Air Force Wraps up Strong Day of Action at AF Relays
Jacki French

April 5, 2014

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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by 23 first-place finishes and five incursions into the program's all-time list, the Air Force track and field team wrapped up competition at the Air Force Relays on Saturday, April 5, at the Academy's Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex.

Freshmen Alexa Chacon and Cydnee Reese accounted for the program's sixth-best marks in the 100-meter hurdles and discus throw, respectively, while sophomore Katelyn Holland recorded the Academy's eighth-best mark in the shot put. In addition, sophomore Dylan Bell and senior Cort Rogers both impacted the pole vault's all-time list during the Falcons' first home meet of the outdoor season.

Chacon won the hurdles with a career-best time of 14.65 and Reese tossed a winning discus mark of 154'5½" as the pair debuted in sixth on their respective events' all-time list, while Holland improved her No. 8 ranking in the shot put with a winning mark of 44'8¼".Bell finished first in the pole vault with the eighth-best clearance in Academy history (17'6½") and Rogers broke the 17-foot mark for the first time outdoors (17'0¾") to tie for 10th on the program's all-time list.

The Falcons accounted for four additional top-five finishes in those three events. Junior Sierra Schepper and freshman Sydney Rohlwing finished fourth (15.76) and fifth (15.88), respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles, while Holland added a fourth-place finish in the discus (135'7¾") and freshman Kyle Pater added a fourth-place clearance of 15'1" in the pole vault.

Air Force claimed seven of eight first-place finishes in the throwing events, including sweeps of the top spots in the shot put, discus throw and javelin.

Sophomore Spencer Baldwin joined Reese at the top of the discus throw standings, tossing a 149'10¾" to win the men's event and pace Air Force to a trio of top-five marks, including freshmen Darby Maier (fourth, 139'1¼") and Kyle Cotton (fifth, debut toss of 135'0"). With Holland winning the women's title, Maier helped Air Force sweep the first-place finishes of the shot put, as he used a throw of 54'2" to better the field by eight feet.

Sophomore Garrett Griffin made his season debut in the javelin throw, winning the event with a toss of 199'6¼", while freshman Taylor Hulslander improved his distance by over 20 feet (197'0¾") to finish second. Sophomore Jacki French, who won the women's event after improving her overall distance by nearly 10 feet (135'9"), paced the Falcons to three of the top-four spots, with seniors Kim Smith and Alana Piccone taking third (132'10") and fourth (122'7"), respectively.

Air Force also swept the high jump and triple jump events from the field, as freshman Taylor Smith (6'4¾") and senior Rachel Herald (5'7") claimed both high jump titles and junior Kyle Gartrell (45'4¼") and senior Kassie Gurnell (38'0") picked up first-place finishes in the triple jump. Herald paced the women to three top-five finishes, as senior Regan Rogers and freshman Emily Richard finished second (5'5") and fifth (5'3"), respectively. Gurnell, who added a second-place mark of 16'10½" in the long jump, also paced a trio of top-five finishers in the triple jump. Freshman Mikayla Robertson placed second to Gurnell with a wind-aided distance of 37'4½", while sophomore Angelea Ross took fifth at 37'2½".

Gartrell and classmate Blue Kearney teamed up to go one-two in both the triple jump and long jump, as Kearney, who finished second to Gartrell in the triple jump (44'4"), won the long jump with a distance of 23'3½", and Gartrell took second with a career-best distance of 22'5¼".

Senior Becca Bauman rounded out the Falcons' list of field event winners, as she bettered the field by 10 feet to win the hammer throw (170'8¼"). Senior William Kent finished third amongst collegiate throwers in the men's event with a toss of 168'11¾" and Air Force added a trio of top-five finishers in the women's pole vault. Sophomore Riley Vann was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) with a clearance of 11'5¾", while freshman Zoe Casteel and senior Paige Shirley finished fourth (10'11¾") and fifth (10'6"), respectively.

On the track, the Falcons claimed four first-place marks in individual events and five relay titles.

Sophomore Joey Wilkin clocked a career-best 14.56 to win the 110-meter hurdles, while pacing juniors Edmond Duvall (career-best 15.18), Evan McDowell (season-best 15.31) and Casey Riggs (15.34) to the top-four finishes. The Falcons added a 1-3 finish in the 400-meter hurdles, as sophomore Jordan McCool clocked a winning time of 54.36 and the pair of junior Siotame Latu and freshman Kyle Jameson finished second (55.15) and third (57.05), respectively. The Falcons swept the 3000-meter races, as junior Heather Connick (11:13.09) and freshman Kirsten Linnartz (11:32.15) finished first and second in the women's race and sophomores Dan Caddigan (9:01.94) and Daniel Shellhouse (9:20.48) placed first and third in the men's event.

Air Force took both distance medley relay titles, as the women's quartet of Connick, Linnartz, freshman Stephanie Robb and sophomore Emily Wagemaker clocked a 13:19.52 and the men's foursome of senior Charlie Perkins, freshman Grant Garst, sophomore Sean Bapty and classmate Kevin Mihalik recorded a time of 10:33.37. The men's 4x100 of freshman Chandler Myers, freshman Zach Johnson, junior Jake Spuller and senior David Ptacek won in 41.67, while Ptacek and Spuller joined Latu and senior Josh Nielsen to win the 4x400 in 3:20.79. The women's sprint medley relay of Schepper, Chacon, Rohlwing and freshman Amirah Majied clocked a time of 4:31.91 to win that race.

Rohlwing, who added a top-five finish in the 400-meter hurdles (66.75, third), also joined sophomore Naomi Alston, Majied and Robb in the 4x400-meter relay that took third in 4:06.64. Bapty and junior Zach Christenson rounded out Air Force's list of top-five finishers, as the pair placed fourth (career-best 6:33.88) and fifth (6:37.10), respectively, in the 2000-meter steeplechase.

"The coaching staff was very happy with the way the team competed in today's conditions," head coach Ralph Lindeman said, noting the gusty winds and chilly temperatures that rolled over the Academy grounds today.

Things will get warmer for the Falcons next weekend, as the squad heads to Tucson, Ariz., for the Jim Click Shootout with Arizona, Kansas State, New Mexico and Washington State on Saturday, April 12.



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