Jan. 9, 2013
The Air Force track and field team returns to action this weekend, when it hosts the annual Air Force All-Comers Meet on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Academy's Cadet Field House Indoor Track. Action begins at 8 a.m., with the women's weight throw.
The Air Force All-Comers Meet will begin at 8 a.m. (please note the start time is one hour earlier than stated on the original meet information sheet released in November). A complete schedule is available below. Due to the women's basketball game at 1 p.m., fans entering the Cadet Field House after 12 p.m. (noon) will be required to purchase a $2 ticket. In-meet updates will be available on the team's Twitter account (@af_trackfield).
COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
8:00 a.m.: Women's Weight Throw, Men's Weight Throw, Women's Shot Put, Men's Shot Put; 9:00 a.m.: Men's Pole Vault, Women's Pole Vault; 9:00 a.m.: Men's Long Jump, Men's Triple Jump; 9:00 a.m.: Women's Long Jump, Women's Triple Jump; 9:00 a.m.: Women's High Jump, Men's High Jump; 10:00: Mile Run, 60-Meter Hurdles, 400-Meter Dash, 60-Meter Dash, 800-Meter Run, 200-Meter Dash, 3000-Meter Run, Mile Relay (the women will compete first in all running events).
At the conclusion of the Air Force All-Comers Meet, vehicles will be asked to exit the Academy to the west of the Field House, due to incoming traffic for the Air Force-Army hockey game that is scheduled to begin at 4:05 p.m. Vehicles should plan to exit the parking lot through the service drive at the northeast corner of the Field House and follow the road around the athletic fields to reach North Gate Boulevard.
FOLLOW THE FALCONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The track and field team can be found on several social media outlets this season. The team has a new Twitter page, which is available by following @af_trackfield. Live updates from home competitions will be available on the team's Twitter page. The Falcons also remain on Facebook and can be "liked" at www.Facebook.com/AirForceTF.
MEN RANKED 30TH IN USTFCCCA PRESEASON PROJECTIONS
The men's team was ranked 30th in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Computer Projections. Air Force has the second-highest rating of the MW schools, finishing just three places behind New Mexico (27th). In addition, the Falcons are the highest ranked service academy and the highest ranked program among DI schools on the Front Range.
LEADING THE WAY
After the first month of competition, Cale Simmons and Kassie Gurnell lead the NCAA in their respective events. Simmons holds the nation's top spot in the pole vault with a clearance of 17'8½", while Gurnell leads Division I triple jumpers with a distance of 40'6¾". In addition to Simmons' NCAA-leading mark, Dylan Bell, Cort Rogers and Joey Uhle are tied for 10th with matching marks of 16'8¾", while Michael Tibbs and Elliott Beski are ranked 18th (16'4¾") and 21st (16'0¾"), respectively.
FORD NAMED AIR FORCE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Brian Ford was named the department's Athlete of the Week after recording the second-best weight throw mark in Academy history (61'0¼") at the Air Force Holiday Open. Ford unloaded the winning throw on his final attempt to easily defeat the field by over two feet. In addition to becoming just the fifth Air Force athlete to break the 60-foot plateau in the weight throw, Ford surpassed the program's Senior Class Record by one foot, displacing a mark that had stood since 1992.
WHAT A WAY TO START THE SEASON
Two non-traditional Academy records fell during the season-opening Air Force Holiday Open. Jake Spuller clocked a time of 34.85 to set a new standard in the 300-meter dash, while David Ptacek recorded a new 500-meter record after crossing the finish line in 1:05.47.
IT'S A CLASS ACT
It took just one meet for Brian Ford and Kassie Gurnell to set Academy Class Records in their respective events. With a career-best throw of 61'0¼", Ford broke the program's 21-year-old Senior Class mark with a winning effort in the weight throw, while Gurnell opened the year with a triple jump mark of 40'6¾" to break the Academy's Junior Class Record that had stood since 2003.
MAKING A NAME FOR YOURSELF
Two freshmen debuted on the Academy's all-time list during their first collegiate competition. Lea Ross recorded the sixth-best triple jump mark in program history (38'2¼") at the Air Force Holiday Open, while Riley Vann debuted in 10th on the program's pole vault standings with a winning clearance of 11'11¾".
THE LOCAL FLAVOR
The Falcons have 15 athletes that hail from the state of Colorado, including five -Jen Bremser (Sand Creek HS), Hannah Everson (Liberty HS), Nolan Mayhew (Cheyenne Mountain HS), Kobi Rex (Lewis Palmer HS) and Kendra Smith (Liberty HS) - that are from the Colorado Springs area. In addition, Matt Bell (Denver), Elliot Beski (Greenwood Village), Matt Caldwell (Centennial), Grant Caswell (Englewood), Chase Cooper (Centennial), Brian Ford (Alamosa), Evan Fortney (Denver), Gavin McHenry (Parker), Morgan Mosby (Evergreen) and Casey Riggs (Loveland) all call Colorado home.
LOOK WHO'S BACK FOR THE INDOOR SEASON
The reigning Mountain West men's champions return one NCAA All-American and Academy record holder in Cale Simmons (pole vault), one* individual MW champion (Simmons), four members of conference-winning relay teams (Anthony Delgado and Jake Spuller, 4x400-meter relay; Lance Wolfsmith and Matt Caldwell, distance medley relay) and five additional all-conference selections (Alex Lindsay, 800-meter run; Travis Smith, high jump; Zach Wood, high jump; Joey Uhle, pole vault; Michael Tibbs, heptathlon). Coming off of its best indoor season, the women's team returns three all-conference selections, including Academy record holder Kassie Gurnell (triple jump) and two members of the MW-winning distance medley relay team (Melissa Fuerst, Morgan Mosby). *Mountain West high jump champion Kobi Rex will redshirt the 2013 indoor season.
THE DOORS ARE ALWAYS OPEN
Air Force will host five home competitions during the indoor season. In addition to hosting the season opening Air Force Holiday Open in December 2012, the Falcons will host the Air Force All-Comers Meet (Jan. 12), the Air Force Indoor Combined Events Meet (Jan. 24-25), the Air Force Invitational (Jan. 25-26) and the Air Force Team Challenge (Feb. 9).
LEADING THE WAY
Seven seniors will serve as team captains of the 2012-13 Air Force track and field team. Sprinter Anthony Delgado, manager Riley Feeney, distance runner Andrew Quallio and pole vault Cale Simmons were chosen by their teammates as captains for the men's team, while sprinter Bethany Gross, middle distance runner Morgan Mosby and combined-events athlete Lesly Torres were selected to serve the women's team.
ON THE SIDELINES
Ralph Lindeman returns to the track for his 24th season as Air Force's head coach. An 11-time conference coach of the year, Lindeman guided the men's team to their first Mountain West title during the 2012 indoor season. He is joined on the Falcons' coaching staff by associate head coach Scott Irving and assistant coaches Juli Benson, Allen Johnson and Scott Steffan, as well as volunteer coaches Bob Graf, Mark Stanforth and Ron White.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The Falcons head to Lincoln, Neb., next weekend for the annual adidas Classic on Saturday, Jan. 19. Competing at the Bob Devaney Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska, Air Force will face teams from Iowa, Nebraska, Oral Roberts and Wichita State. In addition, members of the pole vault team will travel to Reno, Nev., for the annual Pole Vault Summit on Jan. 18-19.