Throwers Impact Record Book at Wyoming

Feb. 17, 2012

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by the second-best throws in Academy history from senior Paige Blackburn and sophomore Jalen Fooster, the Air Force track and field team wrapped up the regular indoor season at the Robert Shine Invitational on Friday (Feb. 17) night in Laramie, Wyo.

In her final tune-up before the conference meet, Blackburn recorded career-best distances and improved her second-place standing in the program's all-time record book in both the shot put and weight throw. The senior became just the second Falcon to surpass the 50-foot mark in the shot put, tallying a 51'2¾" to improve her personal distance by over one foot and finish second at the meet. She also placed second in the weight throw with a personal-best distance of 59'7¾".

Fooster improved his career distance by over three feet to move from seventh to second on the Academy's all-time list, tossing a 60'3¾" and becoming only the fourth Air Force thrower to break the 60-foot mark in the weight throw. Fooster, who placed third in the weight throw, was one of two Falcons to impact the program record book, as junior Brian Ford tossed a 59'6¼" to move into fifth on the all-time list.

Senior Rachel Gebauer debuted on the women's shot put standings with the 10-best throw in program history (43'2¼"), while classmate Sean Herbison moved from 10th to ninth on the men's all-time list with a throw of 54'1". Herbison finished second to classmate Kyle Schwochow, who won the men's competition with a season-best distance of 54'11½". Junior James Chambers added a top-five finish in that event, placing fifth with a season-best toss of 51'0".

In addition to Schwochow's win in the shot put, the men claimed event titles in the pole vault, high jump and long jump.

Clearing 17'10½", junior Cale Simmons bettered the field by over one foot to win the pole vault. Freshman Joey Uhle cleared a career-best 16'6¾" to finish second, while sophomores Elliott Beski and Cort Rogers tied for third with matching marks of 15'11". Junior Chase Cooper rounded out the Falcons' top-five finishers with a mark of 15'7".

Freshman Kobi Rex cleared a career-best 6'8" to win the high jump, while classmate Evan McDowell and sophomore Tyler Jordan tied for third with matching marks of 6'6". McDowell, who posted a career-best height in the high jump, also picked up a top-five finish in the long jump behind a personal-best distance of 21'1¼". Classmate Blue Kearney won that event with a personal-best 23'8", while fellow freshman Kyle Gartrell finished third in both the long jump (career-best 22'6¼") and triple jump (44'9¾").

The women collected victories in the pole vault, high jump and triple jump.

Senior Kimber Shealy paced an Air Force lineup in the pole vault, taking first with a clearance of 12'11½". Classmate Tawny Lambuth and freshman Wren Bonner tied for second with matching marks of 12'7½", while junior Bizzy Mellado and sophomore Paige Shirley took fourth (12'3½") and fifth (11'7¾"), respectively.

Sophomore Kassie Gurnell won the triple jump with a distance of 37'7¼", while senior Jordyn Stoddard finished second with a mark of 35'8½".

Sophomore Rachel Herald cleared 5'4¼" to win the high jump, pacing the Falcons to three of the top four spots. Joining Herald at the top of the high jump standings was classmate Jamie Hart (second, 5'0¼") and senior Phaelen French (fourth, 4'10¼"). Hart and French also claimed respective fourth- (15'10½") and fifth-place (15'8¼") finishes in the long jump.

The men collected three victories during the five track events at the Robert Shine Invitational. Sophomore David Ptacek won the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.27, while freshman Siotame Latu took first in the 600-yard dash after clocking a time of 1:17.32. The pair picked up an additional first-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay, as they teamed up with sophomores Dan Bieber and Josh Nielsen to finish the race in 3:28.89.

Bieber was the runner-up in the 600-yard dash (1:20.74), while Nielsen placed second to Ptacek in the 400-meter dash (51.57). Air Force also claimed a pair of top-five finishes in the 55-meter hurdles, as senior Bryce Bergman and junior Michael Tibbs placed second (7.61) and fifth (7.73), respectively. Kevin Abney claimed a top-five finish for the Falcons in the 55-meter dash behind time of 6.59.

Freshmen Erica Carson and Alexis Jones-Hardy earned first-place finishes for the women on the track. Carson won the 400-meter dash with a career-best time of 1:00.48, while Jones-Hardy took first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.13.

Gurnell, French, sophomore Heather Shepard and freshman Sierra Schepper combined for a time of 4:08.34 to finish second in the 4x400-meter relay. Schepper also finished fourth in the 400-meter dash (8.65), while Jones-Hardy finished fifth (8.77) in that event. Fellow freshman Morgan Malone placed fifth in the 55-meter dash behind a time of 7.52.

The Falcons return to action next weekend, when they travel to Albuquerque, N.M., for the 2012 Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 23-25.