Falcons Have Strong Showing at All-Comers Meet

    Paige Blackburn
    Paige Blackburn

    Jan. 14, 2011

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    USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force track and field team kicked off the 2011 season with a strong showing at the annual Air Force All-Comers Meet on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Academy's Cadet Field House. Several additions to the women's record book were made, while the combined squad accounted for 11 top finishes among collegiate competitors.

    Junior Paige Blackburn won the shot put with a career-best distance of 47'6¼", while also placing first among collegiate competitors (and second overall) in the weight throw with a mark of 51'7¼". Blackburn's distance in the shot put is a personal improvement by nearly two feet and the third-best throw in Academy history.

    Freshman Jackie Ahloo placed third in the shot put with a collegiate debut of 44'2" - the sixth-best throw in program history. Air Force also earned a top-six finish in the weight throw from senior Christina Burke, who tossed a 45'0½" to place sixth overall.

    The women's high jump received several additions to its all-time list, as three freshmen recorded distances of 5'5" - the ninth-best clearance in Academy history. Jamie Hart and Regan Rogers tied for first among collegiate competitors (and second overall), while Rachel Herald took fifth with that height based on attempts.

    Fellow freshman Kassie Gurnell recorded a distance of 37'9½" in the triple jump to finish third (overall) and move into fifth on the program's all-time list - the first addition to that event's top-10 since 2007.

    Sophomore Bethany Gross, competing during the indoor season for the first time, was the top collegiate finisher in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.55 - the fourth-fastest time in program history. Junior Tawny Lambuth, who also tied for fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 11'11¾", finished fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.88. The time, which was third among collegiate runners, is tied for the eighth-fastest time in program history.

    Gross also ran a leg of the 4x400-meter relay squad that finished first among collegiate teams with a time of 4:01.54. She ran the third leg of a squad that included juniors Rachel Thomas and Emily Cotharn and freshman Tasha Mayne.

    Junior Katie Carroll was the top collegiate finisher in the 800-meter run (2:24.68), while Air Force swept the top three spots of the mile run. Sophomores Kate Kanetzky (5:31.14) and Melissa Fuerst (5:35.22) finished first and second, respectively, while junior Alexa Ramsier took third in a time of 5:36.97.

    Air Force had two of the top three collegiate clearances in the pole vault, highlighted by Lambuth and senior Melissa Beerse's tie for second (fourth overall) with matching heights of 11'11¾". Junior Kimber Shealy tied for third with a height of 11'5¾".

    On the men's side, Air Force claimed the top two spots in the pole vault. Sophomore Cale Simmons won the meet with a clearance of 16'6¾", while his twin brother, Rob, placed second at 16'0¾". The two-mile relay squad of sophomore Jeremy Drenckhahn and freshmen Jake Hawkins, Shawn Dubbs and Matt Caldwell clocked a time of 8:11.57 to win the non-traditional race.

    Junior Bryce Bergman was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.20, while running the first leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that finished first among collegiate teams with a time of 3:15.59. Joining Bergman on the relay was classmate Manny Smith, sophomore Anthony Delgado and senior Chris Severino.

    Freshman Tyler Jordan was the top collegiate finisher in the high jump with a clearance of 6'8¾". Jordan, who tied for the top mark, but place third overall based on attempts, was just one foot shy of breaking the program's top 10. Sophomores Travis Smith and Zach Wood placed fifth (6'6¾") and sixth (6'4¾"), respectively, in that event.

    The Falcons added three top-three overall finishes, including a pair in the throwing events. Junior James Cole finished third overall and second among collegiate throwers in the shot put, accounting for a distance of 52'5¼". Classmate Robert Drye tossed a 58'8" in the weight throw to finish third. Freshman Matt Caldwell clocked a time of 4:25.00 in his collegiate debut of the mile to take third overall.

    Air Force returns to action next week, when it heads to Lincoln, Neb., for the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational on Friday, Jan. 21, and the adidas Classic on Saturday, Jan. 22.

     

     

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