Air Force Sweeps Front Range Classic Team Titles
Kimber Shealy

May 4, 2012

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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Senior Kimber Shealy set an Academy record in women's pole vault, as the Air Force track and field team swept the team titles at the fifth annual Front Range Classic on Friday, May 4, at the Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex.

The women, who won their first team title, were backed by several incursions to the Academy record book. In addition to clearing an Academy record 13'1¾" to win the pole vault, Shealy also set new Stadium and Meet records. She bettered the complex record of 13'1¼" that had stood since 2002, while easily improving the Front Range Classic record of 12'7½" that former Falcon Melissa Beerse had held since 2008.

Shealy was one of four Falcons to improve the program's top-10 lists of the pole vault on Friday afternoon. Junior Bizzy Mellado finished second behind a career-best 12'11½", as she moved into third on the women's all-time list and tied the Junior Class Record. Freshman Joey Uhle cleared a career-high 17'2¾" to win the men's pole vault and move into sixth on the all-time list, while junior Chase Cooper cleared 16'10¾" to record the 10th-best mark in program history and place third in the event standings.

The women's all-time list for the 200-meter dash also picked up a pair of incursions as freshmen Morgan Malone and Erica Carson recorded the sixth (25.43) and eighth-fastest (25.61) times in program history to finish third and fourth, respectively. Malone also scored for the Falcons in the 100-meter dash, as she placed sixth with a time of 12.59.

Senior Tawny Lambuth, who finished fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 12'3½", improved her time in the 100-meter dash as she finished fourth with a time of 12.42 - the ninth-best time in program history. Freshman Nichole Freeman improved her distance in the javelin throw to move into ninth on the all-time list with a throw of 143'5", while classmate Sierra Schepper debuted in 10th on the all-time list in the 100-meter hurdles with a career-best 14.93.

On the men's side, fellow freshman Jake Spuller recorded the 10th-fastest time in Academy history in the 200-meter dash (21.40) to easily win the meet.

Freeman was a part of an Air Force sweep of the top four spots in the javelin throw, as senior Paige Blackburn won the event with a throw of 149'8" and sophomores Kim Smith and Alana Piccone placed third (134'10") and fourth (126'10"), respectively. Schepper also helped Air Force to three scoring placements, as sophomore Jamie Hart and senior Phaelen French placed sixth (15.44) and seventh (17.16), respectively.

Spuller's win in the 200-meter dash paced Air Force to a sweep of the top three spots, as juniors Uzor Udensi and Anthony Delgado finished second (21.57) and third (21.87), respectively. In addition to the finishes by Uhle and Cooper in the men's pole vault, Air Force claimed three more scoring placements to take five of the top six spots. Sophomore Cort Rogers, classmate Elliott Beski and junior Michael Tibbs placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, with matching heights of 16'0¾".

Blackburn also won the discus throw (161'9") for Air Force, while sophomore Becca Bauman (142'1", fourth) and junior Katy Moorkamp (137'4", fifth) also placed within the top five. Sophomore Annette Eichenberger rounded out the list of event winners for the Falcons, as she clocked an 800-meter time of 2:17.78 to pace freshman Rebecca Esselstein (2:18.82, second), senior Katie Carroll (2:26.63, fourth) and freshman Marie Rossillon (2:27.78, fifth) to scoring placements in that event.

The men accounted for nine additional first-place finishes.

Senior Manny Smith won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.77, while sophomores Michael Craig (48.67), David Ptacek (49.03), Josh Nielsen (49.76), Dan Bieber (51.32) and Brad Hackert (54.66) completed Air Force's sweep of the top six.

Freshman Zach Perkins also led an Air Force sweep of the top six spots, as he won the 1500-meter run in a time of 3:56.91. Sophomore Jake Hawkins took second in 3:57.19, while senior Nick White placed third in 4:01.96. Junior Ted Artz finished fourth in 4:06.63, while freshmen Elliot Myers and Zach Christenson placed fifth (4:09.54) and sixth (4:11.93), respectively.

