April 13, 2011
AZUSA, Calif. - Highlighted by a decathlon event record from senior Noah Palicia, three members of the Air Force track and field team completed the first day of action at the Mt. SAC/California Multi-Meet late Wednesday, in Azusa, Calif. With 3,621 points, Palicia is in fifth after the first five events. He is one of two Falcons to sit within the top 10 of the 30-member California Decathlon section, as sophomore Michael Tibbs is currently in seventh with 3,537 points.
Palicia set a new Academy record in the decathlon 400-meter dash, as he crossed the finish line in a career-best time of 48.70. Palicia, who broke Marcus Nichols' 1996 decathlon time of 48.94, easily won the event, as only two of the 30 runners broke the 50-second mark.
The senior also recorded career-best marks in the long jump (20'4½"), shot put (38'2½") and high jump (6'2"), as well as a season-debut 100-meter time of 11.16.
With career-best marks in all five events, Tibbs finished the first day nearly 300 points ahead of where he sat after the opening day of last year's meet. The sophomore improved his career totals in the 100-meter dash (11.40), long jump (22'1"), shot put (39'1¼"), high jump (6'3¼") and 400-meter dash (52.85).
In addition to Palicia and Tibbs' performances in the decathlon, sophomore Lesly Torres wrapped up the first day of action in the California Heptathlon division. After four events, Torres is in 21st with 2,757 points. She tallied career-best marks on three of her four events, including the 100-meter hurdles (15.61), high jump (5'4½") and 200-meter dash (26.74). She also threw a 30'2" in the shot put - just three inches shy of her personal-best mark - during her first competition of the season in that event.
The Air Force trio wraps up competition on Thursday, April 14, at the Mt. SAC/California Multi-Meet. Two members of the program also open action at the Mr. SAC Relays in nearby Walnut, Calif., on Thursday evening.