May 10, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - With a season-best throw of 204'0", Air Force senior Rob Drye successfully defended his Mountain West title in the hammer throw during the second day of competition at the MW Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, May 10.
Drye, who suffered an injury in early December and only returned to the field on April 28, improved his season distance by over 25 feet in just three meets to post a winning mark of 204'0" - a mark that is just shy of the Academy record he set last year during his first conference title victory. With today's win, Drye becomes only the third Mountain West athlete to claim hammer throw titles in back-to-back years.
He was one of two seniors to score for the Falcons in the hammer throw, as classmate Sean Herbison finished seventh with a distance of 176'7".
Michael Tibbs picked up third-place honors in the decathlon after amassing a career-best 7,158 points. The junior, who moved into fifth on the program's all-time list with a personal improvement of nearly 150 points, won the discus throw (131'6") and pole vault (15'11"). He also finished third in the 110-meter hurdles (14.96), fourth in the javelin throw (181'3") and ninth in the 1500-meter run (5:30.47).
His time in the 110-meter hurdles was just 0.02 shy of the program's decathlon event record.
Freshman Evan McDowell also scored for the Falcons in the decathlon, collecting a career-best 6,408 points - a personal improvement of nearly 200 points - to finish seventh. His best finish of the day came in the 1500-meter run, as he placed finished second in a career-best 4:42.88. McDowell also added personal-best marks in the discus throw (91'5", eighth), pole vault (12'3½", eighth) and javelin throw (115'1", ninth), while finishing sixth in the 110-meter hurdles (15.11).
The women's heptathlon was also decided today, with senior Phaelen French taking eighth with 3,859 points. She claimed a second-place finish in the 800-meter run (2:25.66), while recording a season-best 14'11½" in the long jump (eighth) and a distance of 77'0" in the javelin throw (eighth).
After two events, the men are ranked second with 20 points ... just three points behind current leader Boise State (23 points). Colorado State (13) is ranked third, while New Mexico (12) and Wyoming (10) round of the men's standings. San Diego State leads the women's field after one event with 10 points, while Wyoming (9), Boise State (8), UNLV (6), Colorado State (5) and Air Force (1) round out the standings.
Competition continues action at the MW Championships tomorrow (Friday, May 11) at the Academy's Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Action begins at 10 a.m., with the women's hammer throw, while the running events begin at 1 p.m.