Senior Alex Zubey clocked a time of 1:52.86 to win the 800-meter run, while sophomores Matt Caldwell and Alex Lindsay finished second (1:54.05) and third (1:56.68), respectively, and freshman Ronnie Elly placed sixth in 2:02.99.

Freshman Riley Coates and sophomore Carl Eifert finished first (10:06.37) and second (10:29.61), respectively, in the 3000-meter steeplechase, while senior Bryce Bergman won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.16 and freshman Bryce Mitchell placed fourth in 1:00.20.

From the field, the men won the high jump (Travis Smith, 6'8¾"), shot put (James Chambers, 53'8¼"), hammer throw (Sean Herbison, 190'0") and javelin throw (Nate Bratka, 158'5"). Air Force also claimed five of the top six spots in the shot put, with Herbison finishing second (53'4¼"), senior Kyle Schwochow placing fourth (52'6½"), classmate James Cole taking fifth (50'11½") and junior Shane Cox finishing sixth (46'2").The Falcons also added multiple scoring finishes in the high jump (sophomore Tyler Jordan, 6'4¾", second; freshman Evan McDowell, 6'2¾", fourth; Hackert, 6'0¾", fifth), hammer throw (senior Rob Drye, 189'7", second; senior Jared Barkemeyer, 175'0", sixth) and javelin throw (Hackert, 157'9", second).

Air Force also claimed four scoring finishes in the discus throw, as Cole (178'4", second), Chambers (167'10", third), Herbison (165'7", fifth) and junior Brian Ford (162'9", sixth) all placed within the top six. In addition to his win in the 400-meter hurdles, Bergman scored for the Falcons in the 110-meter hurdles, as he finished second with a time of 14.33. The 4x100-meter relay squad of Nielsen, freshman Casey Riggs, Ptacek and junior James MacAndrew finished second in 42.53, while MacAndrew and McDowell placed second (11.16) and third (11.35), respectively in the 100-meter dash and sophomore Carson Fugal placed fifth in the steeplechase with a time of 9:32.66.

The women accounted for 18 additional scoring finishes, including five of the top six placements in the 1500-meter run. Junior Melissa Fuerst finished second in 4:53.18, while classmate Jen Bremser finsihed third in 4:56.91. Fellow junior Kate Kanetzky clocked 5:04.20 to finish fourth, while freshman Heather Connick and sophomore Amanda Blain finished fifth (5:05.90) and sixth (5:07.25), respectively.

Blackburn finished fourth in the shot put (45'3"), while sophomore Jackie Ahloo and freshman Danielle Tabb placed fifth (44'4¼") and sixth (41'3"), respectively. With matching marks of 5'5", junior Lesly Torres and sophomore Regan Rogers tied for second in the high jump and sophomore Rachel Herald finished fourth.

Torres and Hart also scored in the long jump (17'11", second; 15'10¼", fourth), while Carson added a fifth-place scoring finish in the 400-meter dash (58.73). Seniors Rachel Thomas (400-meter hurdles, 1:02.13) and Jordyn Stoddard (triple jump, 36'3") finished fourth in their respective events, while sophomores Kassie Gurnell (200-meter dash, 25.86) and Heather Shepard (400-meter dash, 58.87) rounded out the scoring placements for Air Force with matching sixth-place finishes.

The men tallied a meet record 301 points to win their fourth Front Range Classic title in five years. Wyoming placed second with 90 points, while Colorado State (55 points) placed third. Colorado (10), New Mexico (8) and Northern Colorado (7) rounded out the six-team field.

The women tallied 193 points to win their first-ever FRC title, while Wyoming finished second with 140 points. Colorado State and Northern Colorado finished third (96 points) and fourth (42), respectively, while New Mexico (9) and Colorado (8) rounded out the field.

Air Force returns to action next week, when it hosts the 2012 Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex. The four-day meet, which runs May 9-12, begins on Wednesday, May 9, with the opening day of decathlon and heptathlon competition.



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