Falcons Impact Record Book at New Mexico Classic
Feb. 6, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Highlighted by 19 finishes within the top 10 and eight additions to the program's all-time record book, the Air Force track and field team concluded action at the New Mexico Classic on Saturday, Feb. 6. Competing against athletes from nearly 30 collegiate programs, the Falcons claimed a pair of event titles and two additional top three placements.
Senior Sara Neubauer and sophomore Robert Drye improved their respective Academy records in the weight throw. Neubauer recorded a distance of 61'11" to defeat the 45-member field by nearly five inches. It is the fifth straight week that Neubauer has won the weight throw title and reset the Academy record in that event. Drye, who became the program record holder last week, increased his program-leading distance to 61'1½", finishing second in the 30-competitor event.
Senior Nick Frawley was the Falcons' other event winner, as he tied for first with a clearance of 17'6½". Frawley tied with former Falcon standout Paul Gensic, an unattached competitor representing the U.S. Air Force, for the best height among the 29 competitors.
In addition to the pair of weight throw records, six other additions were made to the Falcons' all-time record book.
Junior Noah Palicia led a trio of Falcons in the heptathlon to adjust the program's top-10 list in that event. Palica, who placed sixth overall, tallied a career-best 4999 points to move into fifth on the all-time list. In their heptathlon debut, freshmen Michael Tibbs (10th, 4697) and Blair O'Bryant (18th, 4335) jumped into the program's record book. Tibbs' total is the seventh-highest total in Academy history, while O'Bryant's score is 10th. (heptathlon recap below)
The women's pole vault all-time list received a pair of changes from sophomore Tawny Lambuth and freshman Bizzy Mellado. The pair, tying with junior Rachel Simmons for 11th in the 32-competitor field, recorded matching career-best clearances of 12'1½" to tie for fifth on the program's all-time list. From the track, freshman Morgan Mosby moved into the program's record book in the 800-meter run, as she clocked a time of 2:16.13 to place sixth in the 39-runner event.
In addition to winning the weight throw, Neubauer placed third in the shot put with a toss of 52'3¼" - a mark just shy of her Academy record 52'3¾". Sophomore Kimber Shealy matched her season-best clearance in the pole vault (12'7½") to finish sixth in that event, while classmate Paige Blackburn tossed a 50'4¾" in the weight throw to finish ninth.
On the men's side, 10 Falcons picked up top-10 finishes. Freshman Jeremy Drenckhahn placed fourth in the 3000-meter run with a career-best time of 8:40.77, while classmates Cale and Rob Simmons tied with senior Joel Nolan for fifth in the pole vault with matching clearances of 16'6¾". That height is a career-best mark for both of the Simmons brothers, bettering their previous mark by nearly a foot.
Sophomore Manuel Smith placed sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.09, while junior Chris Severino and Matt Jones placed ninth and 10th, respectively, with matching times of 49.92. Jones also finished 10th in the 60-meter hurdles behind a time of 8.74. Freshman Uzor Udensi clocked a time of 22.08 in the 200-meter dash to finish seventh, while classmate Travis Smith cleared 6'6¼" in the high jump to place ninth.
During the final day of action in the heptathlon, Palicia vaulted from 18th to sixth behind a pair of top-three finishes. The runner-up in the 1000-meter run (2:34.88), Palicia cleared 15'9" in the pole vault to finish third, while scoring seventh in the 60-meter hurdles (8.86).
Tibbs also used a pair of top-10 event scores to move from 17th to 10th during the final day of action. With career-best marks, the freshman placed eighth in the pole vault (14'5¼") and 10th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.94) to finish within the top 10. O'Bryant also picked up a pair of top-10 finishes, clocking an eighth-place time of 2:51.76 in the 1000-meter run and finishing 10th in the pole vault (13'9¼").
Air Force returns to action next weekend, hosting the 19th annual Air Force Invitational on Feb. 12-13 at the Academy's Cadet Field House. It will be the final home competition of the season for the Falcons.