Falcons Hand Out Underclassmen Awards
May 18, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Junior Cale Simmons was named the Most Outstanding Competitor of the men's program on Thursday, May 17, as the Air Force track and field team handed out nine awards to members of the team's freshman, sophomore and junior classes at the program's third-annual Underclassmen Awards Ceremony.
Simmons, who also received the program's Alonzo Babers Performance Award, set Academy records in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault, while sweeping the two Mountain West titles in that event and earning All-America status at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Selected as the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Male Field Athlete of the Year, Simmons cleared an Academy-record 18'1¼" at the Air Force Invitational - the best clearance in the nation at that time. He won the pole vault during four of seven indoor competitions, including the conference meet, while finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America first-team honors. During the spring, Simmons won the outdoor MW title with an Academy- and MW Championship Meet record clearance of 18'1¾". Simmons, who claimed two additional first-place finishes in the pole vault during the outdoor season, qualified to the NCAA Outdoor Championships as the third-ranked vaulter in the nation.
Jake Spuller and Nichole Freeman were named the Newcomers of the Year for their respective programs after stellar freshman campaigns, while juniors Travis Smith and Katy Moorkamp were selected as the Most Improved Athletes.
In addition to debuting on the program's all-time list of the 200-meter dash in both the indoor (21.80, ninth) and outdoor (21.40, 10th) seasons, Spuller competed on both Mountain West champion 4x400-meter relay squads. He ran the third leg of the 4x400 team that won the MW Championship title and set an Academy record (3:10.52) during the indoor season, while taking the anchor position on the squad that won the MW title with the fastest time since 2002 and the fourth-fastest in Academy history (3:09.96). He also claimed all-conference honors as a member of the 4x100-meter team that clocked the program's fifth-best time at 40.74. In her first outdoor season, Freeman made an immediate impact to the program record book in the javelin throw. An all-conference honoree in the javelin throw, Freeman moved into ninth on the Academy's all-time list with a career-best toss of 143'7" at the conference meet.
Smith had an impressive season, earning all-conference honors and moving into the program's top-10 list during the indoor season. The junior cleared a career-best 6'10¼" to finish third at the Mountain West Indoor Championships. In addition to helping Air Force to a sweep of the top three finishes at the conference meet, Smith recorded the sixth-best clearance in Academy history. He also scored for the Falcons at the MW Outdoor Championships and recorded the 11th-best clearance in program history (6'8¾"). Moorkamp improved consistently over the course of the season, culminating with a career-best scoring placement in the discus throw at the MW Championships. After improving her overall distance in that event by five feet at the conference meet, Moorkamp debuted in sixth on the program's all-time list with a toss of 152'5". She also accounted for a personal-best mark in the hammer throw (145'5").
After being a part of several key moments during the women's record-setting season, juniors Morgan Mosby and Melissa Fuerst were honored with the Gail Conway Performance Award and the Callie Calhoun Award for Drive and Determination, respectively.
Mosby became the program's first individual conference champion from the track after winning the 1500-meter run at the MW Outdoor Championships in an Academy-record time of 4:23.74 (adjusted for altitude). She and Fuerst paced the Falcons to a one-two finish at the conference meet, as Fuerst placed second with the fifth-fastest time in Academy history (4:27.43a). During the indoor season, the pair ran the final two legs of the distance medley relay team that won the program's first-ever conference track title in record-setting fashion (11:49.26a) at the MW Indoor Championships. The duo also competed on the 4x800 and distance medley relays that recorded the second-fastest times in program history during the outdoor season. Individually, Mosby posted the sixth-best outdoor 800-meter time (2:11.02) and ran the anchor leg of the indoor 4x400 relay that clocked the second-best time in Academy history (3:50.76), while Fuerst moved into fourth on the 3000-meter all-time list (9:54.13) during the indoor season.
Sophomore John Farquhar was selected as the recipient of the Ernie Cuncliffe Manager Award.
Air Force will honor its outstanding Class of 2012 with the third-annual Senior Night Awards Social on Monday, May 21. During the celebration, the Falcons will hand out six additional awards and name the recipients of the men's and women's MVP, as well as the women's Most Outstanding Competitor.
2012 UNDERCLASSMEN AWARDS
Most Outstanding Competitor - Men: Cale Simmons
Newcomer of the Year - Men: Jake Spuller
Newcomer of the Year - Women: Nichole Freeman
Most Improved - Men: Travis Smith
Most Improved - Women: Katy Moorkamp
Alonzo Babers Performance Award: Cale Simmons
Gail Conway Performance Award: Morgan Mosby
Callie Calhoun Award for Drive and Determination: Melissa Fuerst
Ernie Cuncliffe Manager Award: John Farquhar