ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The women’s distance medley relay broke a five-year-old Academy record this afternoon (Feb. 22), as the Air Force track and field team opened competition at the 2018 Mountain West Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.
With an actual time of 11:34.35, freshman Mahala Norris, sophomore Kelsey Owens, sophomore Megan Irvine and senior Carina Gillespie finished third in the conference standings and earned the program’s first top-three finish since 2014 (sixth overall). When converted for the altitude of Albuquerque, the quartet’s 11:23.85a took nearly a second off of the program standard that had stood since 2003.
The men’s DMR quartet of junior Noah Riley, senior Chip White, senior Zac Petrie and junior Jacob Bilvado also impacted the Air Force record book during a fifth-place finish in the first men’s final of the championship. The group combined for a raw time of 9:54.00, which translated into the seventh-fastest time in program history – 9:45.01a.
The first four events of the heptathlon also took place today, with senior Calvin Berstler pacing a trio of Air Force athletes in the standings. Berstler tallied 2818 points to sit in fourth after the opening day of action, while freshman Justin Harmon and senior Tyler Berson are currently seventh (2599) and eighth (2579), respectively.
Berstler’s best finish of the day was in the high jump, where he tied for first with a clearance of 6’5”. The senior also collected fourth-place finishes in the 60-meter dash (7.23) and shot put (38’6”), while adding a seventh-place mark of 20’9¼” in the long jump. Harmon captured a fourth-place finish in the long jump (21’5½”), while finishing fifth in the 60-meter dash (7.24), sixth in the shot put (36’8¼”) and eighth in the high jump (5’6½”), and Berson recorded a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash (7.24), seventh-place marks in both the shot put (36’7¾”) and high jump (5’8¾”), and an eighth-place distance of 20’5¾” in the long jump.
The Mountain West Indoor Championships continue tomorrow (Feb. 22) at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The day begins with final three events of the heptathlon at 10:00 a.m. (MT), while field events get underway at 12:30 p.m., and the running events start at 1:30 p.m.