Jan. 25, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force track and field claimed six top-10 finishes during the second day of competition at the Air Force Invitational on Friday, Jan. 25. With just six finals taking place in seeded events, the Falcons claimed multiple top-10 placements in the weight throw and long jump.
Senior Brian Ford recorded the Falcons' best finish of the day in the seeded events, as he took third in the weight throw with a toss of 60'8". Junior Jalen Fooster joined Ford among the event's top 10, as he posted a distance of 57'2¾" to take 10th. The women also gained a top-10 placement in the weight throw, as junior Becca Bauman finished eighth with a throw of 54'5¼".
Senior Kassie Gurnell and freshman Lea Ross recorded career-best distances in the long jump to earn placements among the top 10. With a personal-best mark of 17'6¾", Gurnell finished third against collegiate competitors and fifth overall in a field that included event winner and Olympic bronze medalist Janay DeLoach. Ross improved her career mark to 17'6" to finish fifth in the collegiate field and seventh overall. The marks, career-bests for both of at least four inches, are just shy of the program's all-time list.
The men's distance medley relay finished second in a time of 10:48.51.
Several unseeded events took place today and the Falcons collected a pair of top-six finishers both the men's and women's mile. Sophomore Taylor Drolshagen and junior Adrianna Dong finished second (5:43.42) and third (5:43.56), respectively, in the women's unseeded mile, while junior Carl Eifert and senior Gage Owens earned top-six finishes in the men's unseeded mile with respective fifth- (4:38.79) and sixth-place (4:39.28) finishes.
In addition, junior Libby Westfall tied for second in the women's unseeded pole vault, after improving her overall clearance by four inches to a height of 11'5¾" and freshman Casey Peloquin placed fourth in the men's unseeded 800-meter run behind a debut time of 2:03.05.
Several qualifying heats were also contested today.
The Falcons advanced four athletes out of the preliminary heat of the men's 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Joe Wilkin finished sixth in the opening round with a career-best time of 8.38, while classmate Steel Shoaf, sophomore Casey Riggs and fellow sophomore Bryce Mitchell finished 14th (career-best 8.61), 15th and 16th, respectively. Sophomore Sierra Schepper qualified to the semifinal round of the women's 60-meter hurdles, following a 13th-place time of 9.65.
Jake Spuller advanced in a pair of events during Friday's competition. In addition to advancing to the finals of the 200-meter run with a season-best, third-place time of 22.16, the sophomore also qualified to the second round of the 60-meter dash after placing 13th in the opening round with a collegiate-debut time of 7.05. He was one of three Falcons to advance to the semifinals of the 60-meter dash, as freshman Gavin McHenry took third (second among collegiate athletes) with a career-best time of 6.87 and junior Drew Coleman clocked a season-debut time of 7.19 to finish 21st.
Junior David Ptacek advanced to the finals of the 400-meter dash after finishing sixth in a time of 50.33.
The Falcons conclude action at the Air Force Invitational tomorrow (Jan. 26). Competition begins at 10 a.m., with the men's shot put, women's pole vault and men's high jump. The first running event - 60-meter hurdles semifinals - gets underway at noon. Admission is free prior to 1 p.m. (due to a women's basketball game at 2 p.m., all fans will be charged a $2 admission once the ticket office opens at 1 p.m.).