Air Force Has Strong Day at Arizona State
March 24, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Eight incursions into the Academy's all-time record book highlighted the first full day of the outdoor season for the Air Force track and field team in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday, March 24. In addition to the improvements to the program's record book at the Arizona State Invitational, the Falcons recorded 40 top-10 finishes.
The top-10 list of the javelin throw received the biggest rewrites, as four changes were made to the women's and men's top-10 list. Finishing second with a toss of 165'6", senior Paige Blackburn improved her overall distance by 14 feet and moved from fifth to second on the program's all-time list. The senior was one of three Falcons to impact the women's javelin standings, as sophomore Kim Smith and freshman Nichole Freeman moved into eighth (144'9", fifth-place) and 10th (141'10", eighth-place), respectively, on the program's all-time list in their collegiate debuts.
On the men's side of the javelin throw, sophomore Mickey Lauritzen set a Sophomore Class Record of 217'0", as he improved his fifth-place standing on the program's all-time list and finished fourth in the competition.
In addition to her runner-up finish in the javelin throw, Blackburn also finished fourth in the discus throw behind a toss of 169'4" - the third-best throw in Academy history.
Freshman Wren Bonner finished sixth in the pole vault, while debuting in seventh on the Academy's all-time list with a season-opening clearance of 11'9¾". Bonner was one of three Falcons to place within the top seven in that event, as sophomore Bizzy Mellado and senior Tawny Lambuth placed fourth (11'9¾") and seventh (11'3¾"), respectively.
Sophomore Alex Lindsay entered the Academy's all-time standings in the 800-meter run, clocking the seventh-fastest time in program history (1:50.41) to finish fourth overall. Senior Alex Zubey, whose time of 1:51.81 is just 0:00.01 out of the top 10, finished sixth and classmate Nick White finished seventh in 1:51.21.
Junior Lesly Torres rounded out the list of Falcons that made incursions on the program's all-time list, as she finished debuted in 10th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.93.
With a distance of 40'0" in the triple jump, sophomore Kassie Gurnell joined Blackburn as the Falcons' top finishers on the women's side. With matching high jump marks of 5'4¼", sophomore Rachel Herald finished fourth, while classmate Regan Rogers and Torres tied for sixth (any ties were broken based on attempts).
From the track, juniors Morgan Mosby and Melissa Fuerst placed sixth (2:14.29) and eighth (2:19.16), respectively, in the 800-meter run, while classmate Bethany Gross clocked a debut time of 12.56 to finish eighth in the 100-meter dash. Seniors Rachel Thomas and Emily Cotharn also claimed top-10 finishes, placing eighth (1:03.23) and 10 (1:03.62), respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles. Cotharn, Gross, Thomas and Mosby also teamed up to finish eighth in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:00.76.
On the men's side, junior Cale Simmons was the runner-up in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 17'4½".
Air Force claimed three of the top-10 finishes in both the shot put and high jump. Seniors Sean Herbison, James Cole and Kyle Schwochow finished fourth (50'0"), fifth (49'9") and sixth (48'4½"), respectively, in the shot put, while junior Zach Wood (6'8¾", fourth), freshman Kobi Rex (6'8¾", sixth) and junior Travis Smith (6'4¾", 10th) collected top-10 marks in the high jump.
In addition to their placements in the shot put, Cole and Herbison finished sixth (176'2") and ninth (156'0"), respectively, in the discus throw.
Sophomores Gavin Owens and Carl Eifert placed eighth (9:24.06) and ninth (9:33.78), respectively, in the 3000-meter steeplechase, while the Falcons claimed two top-seven finishes in the 4x400-meter relay. The squad of freshman Jake Spuller, senior Manny Smith, classmate Bryce Bergman and junior Anthony Delgado placed sixth in a time of 3:18.82, while the quartet of sophomore Michael Craig, classmate David Ptacek, junior Uzor Udensi and freshman Siotame Latu placed seventh in 3:19.73.
Delgado, who also ran with Craig, Udensi and Spuller for a 4x100-meter time of 41.68 (fifth), placed ninth in the 400-meter dash behind a time of 48.26. Sophomore Lance Wolfsmith finished fourth among collegiate runners (10th overall) in the 1500-meter run (3:50.87), while junior Michael Tibbs and freshman Blue Kearney finished ninth (15.17, 110-meter hurdles) and 10th (22'7¾", long jump) in their respective events to round out Air Force's top-10 finishers.
Several former Falcons also competed at the ASU Invitational. Four-time All-American Justin Tyner set a meet record time of 8:51.70 to win the 3000-meter steeplechase, while fellow four-time All-American Nick Frawley finsihed third in the pole vault with a height of 17'1½". Dana Pounds-Lyon, Air Force's two-time NCAA champion in the javelin throw, finished third in that event this evening, with a toss of 165'1".
The Falcons will remain in Arizona to train during the Academy's spring break holiday, before heading to Austin, Texas for the 85th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on March 29-31.