Falcons Have Impressive Day at Colorado
April 14, 2012
BOULDER, Colo. - Backed by seven additions to the program's record book and eight first-place finishes, the Air Force track and field team wrapped up a successful day of competition at the Colorado Invitational in Boulder on Saturday, April 14.
Senior Kimber Shealy became just the second Air Force female to clear the 13-foot bar in the pole vault, as she won the event with a career-high clearance of 13'0¼" - the second-best height in program history. Shealy also became the first conference vaulter to surpass the 13-foot bar this season. Freshman Wren Bonner also made an impact on the women's pole vault records, as she cleared a career-best 12'2½" to move into sixth on the all-time list.
Senior Rachel Thomas clocked a career-best time of 62.13 to win the 400-meter hurdles. That time, the second-fastest mark in Academy history, shattered the 28-year-old Senior Class Record by nearly one second. Senior Tawny Lambuth improved her own 10th-place standing in the 100-meter dash, as she finished third with a career-best time of 12.47.
On the men's side, junior Zach Wood cleared a career-best 6'11" to win the high jump and move into a tie for fourth in the Academy record book, while freshman Joey Uhle and sophomore Cort Rogers cleared matching bars of 16'9¼" to win the pole vault and move into a tie for ninth on the program's all-time list.
Air Force swept the top four spots of both the men's and women's pole vault. Junior Chase Cooper finished third behind Uhle and Rogers with a career-best 16'7¼", while sophomore Elliott Beski posted a career-best 16'1¼" to finish fourth. On the women's side, Lambuth placed second behind Shealy with a season-best 12'8¼" (a seasonal improvement of one-and-a-half feet), while junior Bizzy Mellado tied with Bonner for third at 12'2½". The Falcons also took two of the top-three spots in the men's high jump, as junior Travis Smith placed third with a height of 6'7½".
Air Force also swept the top three spots of the women's javelin throw, which was contested on Friday evening. Senior Paige Blackburn won the event with a toss of 158'11", while freshman Nichole Freeman and sophomore Kim Smith finished second (141'8") and third (133'11"), respectively. Sophomore Nate Bratka won the men's javelin with a mark of 169'8".
The Falcons also claimed first-place finishes from junior Lesly Torres, who won the long jump with a season-best distance of 17'0½", and the women's 4x400-meter relay team of senior Emily Cotharn, freshman Erica Carson, junior Bethany Gross and sophomore Kassie Gurnell, who clocked a time of 3:58.78 to place first in that event.
Air Force earned 12 additional top-three finishes at Colorado over the April 13-14 weekend.
Freshman Blue Kearney was the runner-up in both the long jump (22'6½" - top collegiate finisher) and triple jump (career-best 46'4"), while classmate Kyle Gartrell placed third in the triple jump with a career-best jump of 44'10¾".
Senior Nick White finished second in the 800-meter run (1:51.65), while classmate Kyle Schwochow earned the same placement in the shot put (50'6¼"). The men's 4x100-meter relay team (sophomore Michael Craig, junior Uzor Udensi, freshman Jake Spuller, junior James MacAndrew) clocked a time of 41.98 to finish second in that relay, while freshman Siotame Latu, Udensi, Spuller and Craig placed second in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:19.06. Senior Sean Herbison finished third in the hammer throw with a throw of 180'6".
On the women's side, Gross finished third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.15, while sophomore Tasha Mayne and freshman Heather Connick earned the same placements in the 800-meter run (2:18.10) and 3000-meter run (11:00.53 - top collegiate finisher), respectively. From the field, sophomore Regan Rogers cleared a season-best 5'5¾" to take third in the high jump.
Air Force splits up next weekend for several competitions. The multi-event athletes will travel to Azusa, Calif., for the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Combined Events Meet on April 18-19, while select athletes will compete at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 19-21. On April 21, part of the Air Force squad will compete at the Beach Invitational in Cerritos, Calif., while the remainder of the team will travel to Pueblo, Colo., for the annual CSU-Pueblo Invitational.