LOGAN, Utah - The Air Force men's track and field team captured its second straight Mountain West title - and its fourth outdoor title in as six years - on Saturday, May 13, as it wrapped up action at the 2017 MW Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Logan, Utah. The Falcons collected five individual event titles, while the women accounted for one of the best team performances in program history.
Junior Jamiel Trimble captured a pair of individual event titles, while anchoring the 4x100-meter relay to its third-straight conference title. Trimble, joined by freshman Terrell Bradford, senior Zach Johnson and junior Robbie Anderson, opened Championship Saturday with a winning time of 39.70 - the second-fastest mark in Academy history and a new Ralph Maughan Stadium Record.
Less than one hour later, Trimble earned the conference title in the 110-meter hurdles for the third-straight year, as he clocked a time of 13.72 - a wind-legal time that shattered the program's Junior Class Record by 0.43 seconds and broke the stadium's 18-year-old mark. He also defended his conference title in the 200-meter dash, as he ran a MW Championship Meet Record time of 20.33 to claim his 10th individual title at a conference championship meet.
Sophomore Sedacy Walden paced the Falcons to a one-two punch in the 400-meter dash, as he clocked a 46.21 - the second-fastest time in Academy history, the fourth-fastest time in MW Championship Meet history and the fifth-fastest time in Mountain West history - to earn the Falcons' second title in as many years in that event. Junior Tyler Koss joined Walden at the top of the awards' podium, as he clocked the third-fastest time in Academy history - 46.41 - to finish second.
Air Force collected its sixth-straight title in the outdoor pole vault, as senior Kyle Pater cleared 17'6½" to earn the conference championship. Pater, who became the third Academy vaulter in as many years to sweep the indoor and outdoor titles in that event, was one of two Falcons to medal in the championship meet, as freshman Connor Stevens cleared 15'7¾" to place third.
Walden, Koss and Trimble also joined junior Chip White on the 4x400-meter relay team that finished second in an Academy-record time of 3:05.92. The quartet, which clocked a time that bettered the old Meet and Stadium records, shattered the previous program record of 3:09.10 that had stood since 1966.
Air Force saw five additional athletes earn individual medals during Saturday's action in Logan. Johnson ran a wind-aided time of 10.40 to finish second in the 100-meter run, while fellow seniors Darby Maier and Taylor Hulslander earned runner-up finishes in the shot put (58'8") and javelin throw (222'11"), respectively. Sophomore Jacob Bilvado clocked a time of 15:11.55 to finish second in the 5000-meter run - and less than one second behind the nation's fourth-ranked runner in that event. Senior Matt Dorsey ran a 3:47.81 to finish third in the 1500-meter run, while junior John Reynolds captured his third event medal of the weekend with a third-place distance of 50'0¾" in the triple jump.
Hulslander paced the Falcons' javelin squad to three of the top-five finishes in that event, as junior Donny Crabill finished fourth (208'0") and senior Eric Hoff placed fifth with a career-best throw of 207'10". The Falcons also accounted for a third scoring finish in the pole vault, as freshman Logan Grizzle cleared 15'7¾" to place seventh.
In addition to his runner-up finish in the 100-meter dash, Johnson broke the 21-second mark in the 200-meter dash (20.91) to finish fourth in the meet and move into third on the program's all-time standings. White clocked the Academy's fifth-fastest time during a fourth-place performance in the 400-meter hurdles (51.57), while sophomore Micah Fontaine registered the 10th-fastest 110-meter hurdles time in program history (14.18) to place fifth in that event.
Freshman Michael Rhoads finished fourth in the 800-meter run (1:49.66), while Dorsey finished seventh in a time of 1:52.59. Bradford added a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter dash, while sophomore Garrett Coalson earned that same placement in the shot put (52'10¾").
The men registered 218.50 points to win their fourth outdoor title since 2012 - and their sixth overall title in as many years (indoor titles in 2012, 2016; outdoor titles in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017) - by a 53-point margin. Colorado State, ranked 15th in the national standings, finished second with 165.50 points, while host Utah State finished third with 133 points and New Mexico (fourth, 102), Boise State (fifth, 92) and Wyoming (sixth, 81.50) rounded out the team standings.
On the women's side, Air Force collected a pair of top-three finishes and made five improvements to the Academy's all-time list.
Junior Shelley Spires improved her own Academy record in the high jump - and bettered the conference's previous all-time and championship meet records - as she cleared 6'1½" to finish second in the overall standings. The 4x400-meter relay of freshman Kelsey Owens, sophomore Kaliyah Gorman, senior Alexa Chacon and freshman Megan Irvine clocked the third-fastest time in Academy history - 3:44.10 - to finish third and capture the program's first-ever medal in an outdoor sprint event.
In addition to book-ending the 4x400-meter relay, Irvine and Owens also scored for the Falcons in the 400-meter dash, as Irvine placed fifth in a time of 54.97 and Owens clocked the eighth-fastest time in program history (56.17) to finish seventh. The Falcons also collected multiple scoring finishes in the 400-meter hurdles for the first time in program history, as sophomore Aryn Maxwell and Chacon finished fifth (1:01.63) and sixth (1:01.83), respectively. Air Force added its first scoring finish in the 4x100-meter relay since 2012 after Maxwell, Gorman, Owens and freshman Ashley Cameron finished seventh with a time of 48.24.
Junior Carina Gillespie, who improved her No. 2 placement on the Academy's all-time standings in the 1500-meter run (4:22.25, adjusted for altitude), paced the Falcons to multiple scoring finishes in a pair of events. She ran an actual time of 4:27.59 to finish fourth in the 1500-meter run, before clocking a time of 16:46.34 to finish seventh in the 5000-meter run. With an altitude-converted mark of 16:22.08, Gillespie debuted in third on the Academy's all-time list and break the program's Junior Class Record. Fellow junior Giulianna Vessa finished seventh in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:31.06, while senior Lindy Long placed eighth in the 5000-meter race following a time of 16:52.93.
The women accumulated 59 points - the second-highest total in program history - to finish seventh and account for the second-highest team finish ever. San Diego State won the meet with 159.50 points, while Colorado State took second with 134 points. UNLV (93) edged in-state rival Nevada (92.50) by a half-point, while Fresno State rounded out the top-five with 67 points. Boise State tallied 61 points to finish just two points ahead of the Falcons, while less than 10 points separated the final four teams - Utah State (42.50), New Mexico (41.50), Wyoming (36) and San Jose State (33).
Air Force returns to action on May 25-27, when select Falcons travel to Austin, Texas, for the preliminary round of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A complete list of qualifiers will be announced next week.