Jan. 12, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by an event title in the men's pole vault and three additional top collegiate finishes, the Air Force track and field team returned to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, with the annual Air Force All-Comers Meet.
Sophomore Joey Uhle cleared a career-best 17'2¾" to win the outright title in the pole vault, while debuting in seventh on the Academy's all-time list in that event. Uhle, who improved his personal clearance by three inches, became the 13th Falcon in program history to clear the 17-foot. The sophomore also paced the Falcons to a sweep of the top four spots in the 15-competitor event. Junior Cort Rogers cleared 16'6¾" to place second, while freshman Dylan Bell and junior Elliott Beski finished third and fourth, respectively, with matching marks of 16'2¾".
With a time of 4:27.68, junior Lance Wolfsmith was the top collegiate finisher in the mile, placing second overall in his first race of the season. He was one of three Air Force runners to place within the top five, as senior Andrew Quallio clocked 4:31.56 to finish third overall (second collegiately) and freshman Andrew Hood improved his time by 15 seconds to finish fifth overall (4:38.20, fourth collegiately).
Junior Matt Caldwell also earned a first-place finish among the collegiate field, as he clocked an 800-meter time of 1:57.98. Caldwell, who finished fourth overall, guided Air Force to four of the top five collegiate finishes, as a trio of Air Force freshmen - Patrick Corona (1:59.50), Grant Caswell (2:00.73) and Evan Fortney (2:02.54) - finished second, third and fifth, respectively, amongst collegiate runners.
Brian Ford claimed a pair of top-three finishes from the throwing cage. After finishing second in the weight throw with a distance of 59'4", the senior recorded a season-best toss of 52'4" to finish third in the shot put. Classmate James Chambers, who just rejoined the team after spending the fall as a starting member of the Falcons' football team, placed fourth in the shot put with a career-best throw of 51'7".
The men also claimed a runner-up finish in the 4x440-yard relay (3:25.82). Senior Zach Wood cleared a season-best 6'7¾" to place third in the high jump, while sophomore Kyle Gartrell took fourth in the long jump with a distance of 21'2½". In addition, juniors David Ptacek and Michael Craig finished fourth (50.53) and fifth (50.67), respectively, among collegiate finishers in the 400-meter dash, while sophomore Jake Spuller picked up a fourth-place finish among college-aged athletes in the 200-meter dash (22.50).
On the women's side, junior Paige Shirley was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the pole vault, as she matched her career-best clearance of 12'1½". Senior Bizzy Mellado finished third overall and second in the collegiate field, with a clearance of 11'7¾", while junior Libby Westfall and freshman Riley Vann tied for fourth (third collegiately) with matching clearances of 11'1¾". Westfall's clearance was a personal-best by two inches.
The Falcons added a pair of top-five finishes in both the mile and the 800-meter events. Sophomore Rebecca Esselstein clocked a time of 5:26.93 in her mile debut to place third (second collegiately), while freshman Emily Wagemaker finished fifth overall (fourth) in a time of 6:05.70. Freshman Hannah Everson placed fourth in her 800-meter debut (2:28.36), while sophomore Taylor Drolshagen clocked 2:33.18 to finish fifth.
Rounding out the Falcons' top-five finishers were a pair of fourth-place marks from seniors Bethany Gross and Katy Moorkamp. In her first 200-meter race of the season, Gross clocked a time of 25:65 to finish fourth overall and second among collegiate runners, while Moorkamp recorded a season-best distance of 40'8¼" to place earn the same overall finish in the shot put.
Air Force heads out on the road next weekend, traveling to Lincoln, Neb., for the annual adidas Classic at Nebraska's Bob Devaney Sports Center. Action is scheduled to begin at noon (CST) with the men's weight throw.