Men Repeat as Front Range Champs; Neubauer Blasts Academy Record
May 2, 2009
BOULDER, Colo. - Highlighted by six event titles, the Air Force men's track and field team successfully defended its title at the second annual Front Range Classic on Saturday, May 2, in Boulder, Colo. Despite cold and wet conditions, the Falcons easily defeated their five other local opponents. In addition, junior Sara Neubauer recorded an Academy record in the hammer throw, while pacing the women to an impressive second-place finish.
Neubauer won the hammer throw with an impressive toss of 182'8". The mark, a personal improvement by nearly 20 feet, bested the rest of the field by eight feet. In just her first year of throwing the hammer, the junior easily broke the Falcons' nine-year-old record of 177'11" set by Tara Copas.
The men, who won the first-ever Front Range Classic title in 2008, easily defended their title this year. The Falcons accounted for 197 points, besting the runner-up (Colorado State), by 44 points. Wyoming placed third with 108.50, while Colorado (63.50) and Northern Colorado (34) rounded out the field.
Senior Kellen Curry won a pair of event titles, as he claimed first in the 200-meter dash (21.52) and 110-meter hurdles (14.30). His time in the hurdles was a new meet record. Freshman Bryce Bergman was the event runner-up, finishing with a time of 14.95.
Air Force recorded a one-two finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase, as senior Matt Williams and junior Zach Nordahl posted a pair of regional qualifying times. Williams won the race with a time of 9:14.13, while Nordahl recorded a time of 9:20.84.
Sophomore Connor Van Fossen set a meet record of 198'7" to win the javelin throw. Air Force claimed four of the top five finishes, as senior Harmon Gage (193'7"), sophomore Jon Santiago (180'6") and sophomore Noah Palicia (178'4") finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Junior Nick Frawley tied for first in the pole vault, as he cleared 16'0¾". Classmate Marshall Wills placed third at 15'7", while freshman Cort Rogers took fourth with a mark of 15'1". Freshman Maxwell Lutton clocked a time of 48.73 to win the 400-meter dash, while classmate Ben Cox took third in 49.26.
Freshman Nick White was the runner-up in the 800-meter meter run with a time of 1:54.43. Classmate Dillon Stucky recorded a distance of 46'10¾" to finish second in the triple jump, while also placing third in the long jump at 20'6¼". Fellow freshman James Walmsley finished second in the 5000-meter run (15:01.75), while classmate Jonathan Rock placed fourth in 15:19.16. A freshmen-filled 4x400-meter relay team finished second in that race. Classmates Bergman, Matthew Jones, Cox and Lutton clocked a time of 3:15.86.
With regional qualifying times in the 1500-meter run, seniors Daniel Castle and Sebastian Ortiz finished second (3:51.20) and third (3:41.86). Freshman Matthew Davis clocked a time of 10.81 to take third in the 100-meter dash, while sophomore Taurean Singletary collected the same finish in the high jump at 6'2¾". Senior Kirk Devine also picked up a third-place finish in the discus throw, as he recorded a distance of 165'3".
In addition to her record-setting day, Neubauer won the discus throw with a meet record toss of 164'7". She also placed second in the shot put with a regional qualifying toss of 47'11¾". Freshman Paige Blackburn finished third in the shot, tallying a regional qualifying personal-best distance of 47'6¼"
A pair of Falcons tied for first in the pole vault, as sophomore Rachel Simmons and freshman Kimber Shealy cleared matching marks of 11'1¾". Freshman Tawny Lambuth placed third with a clearance of 10'8".
Air Force finished first and second in the javelin throw. Junior Katie Weber recorded a regional qualifying distance of 143'5" to win the event, while Blackburn finished second with a toss of 128'5".
The 4x400-meter relay quartet of Jessica Mapes, Becca Burditt, Gabrielle Quirao and Ally Romanko ran the third-fastest time in Academy history at 3:52.32 to take third. Burditt also picked up a fifth-place time of 2:21.53 in the 800-meter run, while freshman Margaret Weingart posted the same placement in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.37). Sophomore Nercressaine White finished third in the long jump with a distance of 17'5½".
The women combined for 147.50 points to place second among its Front Range competitors. Colorado State won the meet with 161.50 points, while Wyoming finished third with 143 points. Northern Colorado (119 points) and Colorado (75) rounded out the field.
Air Force is off from competition until May 13-16, when it travels to Laramie, Wyo., for the 2009 Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships.