The Army West Point Cross Country teams competed in the 2021 Patriot League Championship this past Friday afternoon. The men's team captured their fourth straight title led by Marshall Beatty and Daniel Mazzei who finished first and second overall. The men's title marks the program's 11th Patriot League title and the first time that the Black Knights have recorded four straight victories since the 1993-1996 teams. In addition to the men's fourth title, head coach Mike Smith was also named the Men's Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive season.
Marshall Beatty (21:46.8) and Daniel Mazzei (21:53.2) raced their way to victory, grabbing first and second place only seven seconds apart. The two greatly surpassed their 2019 finishes of 13th and 22nd respectively. Depth came in handy in Army's eight-point advantage over Boston University, with two additional top 10 finishers in yearlings Garrett Gough and Matthew Porter. Beatty's first place finish earns him Patriot League Outstanding Performer of the Meet. Beatty and Mazzei both garnered All-Patriot League First Team honors while Gough and Porter made the second-team All-League.
“It was an exceptional performance for the men today. We have won four of these titles in a row and each of those wins was fraught with different challenges. In 2017 we were the underdog but we executed the best race plan. In 2018 we were clearly the best team but the rain and mud made the course so treacherous that it was anyone's race and we prevailed because we managed the elements better than anyone else. Last year we were once again the underdog but we were tough and disciplined. This year we have been beset by challenges almost from the start as our guys have had to manage the ups and downs of academy life amidst a pandemic. This week alone we lost our number four and five runners and as a result we went into the race with some young guys that were both inexperienced and unproven. It was far from a proven lineup. Yet it was that adversity that bonded these guys and willed them to the win today,” said Head Coach Mike Smith. Read more.