June 7, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - With a career-best time of 8:41.05, Air Force senior Jim Walmsley earned a spot in the finals of the 3000-meter steeplechase during the semifinal round of competition at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, June 7, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Walmsley shaved 10 seconds off of his previous best time to finish fifth in the second heat and earn an automatic spot in the championship finals on Saturday. That time, the third-fastest mark in Academy history, placed Walmsley seventh overall in the 24-runner semifinal.
Competing in the second heat of 12 runners, Walmsley stayed within the lead pack right from the start. With the lead pack constantly shifting positions, he moved between third and sixth during the first seven laps at Drake Stadium. He took over the fifth spot during the final lap and used a 1:06.56 split to place fifth in the heat and clock the career-best time of 8:41.05.
The recently commissioned second lieutenant will return to action on Saturday, June 9, when he competes in the national championship race of the steeplechase at 11:52 a.m. Action continues for Air Force tomorrow (Friday, June 8) when junior Cale Simmons participates in the pole vault at 4:30 p.m.