Falcons Set to Host 22nd Annual Air Force Invitational
Feb. 8, 2012
The Air Force track and field team concludes its indoor home schedule this weekend, as it hosts the 22nd annual Air Force Invitational on Friday-Saturday (Feb. 10-11) at the Cadet Field House. The meet, which features athletes from 15 Division I and Division II programs, will begin at 12:30 p.m., on Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday. In addition, nine Falcons will travel to Seattle, Wash., for the Flotrack Husky Classic over the Feb. 10-11 weekend.
For the first time, the two-day Air Force Invitational will be a non-scoring meet. Joining Air Force will be athletes from Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado and Wyoming, as well as Adams State, Colorado Mesa, Colorado School of Mines, CSU-Pueblo, Fort Hays State, Grand Canyon, Metro State, Nebraska-Kearney and Western State.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
While none of the Division I programs are ranked, several of the Division II programs are listed among the nation's elite. The Grand Canyon men are currently ranked first in the USTFCCCA Division II pole, while Adams State is ranked seventh. Nebraska-Kearney (13th), Western State (14th) and Colorado School of Mines (20th) are also ranked in the DII top-25. On the women's side, Grand Canyon and Adams State are ranked second and third, respectively, while Western State is ranked seventh and CSU-Pueblo is ranked 22nd.
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
12:30 p.m.: Men's Weight Throw, Women's Weight Throw; 12:30 p.m.: Men's Non-Seeded Pole Vault, Women's Non-Seeded Pole Vault; 1:00 p.m.: Men's High Jump; 2:00 p.m.: Women's Long Jump; 2:00 p.m.: Men's Long Jump; 2:00 p.m.: 5000-Meter Run, 400-Meter Dash (Qualifying), Non-Seeded Mile Run, 200-Meter Dash (Qualifying), Non-Seeded 800-Meter Run, Non-Seeded 3000-Meter Run, Distance Medley Relay (the women's races will go first)
SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10:00 a.m.: Men's Shot Put, Women's Shot Put; 10:00 a.m.: Women's Pole Vault, Men's Pole Vault; 11:00 a.m.: Women's Triple Jump; 11:00 a.m.: Men's Triple Jump; 11:00 a.m.: 60-Meter Hurdles (Qualifying), 60-Meter Dash (Qualifying), Mile Run, 60-Meter Hurdles (Finals), 400-Meter Dash (Finals), 60-Meter Dash (Finals), 800-Meter Run (Finals), 200-Meter Dash (Finals), 3000-Meter Run, Mile Relay (the women's races will go first; all finals will feature a consolation heat, followed by the championship heat); 12:00 p.m.: Women's High Jump
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Nine Air Force runners will travel to Seattle, Wash., for the annual Flotrack Husky Classic on Feb. 10-11. Jeremy Drenckhahn and Isaiah Bragg will compete in the 5000-meter run on Friday, Feb. 10, while Alex Zubey, Jim Walmsley, Matt Caldwell (men's mile), Alex Lindsay (men's 800-meter run), Morgan Mosby, Annette Eichenberger (women's 800-meter run) and Melissa Fuerst (women's 3000-meter run) will compete on Saturday, Feb. 11.
JUST TOSSING THIS OUT THERE
Air Force's throwers had a remarkable weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center, accounting for six of the best throws in Academy history. The weight throw got the biggest rewrite, as Brian Ford (57'0"sixth), Jared Barkemeyer (56'10¾", seventh) and Jalen Fooster (56'7¼", ninth) all impacted the men's all-time list, while Paige Blackburn recorded the second-farthest distance in Academy history (59'1¼") for the women's event. In addition, Danielle Tabb debuted in eighth on the women's all-time shot put list after tossing a 44'2¾", while Sean Herbison moved into the men's top-10 standings after tossing the 10th-best throw (53'11") in Academy history.
NOT TO SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD, BUT...
Kassie Gurnell reset her own Academy record in the triple jump for the third time this season - and the second time in two weeks - at the New Mexico Classic, hitting the sand at 39'11¼" to finish fifth. Since the start of the season, Gurnell has added nearly six inches to the previous program standard that had stood since 2003.
MOVING IN AND MOVING UP
Several additions were made to the program's record book at the New Mexico Classic. Jen Bremser clocked a time of 17:45.09 (altitude) in the 5000-meter run to debut in fifth, while Alexis Jones-Hardy bettered her 60-meter time of 7.79 to inch closer to the No. 7 spot. The women's relays also accounted for the 10th-fastest times in their respective events, as the 4x400-meter squad of Kassie Gurnell, Bethany Gross, Rachel Thomas and Tasha Mayne clocked a time of 3:58.47, and Mayne, Taylor Drolshagen, Auriele Fain and Katie Carroll combined for a distance medley relay of 12:31.72a. On the men's side, Zach Wood climbed up the high jump standings, as he moved into seventh with a clearance of 6'10¼", and Manny Smith clocked a 400-meter time of 48.16 to debut in ninth.
Manny Smith became the just the second Falcon since 2000 to impact the Academy's top-10 list in the 400-meter dash. He also moved within just 0.01 of the top-10 list for the 200-meter dash, as he also clocked the 11th-fastest time in program history (21.95) at the New Mexico Classic.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Bryce Bergman, Manny Smith, Jake Spuller and Anthony Delgado won the New Mexico Classic in a season-best time of 3:14.89 - a time that was three seconds ahead of the rest of the field, while Alex Lindsay won the 600-meter run for the second time this season with a career-best clock of 1:20.90.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force travels to Laramie, Wyo., for the annual Robert Shine Invitational on Friday, Feb. 17. It will be the squad's final regular season meet before the 2012 Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held Thursday-Saturday (Feb. 23-25) in Albuquerque, N.M.