CLOVIS, Calif. - The Air Force men's track and field team captured its third-straight Mountain West Outdoor title - and its fifth in seven years - this evening (May 12), as it won the 2018 conference title by 20.50 points. The men earned four event titles and 26 scoring finishes on Championship Saturday, as it completed the season sweep of conference championships.
Since 2012, the men have captured eight Mountain West titles (five outdoors, three indoors).
Seniors Tyler Koss, John Reynolds and Chip White captured individual Mountain West titles for the men, while White and Koss also ran the final two legs of the winning 4x400-meter relay. Koss captured his second conference title in three years this afternoon, as he clocked a time of 46.70 to lead Air Force to a one-two finish in the 400-meter dash. Junior Sedacy Walden, whose 2017 title is part of the Falcons' three-year stronghold on that event, finished second in 47.22, while freshman Zachary Dicken finished eighth in a time of 49.59. White collected the program's first 400-meter hurdles title in seven years - and just the second overall - as he clocked a time of 52.10 to win the event by 0.55 seconds. Combing for a time of 3:10.00, the quartet of Walden, Dicken, White and Koss capped the night by becoming the program's first 4x400-meter relay champion since 2012.
Reynolds rounded out the Falcons' list of event champions on Saturday, as he registered a wind-aided distance of 51'1" to win the triple jump by more than two feet. In addition to his victory in the triple jump, Reynolds also finished third in the high jump - an event that started moments after his final attempt on the triple jump runway. The senior cleared 6'9" to pace the Falcons to a pair of top-four finishes (junior Sam Hinegardner finished fourth in 6'8").
Backed by the sixth-best javelin distance in program history, sophomore Parker Spearman paced the Falcons to four of the top-six marks in that event. Posting a career-best clearance of 217'8" on his final attempt, Spearman broke the Sophomore Class Record by eight inches, en route to a runner-up finish in his first conference championship. Senior Luke Piper finished fourth with a throw of 199'5", while junior Logan Feasline and senior Donny Crabill finished fifth (197'2") and sixth (195'10"), respectively. Feasline added third-place points to the Falcons' total in the discus throw, as he recorded a distance of 171'0" to lead the Falcons to three top-seven marks. Senior Jackson Spalding finished fifth with a season-best distance of 168'6", while junior Garrett Coalson placed seventh with a mark of 162'9".
The Falcons also collected three scoring finishes in the 110-meter hurdles and 5000-meter run, as well as two top-eight marks in the 100-meter dash. Junior Micah Fontaine finished second in the hurdles with a time of 14.46, while senior Calvin Berstler - the conference decathlon champion - and freshman Justin Harmon finished sixth (15.07) and seventh (15.08), respectively. In the night's longest event, junior Jacob Bilvado clocked a time of 14:02.17 to take third in the 5000-meter run, while senior Andrew Johnston and junior Mickey Davey finished fifth (14:09.15) and sixth (14:10.96), respectively. Senior Robbie Anderson and junior Miguel Molas combined for a pair of scoring marks in the shortest event of the championship, as Anderson finished fourth in 10.78 and Molas placed sixth in 10.84.
Anderson added a third-place time of 21.50 in the 200-meter dash, while anchoring the 4x100-meter relay that finished second in 40.87 (Fontaine, Molas, Walden). Senior Zac Petrie rounded out the Falcons' list of scoring finishers, as he placed seventh in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:51.37.
The men, who entered the day trailing Colorado State by 17.50 points, accumulated 141 points on Championship Saturday to win the team title by 20.50 points (204). Colorado State finished second with 183.50 points, while New Mexico took third with 147 points. Utah State finished fourth with 131 points and Wyoming (fifth, 81.50), Boise State (sixth, 48) and Fresno State (seventh, 16) rounded out the team standings for the men.
On the women's side, junior Kathryn Tomczak became the first outdoor pole vault champion in program history - and just second in any season - as she won the event with a clearance of 13'5¾". The junior, who cleared the winning bar on her first attempt, was one of two Falcons to score in the pole vault, as classmate Jerni Self posted a height of 12'10" to finish fourth. That is the first time since 2011 that the Falcons have collected multiple scoring finishes in the pole vault.
Air Force also accounted for a pair of scoring finishes in the 1500-meter and 5000-meter events. Junior Jaci Smith shattered her own Academy record in the night's longest race, as she posted a time of 15:59.40 - the Falcons' first-ever sub-16 race in the outdoor 5000 - to finish third and pace the Falcons to two of the top-four finishes in that race. Senior Carina Gillespie, who took fourth with a time of 16:25.17, recorded two top-four finishes on the day, as she opened Saturday with a fourth-place time of 4:26.29 in the 1500-meter run. Freshman Mahala Norris, who broke the program's Freshman Class Record - and accounted for the sixth-fastest time in program history - during a 16:41.61 performance (10th) in the 5000-meter event, earned a scoring finish for the Falcons at 1500 meters, as she registered the program's eighth-fastest time (4:36.89) to finish fifth.
Sophomore Sierra Rodriguez rounded out the women's scoring finishes on Saturday, as she placed sixth in the javelin throw with a toss of 140'8".
The women finished 10th in the overall standings with 46 points. San Diego State won the meet with 120.50 points, while UNLV (108) edged Colorado State (106.50) for second. Boise State (84) and Utah State (78) completed the top five, while just five points separated New Mexico (sixth, 60), Fresno State (seventh, 58.50), Nevada (eighth, 57.50) and San Jose State (ninth, 55). Air Force finished 10th, while Wyoming completed the 11-team standings with 44 points.
The Falcons return to California on May 24-26, when they head to Sacramento for the opening round of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.