April 16, 2011
CERRITOS, Calif. - Highlighted by an Academy record in the 400-meter hurdles from junior Emily Cotharn and a first-place finish from the men's 4x400-meter relay team, the Air Force track and field team concluded an impressive day of action at the Beach Invitational in Cerritos, Calif., on Saturday, April 16.
Cotharn clocked a career-best time of 62.30 in the 400-meter hurdles to break the program's two-week old record and finish 10th at the Beach Invitational. Cotharn, who also set a new Junior Class Record in that event, broke classmate Rachel Thomas' previous record of 62.50 that was set on Apr. 2. Cotharn and Thomas, who finished 14th in today's race with a time of 63.26, have now both broken an Academy record that had stood for nine years.
Cotharn's record is the second women's record to fall today, as freshman Kassie Gurnell set the Academy standard in the triple jump at the CSU-Pueblo Invitational.
In addition to their team-effort in the winning relay, all four runners also competed in individual events. Engel finished sixth in both the 400-meter hurdles (career-best 54.07) and 18th in the 110-meter hurdles (career-best 14.89), while Delgado posted a career-best time of 21.80 to placed 22nd in the 200-meter dash, which featured 98 competitors. Smith and Severino finished 14th (48.50) and 23rd (49.11), respectively, in the 400-meter dash.
With a time of 1:51.10, senior Tyler Stanley finished sixth in the 800-meter run that featured over 90 runners. Air Force also collected a sixth-place finish from sophomore Zach Wood, who cleared a high jump bar at 6'7½", while classmate Travis Smith finished eighth in the high jump with a career-best 6'5½".
Junior James Cole tossed a 170'3" to finish seventh in the discus throw, while classmate Sean Herbison improved his personal-best distance by nearly three feet (160'4") to finish 14th. Herbison also finished 15th in the shot put with a throw of 51'9", while classmate Kyle Schwochow tossed a 52'6" to finish 12th. Senior Jon Santiago added a 13th-place finish for the Falcons' throwers behind a toss of 178'0".
On the women's side, junior Paige Blackburn finished sixth in the shot put with a career-best 47'1", improving her third-place standing on the program's all-time list. Classmate Kimber Shealy finished ninth in the pole vault with a clearance of 11'9¼", while sophomore Melissa Fuerst added a top-15 finish for the women's team with a career-best 1500-meter time of 4:36.68. That time gave Fuerst a 14th-place finish in a race that featured 77 athletes.
Air Force returns to action next Saturday (Apr. 23), when it travels to Fort Collins, Colo. - site of the 2011 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships - for the Jack Christiansen Invitational.