Jan. 8, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Air Force men's track and field team begins the 2013 season ranked 30th in the annual U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's DI Preseason Projections, the USTFCCCA office announced today.
The USTFCCCA preseason computer projections are based on the top returners from each school, with additional consideration given to early-season performances. Contributing to the Falcons' preseason placement are three nationally-ranked returners in All-American Cale Simmons (pole vault, second-18'1¼"), Rob Simmons (pole vault, eighth-17'8½") and Michael Tibbs (heptathlon, 26th-5,402), as well as the men's distance medley relay team (18th-9:35.28).
The defending Mountain West champions are listed second among the 2013 conference schools in the USTFCCCA projections, narrowly trailing No. 27 New Mexico. Wyoming (38), Colorado State (123), Boise State (134) and newcomer Fresno State (unranked) round out the MW men's programs.
In all, 143 teams were ranked from a Division I field that features over 280 men's programs.
Backed by returning Academy record-holder Kassie Gurnell (24th-41'1¼") in the triple jump, the women also received a preseason projection from the USTFCCCA. Listed 114th overall, Air Force has the fourth-highest preseason ranking of the nine Mountain West programs. San Diego State has the highest league listing at 20th, while New Mexico (73), Wyoming (107), Air Force (114), Colorado State (119), Fresno State (124), UNLV (129), Nevada (140) and Boise State (unranked) round out the league.
In addition to being the only service academy programs to receive a national preseason projection, the Air Force men and women are the highest ranked programs among Division I teams in the state of Colorado.
The Falcons kick off 2013 this Saturday (Jan. 12), when they host the annual Air Force All-Comers Meet at the Cadet Field House Indoor Track. Action begins at 8 a.m., with the women's weight throw.