May 14, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Highlighted by senior Sara Neubauer's first-ever title in the discus throw, the Air Force track and field team concluded the third day of action at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., on May 14. Despite competing against strong and gusting winds, the Falcons accounted for one conference title and three all-conference honors during the first full day of team competition.
Neubauer dominated the field by over 13 feet to claim her first conference crown in the discus throw. Tossing into a heavy crosswind, Neubauer recorded a throw of 159'4" to win the event. Her discus title came just hours after setting an Academy record in the hammer throw. Placing third with a throw of 193'7", Neubauer blasted her previous standard in the hammer by over seven feet.
The women also earned points in the discus throw from sophomore Paige Blackburn, who finished fourth with a toss of 144'3". Classmate Kimber Shealy set a personal-best clearance of 12'9½" in the pole vault to place fifth. That height improved Shealy's No. 2 ranking on the Academy's all-time list.
On the men's side, sophomore Jonathan Rock recorded the Falcons' best finish of the day, as he took third in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 32:34.14. It marks the ninth straight year that Air Force has claimed a top-three finish in the 10,000-meter race. Air Force eanred two of the top-five finishers in that race, as freshman Jeremy Drenckhahn placed fifth in 32:53.97.
The Falcons also claimed a pair of scores in the high jump, as freshmen Zach Wood and Travis Smith finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Wood cleared the bar at a career-best height of 6'7" to take fourth, while Smith posted a personal-best mark of 6'4¾" to finish fifth.
Sophomore Robert Drye used an impressive final attempt to finish fourth in the hammer throw. Entering the final throw in sixth place, Drye tossed a 185'10" to move up two spots and take fourth. Fellow sophomore James Cole tallied points for the Falcons in the discus throw, as he tossed 159'4" to take seventh.
Several qualifying events took place today, as well.
Sophomore Bryce Bergman qualified for both the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdle events. He placed fourth in the qualifier of the 110-meter hurdles (14.76), while finishing third in the qualifying round of the 400-meter hurdles (52.72).
Junior Tyler Stanley advanced in the men's 800-meter run, while senior Ally Romanko recorded a qualifying time in the women's race. Stanley finished third in the qualifying race with a time of 1:51.72, while Romanko used a third-place time of 2:14.37 to advance to the finals. Winning the third heat, Romanko was the only runner not from BYU to finish within the top five.
Although she did not score for the Falcons, freshman Bethany Gross recorded a career-best distance of 18'2¼" in the long jump to move into sixth on the program's all-time list.
Colorado State currently leads the women's field with 67 points, while New Mexico (45.50) and BYU (45) are battling in second and third, respectively. Air Force is in fourth with 26.50 points, edging out UNLV (26), San Diego State (25) and TCU (24). Utah is in eighth with 13 points, while Wyoming is in ninth with one point.
On the men's side, BYU holds the lead in the team standings with 94 points. Wyoming is currently in second with 58 points, while New Mexico sits in third with 47. Colorado State (32) holds a two-point margin over Air Force for fourth, while TCU rounds out the field with 12 points.
Air Force concludes action at the MWC Championships tomorrow (May 15) afternoon. Competition begins at noon at the Great Friends of New Mexico Track Stadium.