April 12, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. - Three Academy records were broken this afternoon, as the Air Force track and field team wrapped up competition at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson on Saturday, April 12. In all, eight incursions were made to the Academy's all-time record book, as the men finished third and the women tied for fourth.
The men claimed a pair of first-place scores during both of their record-breaking performances. Sophomore Grant Hamilton used a career-best throw of 59'10½" to break the Academy's 13-year-old record in the shot put, while junior Blue Kearney bettered the program's nine-year-old mark in the long jump with a personal-best distance of 24'7¾". In addition, both marks are Class Records, with Hamilton breaking his own Sophomore Class Record and Kearney bettering the Junior Classic Record that had stood since 2003.
On the women's side, senior Rachel Herald bettered her own Academy record in the high jump after placing second with a clearance of 5'8¾".
Junior Morgan Malone, who clocked a wind-aided 100-meter time of 12.06, helped a pair of relays to top-10 times. She teamed with senior Kassie Gurnell, sophomore Naomi Alston and freshman Mikayla Robertson for the second-fastest 4x100-meter time in program history (47.59), while anchoring the foursome of Robertson, freshman Stephanie Robb and classmate Cecily Agu to the program's sixth-fastest 4x400-meter time. Freshman Alexa Chacon improved her time in the 100-meter hurdles (14.56) to move into a tie for fifth all-time, while Alston debuted in ninth on the program's top-10 with a 200-meter time of 25.63.
In addition to their spots on the relay, Gurnell and Robertson also helped the Falcons to half of the top-six finishes in the triple jump. Gurnell won the event with a distance of 40'2", while sophomore Angelea Ross placed second (39'1") and Robertson finished sixth (36'11¾").
Prior to his record-setting win in the shot put, Hamilton was the runner-up in the discus throw with a toss of 168'0". Classmate Spencer Baldwin finished sixth in that event with a mark of 153'4", while adding the same placement in the hammer throw with a distance of 162'4". Freshman Darby Maier joined Hamilton among the scoring finishers in the shot put with a fourth-place mark of 53'8¼" and senior William Kent added another scoring finish in the hammer throw with a fifth-place toss of 170'3".
Freshman Taylor Hulslander surpassed the 200-foot mark in the javelin for the first time this season, as he finished fourth with a career-best toss of 201'4". Junior Kyle Gartrell earned the same placement in the triple jump (47'0¾") and freshman Taylor Smith finished fifth in the collegiate high jump with a career-best jump of 6'8 ¾".
Air Force earned a pair of scoring finishes in the discus throw and shot put, backed by a pair of top-six finishes from sophomore Katelyn Holland. Freshman Cydnee Reese and Holland placed third (144'7") and fourth (134'0"), respectively, in the discus throw, while junior Danielle Tabb took third (46'6¾") and Holland finished sixth (41'4¼") in the shot put. Senior Becca Bauman was the runner-up in the collegiate hammer throw (166'9") and sophomore Jacki French placed fourth in the javelin throw (132'0"), while classmate Riley Vann cleared 11'8½" rounded out the Falcons' field event scorers with a sixth-place finish in the pole vault.
From the track, Air Force earned multiple scoring finishes in two races at the 3000-meter distances. Sophomore Sean Bapty and junior Zach Christenson finished third (9:44.40) and fourth (9:55.15), respectively in the steeplechase, while sophomore Dan Caddigan took third (8:45.06) and freshman Kyle Eller finished sixth (9:03.78) in the 3000-meter run.
Sophomore Joey Wilkin finished third in the 110-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 14.43, while senior Alex Lindsay finished fourth in the 800-meter run (1:51.40) and junior Jake Spuller took fifth in the 200-meter dash (21.44). Senior David Ptacek and sophomore Jordan McCool both earned sixth-place finishes, as Ptacek ran in the 400-meter dash (49.17) and McCool competed in the 400-meter hurdles (53.84). Spuller and Ptacek also ran on both scoring relays, joining freshmen Chandler Myers and Zach Johnson on the 4x100-meter relay (41.29) and seniors Danny Bieber and Josh Nielsen on the 4x400-meter relay (3:18.48).
The men finished third at the Jim Click Shootout with 99 points, while the women tied for fourth. Washington State claimed the men's and women's titles, with 193 points and 158 points, respectively, while the host Wildcats took second (115 points for the 17th-ranked men, 150 points for the 11th-ranked women). Air Force (third, 99 points), Kansas State (fourth, 98 points) and New Mexico (fifth, 76 points) rounded out the men's field, while Kansas State (third, 134 points), Air Force (fourth tie, 67 points) and New Mexico (fourth tie, 67 points) filled out the women's standings.
Air Force begins a busy weekend of competition in California next week, with three meets including the Mt. SAC/California Combined Events Meet (April 16-17), the Mt. SAC Relays (April 17-19) and the Beach Invitational (April 19).