Falcons Split for Weekend Competitions
April 25, 2012
The Air Force track and field team splits up this weekend for a pair of competitions. Over 30 Falcons will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 103rd Drake Relays on Friday-Saturday (April 27-28), while the rest of the squad will compete at the Jack Christiansen Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday, April 28.
DRAKE RELAYS INFORMATION
The 103rd running of the Drake Relays will be held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, and feature over 30 Air Force athletes - the most in recent history. Air Force will be one of 125 men's university/college teams and 131 women's university/college teams to compete at the Drake Relays from April 24-28. The Falcons will compete on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 26-28), beginning with the 10,000-meter run at 8:10 p.m., on Thursday.
JACK CHRISTIANSEN INVITATIONAL INFORMATION
The Jack Christiansen Invitational officially gets underway on Friday (April 27) with the men's hammer throw and women's invitational hammer throw. The rest of the events will take place on Saturday (April 28), beginning with the women's open hammer throw and men's long jump at 9 a.m. The running events will get underway at 10 a.m., with the women's 5000-meter run. All events will take place at the Jack Christiansen Track Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
GURNELL BREAKS OWN TRIPLE JUMP RECORD
With a career-best mark of 42'3½", Kassie Gurnell broke her own Academy standard in the triple jump at Mt. SAC on April 20. Adding nearly two feet to the Academy record that she first set as a freshman, Gurnell won the 17-competitor event and became the first Air Force female - indoor or outdoor - to break the 42-foot mark in the triple jump. She also added nearly one foot to the program's Sophomore Class Record that she set during the indoor season.
SIMMONS MATCHES ACADEMY RECORD FOR SECOND TIME
Competing in the 16-member "elite" level pole vault competition at Mt. SAC on April 21, Cale Simmons matched his own Academy record with a clearance of 18'0½". Simmons, the top collegiate vaulter in the 16-member "elite" field (fourth overall), matched the program standard that he first equaled at the end of March.
COLE HAS CAREER DAY AT THE BEACH
With a career-best throw of 180'7", James Cole was the top collegiate finisher ... and placed fourth overall ... in the 71-member discus throw competition at the Beach Invitational. In addition to improving his own mark by nearly two feet, Cole became just the second thrower in Academy history to surpass the 180-foot mark, improved his second-place standings on the program's all-time list and set a new Senior Class Record.
BLACKBURN'S BACK AT IT
Paige Blackburn picked up a pair of career-best marks in California, while moving into second on the program's all-time list in both events. On Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays, Blackburn improved her distance in the discus throw by over five feet to a career-best 174'8", while moving into second on the program's all-time list. The very next day at the Beach Invitational, she moved into second on the all-time shot put list with a career-best toss of 48'5¼". With the improvement in the shot put, Blackburn now holds the No. 2 placement in all four outdoor throwing events.
WALMSLEY EARNS TOP AMERICAN 10K FINISH
With a career-best time of 29:08.88, Jim Walmsley was the top American finisher (fourth overall) in the "elite" division of the 10,000-meter run during the first night of action at the Mt. SAC Relays. Subtracting over two minutes off of his previous best time, Walmsley debuted in third on the Academy's all-time list.
Lesly Torres collected a career-best total of 4,653 points in the heptathlon during the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Combined Events Meet on April 18-19 to move into second on the Academy's all-time list. In addition to improving her own career total by 221 points, Torres set a new Junior Class Record. Highlighting her meet was an Academy record in the heptathlon high jump during the first day of competition. Contributing to the best "first-day" total of her career (2,954 points), Torres cleared 5'5¼" in the high jump, breaking the previous mark of 5'5" that had stood for 11 years.
MAKING AN IMPACT
Morgan Mosby recorded the sixth-fastest 800-meter time in program history (2:11.02) at the Beach Invitational, shaving more than one second off of her previous best time. That came just two days after Mosby cut eight seconds from her 1500-meter time at the Mt. SAC Relays to debut in seventh on the all-time list (4:30.99). With a time of 10:55.36 in the steeplechase, Jen Bremser moved into third on the all-time list at Mt. SAC, after shaving 25 seconds off of her previous best time. From the field at the Beach Invitational, Jackie Ahloo won her flight of the shot put with the fourth-best throw in Academy history (47'3") and Nichole Freeman matched her career-best distance of 141'10" in the javelin throw ... the 10th-best throw in program history.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE
Isaiah Bragg improved his 10,000-meter time by over one minute (30:01.38) to debut in ninth on the Academy's all-time list at the Mt. SAC Relays, while Alex Zubey moved from 10th to seventh on the 800-meter list with a time of 1:50.23 at the Beach Invitational. Cort Rogers and Joey Uhle recorded career-best matching marks of 16'9½" at the Beach Invitational, improving their tie for ninth on the program's all-time list.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The Falcons close out the regular season on Friday, May 4, when they host the fifth-annual Front Range Classic at the Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex. The meet, featuring Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico, Northern Colorado and Wyoming, is scheduled to begin with the women's hammer throw at 11 a.m.