Three Falcons Collect All-Conference Accolades
May 15, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Junior Sara Neubauer earned all-conference honors in the discus throw, while adjusting her Academy record in the hammer throw, as the Air Force track and field team concluded the third day of action at the Mountain West Conference Track and Field Championships this evening (Friday, May 15) in Laramie, Wyo.
The junior was one of three all-conference honorees for the Falcons during the third day of action. Freshmen Kimber Shealy (pole vault) and Robert Drye (hammer throw) also claimed all-conference accolades during their first outdoor championship meet.
Neubauer was the runner-up in the discus throw, finishing just a foot shy of the meet winner. Her total of 165'5" is a regional qualifying mark. Prior to her performance in the discus throw, Neubauer rewrote her Academy record in the hammer throw, as she finished fourth. In just her first year of throwing the implement, she finished fourth with a regional qualifying mark of 182'10".
Drye becomes the Falcons' first-ever all-MWC honoree in the hammer throw, as he placed third with a career-best distance of 187'7". That total is the seventh-best distance in Academy history. The freshman was one of three Falcons to score in the hammer throw. Junior Dan Paladino placed fourth with a distance of 186'8", while senior Ian Hurdle accounted for a seventh-place score of 173'1". Both Drye and Paladino qualified to the regional meet with their distances, while Hurdle posted a career-best mark.
Shealy matched her career-best clearance of 12'7½" to third in the pole vault. It is the second time this year that a member of the women's vault team claimed all-conference honors, as sophomore Rachel Simmons placed third during the indoor season. Air Force has earned an all-MWC nod during three of the last four conference meets (indoor and outdoor).
Senior Kirk Devine scored for the Falcons in the discus throw, tossing a 168'1" to place fifth. Classmate Skylar Morgan, who won the decathlon yesterday, placed seventh in the high jump with a clearance of 6'2¾". He accounted for that finish while qualifying for the finals of the 110-meter hurdles (15.08).
Fellow senior Matt Williams was one of two Falcons to score in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Williams clocked a time of 9:23.45 to take fifth, while sophomore Justin Tyner placed seventh with a time of 9:34.48. Freshman James Walmsley tallied a time of 33:12.23 to record an eighth-place score in the 10,000-meter run.
Although she didn't pick up a scoring finish, freshman Paige Blackburn recorded a career-best toss of 146'7" in the discus. That mark is the 10th-best distance in Academy history.
Several qualifying heats were contested this afternoon and the Falcons qualified numerous runners into tomorrow's finals.
Senior Kellen Curry was one of three Falcons to qualify in the 110-meter hurdles, as he clocked a time of 14.45 to easily win the second heat and finish second overall. Freshman Bryce Bergman (14.57, fourth) and Morgan also moved on the finals. Curry also posted an advancing time of 21.09 in the 200-meter dash, finishing third in the preliminary heat.
Sophomore Matthew Jones posted a qualifying time of 52.96 (sixth) in the 400-meter hurdles, while senior Matthew Davis advanced in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.65 (seventh).
Air Force qualified a pair of runners to the finals of the 800-meter run. Junior Ally Romanko clocked a time of 2:23.38 to finish second, while classmate Becca Burditt placed eighth with a time of 2:21.72. Auriele Fain's time of 5:05.92 in the 1500-meter run was eighth in the preliminary and earned the freshman a spot in tomorrow's finals.
The men are currently in fourth, although just three points separate the second, third and fourth-place teams. BYU leads the field with 84 points, while Wyoming (47), New Mexico (45) and Air Force (44) battle for the second-place spot. The women are in fifth with 25 points after three days of action. BYU leads the way with 64 points, while Colorado State is second with 53 points. New Mexico (34.5) and Utah (34) are third and fourth, while the Falcons are close behind in fifth.
The Falcons conclude action at the conference meet tomorrow (Saturday, May 16) in Laramie, Wyo.