Feb. 15, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force sophomore Grant Hamilton used a career-best toss of 58'11¼" to break the Academy's 13-year-old record in the shot put as the track and field team wrapped up competition at the Air Force Collegiate Open on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Hamilton added over one foot to his own distance to easily break the previous standard of 58'6¾" that Shawn Johnson had held since 2001. The mark, which was second amongst collegiate throwers and third overall, is also a new Sophomore Class Record, adding 11 inches to the mark that stood since 1999.
The sophomore, who now holds the freshman and sophomore Class Records in that event, was one of three Falcons to impact the program's top-10 lists today. Freshman Zoe Casteel cleared a career-best 12'3½" in the pole vault to move into ninth on the program's all-time list, while classmate Cecily Agu's 200-meter time of 25.79 is the seventh-fastest mark in Academy history.
Finishing third among collegiate vaulters (fourth overall), Casteel paced four Falcons to placements within the top 10 of the pole vault. Sophomore Riley Vann matched her career-best of 11'11¾" (the 11th-best clearance in program history) to finish fourth in the collegiate field and fifth overall, while senior Paige Shirley and freshman Addy Neibauer finished eighth (11'5¾") and 10th (10'11¾").
Agu was one of two Falcons to score in the 200-meter dash, as junior Morgan Malone placed second with a time of 24.90 - a mark just 0.05 shy of the Academy record she set during last week's meet.
The women accounted for multiple top-10 placements in five additional events.
Senior Rachel Herald cleared 5'8" to finish second in the high jump, while freshman Emily Richard and senior Regan Rogers placed eighth and 10th, respectively, with matching marks of 5'3" (that mark matched a career-high for Richard). Kassie Gurnell won the triple jump with a clearance of 40'9" and sophomore Angelea Ross placed fifth with a distance of 38'6¾", while junior Danielle Tabb and sophomore Katelyn Holland finished third (48'7¼") and sixth (42'11½"), respectively, in the shot put. On the track, junior Taylor Drolshagen clocked a season-debut of 10:44.44 to finish second in the 3000-metre run, while freshman Lindy Long finished fourth with a time of 11:05.97. Air Force also earned a pair of top-10 times in the mile, as junior Heather Connick and freshman Morgan Fagnant finished sixth (5:34.09) and ninth (5:59.24), respectively.
In addition to her runner-up finish in the 200-meter dash, Malone also picked up a sixth-place time of 7.83 in the 60-meter dash. Freshman Alexa Chacon finished third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.77 - a mark just 0.01 shy of her career-high, while classmate Taylor Schwenke finished 10th in her 800-meter debut behind a time of 2:35.42.
On the men's side, Air Force claimed five of the top-nine spots in the 3000-meter run, as sophomore Sean Bapty won the event with a career-best 8:59.74. Classmates Daniel Shellhouse (second, career-best 9:01.94) and Dan Caddigan (third, career-best 9:08.24) rounded out the top-three, while senior Jake Hawkins finished sixth (career-best 9:17.64) and junior Zach Christenson placed ninth (season-debut, 9:29.10).
The men captured multiple top-10 finishes in three additional events, including the 800-meter run, where senior Alex Lindsay was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) with a time of 1:54.73 and sophomore Stone Shoaf finished sixth overall and fourth in the collegiate field with a time of 1:57.15. From the field, seniors William Kent and Jalen Fooster finished fourth (season-best 61'0¼") and fifth (season-best 58'11½"), respectively, in the weight throw, while freshmen Kyle Pater and Tyler Ginger placed ninth and 10th, respectively, in the pole vault with matching marks of 15'7" (a career-best matching mark for Pater and a career-best for Ginger).
Junior Kyle Gartrell picked up a pair of eighth-place marks, as he recorded a distance of 22'8½" in the long jump and a mark of 44'10¼" in the triple jump. Freshman Taylor Smith cleared 6'9¾" to take fourth in the high jump, while classmate Jason Engel finished third in the mile (4:36.89) and fellow freshman Zach Johnson clocked a 22.07 to finish seventh in the 200-meter dash. Sophomore Joey Wilkin rounded out the Falcons' top-10 finishers, as he recorded a career-best time of 8.20 to take second in the 60-meter hurdles.
The Falcons return to action next Friday (Feb. 21), when a portion of the team travels to Laramie, Wyo., for the Rocky Mountain Classic.