BOULDER, Colo. -- The Air Force track and field team collected three first-place finishes and eight top-five marks this evening (Jan. 12), as it kicked off the 2018 calendar year at the Potts Indoor Invitational in Boulder.
Sophomore Connor Stevens cleared a career-best 16'8¾" to win the pole vault at the Indoor Practice Facility and led Air Force to a share of the top-three finishes in that event. Freshman Justin Harmon placed second with a jump of 16'4¾", while classmate Mitch Lipe and junior Sam Hinegardner tied for third with matching clearances of 15'11" (a career-best clearance by 10 inches for Lipe).
Hinegardner opened the day with a first-place finish in the high jump, as he cleared 6'7" to win the 12-man event. Hinegardner, who won the tie-breaker by posting a perfect record on first-attempt clearances through his winning bar, helped Air Force to a share of the top-two clearances, as senior Calvin Berstler added a season-best height of 6'5" to tie for third. The Falcons swept the high jump titles, as senior Shelley Spires registered a Senior Class Record clearance of 5'11¼" to win that title by two inches.
From the throwing circle, senior Brooks Hardy tallied a season-best distance of 54'6¾" to take third in the weight throw and lead the contingent of Air Force throwers that competed over in Balch Fieldhouse.
"I thought we were rusty in the technical events we had today," head coach Ralph Lindeman said after the first day of action. "You could tell they've been away from technique coaching for a month. I was pleased with the break-throughs from a couple freshmen -- Meghan Carbiener in the weight throw and Mitch Lipe in the pole vault."
The Falcons return to Colorado's Indoor Practice Facility tomorrow (Jan. 13) for the final two field events and all of the running events. The shot put and triple jump are slated to begin at 10:00 a.m., while the running events get underway at 3:00 p.m.