Air Force Heads to Annual Big 12/MWC Challenge

    Melissa Beerse
    Melissa Beerse

    Jan. 23, 2009

    The Air Force track and field team leaves the Academy for its first road competition of the season on Saturday, Jan. 24. Facing several nationally ranked teams, the Falcons will travel to Lincoln, Neb., for the third annual Big 12/Mountain West Conference Challenge and the Nebraska Wesleyan Open.

    ABOUT THE CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
    At the Conference Challenge, the Falcons will team up with Colorado State and Wyoming to represent the MWC, while Kansas State (men ranked 18th), Missouri (men ranked 23rd) and Nebraska (men ranked 15th, women ranked 24th) will represent the Big 12. Each school will be able to enter a maximum of two athletes in each event, with the top two from each conference earning points. The meet is slated to start at 1:30 p.m., with the women's weight throw. The first running event (the women's 5000-meter run) is scheduled for a 2 p.m., start.

    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
    The meet is slated to start at 1:30 p.m., with the women's weight throw. The first running event (the women's 5000-meter run) is scheduled for a 2 p.m., start.

    ABOUT THE NEBRASKA WESLEYAN OPEN
    The NWU Open will begin at the conclusion of the Conference Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Bob Devaney Center on Nebraska's campus. The start time of that meet is tentatively slated for 5:30 p.m.

    QUICK QUALIFIER
    Junior Melissa Beerse cleared a NCAA Provisional Qualifying Mark in just her second meet of the season at the Air Force All-Comers Meet. Beerse won the pole vault with a height of 12'11¾" to rank first in the conference and 10th in the nation.

    FALCONS POWER UP
    Air Force has accounted for two of the top-three pole vault clearances in the conference. In addition to Melissa Beerse's conference leading 12'11¾" mark in the pole vault, freshman Kimber Shealey is tied for third with a clearance just one foot behind (11'11¾").

     

     

    IN THE RANKINGS
    Junior Sara Neubauer also leads the conference in the shot put, after throwing a 48'6" at the Air Force All-Comers Meet. From the track, senior Kellen Curry is ranked second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.16.

    LINDEMAN LOGS IN
    Each week, head coach Ralph Lindeman will visit GoAirForceFalcons.com to share his thoughts on the team and the previous week's performances. This special feature can be found on the "Sidelines" section of the Air Force track and field page.

    NEUBAUER NEWS
    Sara Neubauer won the shot put at the Air Force All-Comers Meet with a throw of 48'6". That mark is a new Junior Class record, displacing Mary Manning's 1984 mark by over three feet. In her third season, Neubauer now holds the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Class records in the shot put. In addition, she competed in the weight throw, accounting for the ninth-best throw in Academy history at 46'11¾".

    WOMEN OUT ON TOP
    The Falcons accounted for five first-place finishes at the Air Force All-Comers Meet, including four from the women's program. From the field, juniors Melissa Beerse and Sara Neubauer won the pole vault and shot put, respectively, while sophomore Katherine Ward took first in the 3000-meter run and freshman Auriele Fain won the mile. On the men's side, senior Kellen Curry won the 60-meter hurdles.

    RECORD BOOK ADDITIONS
    Freshmen pole vaulters Kimber Shealy and Tawny Lambuth adjusted their standings in the program record book at the All-Comers Meet. At 11'11¾", Shealy improved her fifth-place ranking, while Lambuth cleared the seventh-best height in Academy history at 11'5¾". In her collegiate debut, fellow freshman Paige Blackburn posted the seventh-best shot put distance (42'11½") in Academy history.

    WHAT'S ON DECK
    Air Force returns to the Academy for a pair of competitions next weekend. The Falcons will host the Air Force Combined Events Meet on Friday-Saturday (Jan. 30-31), before welcoming Colorado, Colorado State and Wyoming to the Cadet Field House on Saturday (Jan. 31) for the first-ever Air Force Duals.

    Inside Track & Field