The meet will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet Field House.
Mark Stanforth returns to the Air Force track and field team for his seventh season as a volunteer coach and his 22nd overall with the program. Stanforth, who retired from the Academy in 2007 after serving 15 years as the head coach of the cross country team and associate head coach of the track and field team, will assist the current middle distance and distance runners.
The highlights for the men's cross country program during Stanforth's tenure include top-16 team finishes at three NCAA Championships during a five-year span (2000-2004) - a stretch that was highlighted by an eighth-place finish in 2003. The Falcons won three conference championships and were conference runners-up six times, while finishing outside the top three just once in his 15-year span. Stanforth was selected by his peers as the conference coach of the year four times.
When the Falcons qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships in 2000, it marked a unique coaching distinction for Stanforth - as he had led teams to the national cross country championships in every collegiate division: NJCAA, NAIA, NCAA Divisions I, II and III.
Stanforth coached the women's cross country team during their transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. In his first four years, the Falcon women competed in Division II and qualified for the NCAA Championships each year, recording program-high finishes of sixth in both 1992 and 1995. The Academy moved its women's programs to Division I in 1996, and, as a member of the Mountain West, the Falcons collected five straight third-place finishes at the conference championships (1999-2003).
Individually, Stanforth's athletes earned All-America honors 10 times in track and field and six times in cross country. He coached 28 individual conference champions on the track and one in cross country. His teams also earned national all-academic honors nine times.
Prior to coaching at the Academy, Stanforth coached one year at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota/Springfield, seven years at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College and five years at the University of California, San Diego, in addition to one year as a graduate assistant at Northern State (S.D.) University.
In addition to his work with the Falcons, Stanforth also assists the Pikes Peak Elite Track Club, a local team of post-collegiate runners that includes several Academy graduates.
Stanforth and his wife, Pat, have two sons, Nicholas and Daniel.