USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – Two Academy records and nine first-place finishes highlighted a successful night of action, as the Air Force track and field team kicked off the 2017-18 season with its annual Holiday Open at the Cadet Field House on Friday, Dec. 8.
Senior John Reynolds broke the Academy’s 13-year-old record in the triple jump, as he recorded a distance of 51’5¾” to win the competition by more than five feet. Adding more than a foot to the distance he recorded as a sophomore, Reynolds added over six inches to a standard that had stood since 2004.
Sophomore Michael Rhoads also set an Academy record, as he clocked a Meet Record time of 1:03.50 to shatter the year-old mark at 500 meters. Rhoads, who paced Air Force to a one-two finish in that event, was one of two Falcons to better the old record, as freshman Zachary Dicken took second in 1:04.20.
The women saw a pair of freshmen impact the Academy record book in their collegiate debut. Devyn Jones clocked the program’s sixth-fastest time in the 60-meter hurdles (8.89) during her first race, while Cambria Galloway registered a program’s ninth-best distance in the long jump (17’9”) after spending the fall as a member the Falcons’ volleyball team.
Sophomore Megan Irvine helped Air Force sweep the individual titles in the 500-meter dash, as she clocked a time of 1:12.41 to win that event and take more than a second off of the previous Meet Record. Irvine also led the women to a pair of top-five finishes in that event, as classmate Kelsey Owens finished fifth in a time of 1:18.67.
Highlighted by a Meet Record performance from Kathryn Tomczak, Air Force swept the individual titles in the pole vault. Adding nearly one foot to the program’s Junior Class Record and four inches to the Holiday Open Record, Tomczak won the event with a clearance of 13’9 ¼”. The junior also paced the Falcons to a one-two finish in the women’s event, as classmate Jerni Self registered a season-opening mark of 12’5½” to take second. Fellow junior Sam Hinegardner led Air Force to a sweep of the top-four spots in the men’s event, as he won the event with a career-best clearance of 16’6¾”. Freshman Justin Harmon and sophomore Conner Stevens also cleared 16’6¾” to finish second and third, respectively, while sophomore Logan Grizzle tied for fourth with a height of 16’0¾”.
The Falcons earned four additional first-place finishes on the night, while accounting for three of the top-five finishes in all four events. Senior Jake LaCoste won the long jump with a career-best 22’7”, while Harmon finished second at 21’3½” and sophomore George Brown placed fourth at 21’0”. Senior Conner Wilburn clocked a 1000-meter time of 2:34.32 to win that event and lead Air Force to a 1-2-4 finish, as sophomore Trevor Whiteside took second (2:34.37) and junior Gordon Kowalkowski finished fourth (2:36.01). Junior Micah Fontaine clocked a career-best 8.05 to win the 60-meter hurdles, while classmates David Collins and Keith Batista finished third (8.16) and fourth (8.17), respectively. Shelley Spires rounded out the Falcons’ list of event winners, as she cleared 5’10¾” – a new Senior Class Record – to win the high jump. Freshman Hannah Nance and sophomore Heidi Borgerding tied for fifth in that event with matching clearances of 5’5”.
Junior Miguel Molas was the top collegiate finisher in the 60-meter dash, as he registered a personal-best time of 6.83 to finish second in the full 53-runner field. Sophomores Terrell Bradford and Brown also placed within the top four of the overall field, as they placed third (career-best 6.86) and fourth (debut 6.90), respectively.
Air Force also accounted for three of the top-five finishes in the 300-meter dash and shot put, as juniors Sedacy Walden and Garrett Coalson paced the groups with runner-up finishes. Walden clocked a time of 34.48 to take second in his first 300-meter dash, while seniors Tyler Koss and Robbie Anderson finished third and fourth, respectively, after the timer had to go to the thousandths to break their 34.64 tie (34.631 for Koss, 34.636 for Anderson). Coalson registered a throw of 54’3” to finish second in the shot put, while senior Jackson Spalding took fourth (51’4¾”) and junior Logan Feasline finished fourth (50’6½”).
In addition to winning the pole vault, Hinegardner placed second in the high jump (6’8¾”). He paced Air Force to a pair of top-four finishes in that event, as senior Calvin Berstler cleared 6’4¾” to take fourth. Classmate Brooks Hardy earned the same finish in the weight throw (54’4¼”), while sophomore Anthony Davis recorded a distance of 45’4½” to join Reynolds in the top four of the triple jump (fourth). Freshman Addyson Smith rounded out the Falcons’ top-five finishers, as she threw 40’1” to take fifth in the shot put.
Air Force returns to action in January, when they travel to Boulder, Colo., for the Potts Indoor Invitational. The two-day meet begins on Friday, Jan. 12, at the CU Indoor Practice Facility.