2. Zuber, 56.62, 3. Spc.
Reginald Jones (A, Fort Bragg, N.C.), 46.64.
Discus -- 1. Capt. Rich Lewis (AF, Kirkland Air Force Base,
N.M.), 52.12 meters, 2. Grays, 38.46, 3. Montoya, 37.90.
Shot put -- 1. Lance Cpl. Gabriel Booker (MC, Camp
Pendleton), 16.30 meters, 2. McGinnis, 16.01, 3. Lt. Cmdr. Tim
Crawford (N, Newport, R.I.), 15.
Pole vault -- 1. Ensign Drew Orsinger (N, U.S. Coast Guard
Academy, Groton, Conn.), 5.20 meters, 2. 2nd Lt. Dave Pike (AF,
U.S. Air Force Academy), 5.20, 3. Zuber, 4.80.
Long jump -- 1. Zuber, 7.65 meters, 2. Ensign Tony Walton
(N, Naval Recruiting Detachment, San Antonio, Texas), 7.4, 3.
Staff Sgt. Wilfred Hibbert (A, Fort Stewart, Ga.) 7.29.
Triple jump -- 1. Swindell, 15.02 meters, 2. Walton, 14.91,
3. Hibbert, 14.47.
High jump -- 1. Spc. Joel Mitre (A, U.S. Army-Korea), 2.08
meters, 2. Spc. George Goff (A, Fort Drum, N.Y.), 1.98, 3. Zuber
Team scoring -- Army 84, Air Force 50, Navy 26, Marine Corps
MEDAL COUNT MEN
Gold Silver Bronze Total
Army 12 6 8 26
Air Force 6 7 8 21
Navy 1 5 3 9
Marine Corps 1 2 1 4