Jan. 31, 2013
The Air Force track and field team heads out on the road this weekend (Feb. 1-2), traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., for the annual New Mexico Collegiate Classic. The two-day meet, which will be held at the ABQ Convention Center, begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, with the women's long jump.
The New Mexico Collegiate Classic will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center and admission is $5 for all spectators. Competing team include Adams State, Air Force, Arizona, Colorado Mesa, Colorado School of Mines, CSU-Pueblo, Langston, Metro State, Miami, New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands, New Mexico State, San Diego State, Tulane, UTEP, Washington, Western State and West Texas A&M.
FRIDAY'S NEW MEXICO CLASSIC SCHEDULE
3:00 p.m.: Women's Long Jump, Men's Long Jump; 4:00 p.m.: Men's Pole Vault; 4:00 p.m.: Women's Weigh Throw, Men's Weight Throw; 4:30 p.m.: Men's High Jump, Women's High Jump; 5:20 p.m.: 400-Meter Dash (unseeded); 600-Meter Run; 400-Meter Hurdles, 200-Meter Dash, Women's Mile (unseeded); Men's Mile (invitational), 5000-Meter Run, Distance Medley Relay; Men's 3000-Meter Run (unseeded). Unless otherwise indicated, the men will compete first in all running events.
SATURDAY'S NEW MEXICO CLASSIC SCHEDULE
10:30 a.m.: Women's Shot Put, Men's Shot Put; 11:00 a.m.: Women's Pole Vault; 11:00 a.m.: Women's Triple Jump, Men's Triple Jump. 11:00 a.m.: 60-Meter Hurdles (prelims); 60-Meter Dash (prelims); Mile Run (seeded); 400-Meter Dash (seeded); 60-Meter Hurdles (finals); 60-Meter Dash (finals); 800-Meter Run; 3000-Meter Run (seeded); 4x400-Meter Relay; Unless otherwise indicated, the men will compete first in all running events.
IT'S HOMECOMING WEEKEND
Eight members of the track and field program hail from New Mexico, including three - Sean Bapty, Bryce Mitchell, Marie Rossillon - from the Albuquerque area. Anna Olesinski (Roswell), Steel and Stone Shoaf (Alamogordo), Kim Smith (Kirtland) and Lesly Torres (Los Lunas) also call New Mexico home.
NEWS FROM THE STATE SHAPED LIKE A MITTEN
It was a solid weekend for Falcons from the state of Michigan during the Air Force Invitational on Jan. 24-26, as two Michiganders accounted for both event titles on the men's side, while another pair impacted the Academy's all-time list. Alex Lindsay (Rochester Hills) won the 800-meter run in his first appearance of the season at that distance, while David Ptacek (Allegan) captured the 400-meter title with a career-best time. Evan McDowell (Hudsonville) moved into seventh on the program's all-time list in the heptathlon and Rachel Herald (Rockford) matched her career-best clearance in the high jump, which is ninth in the program's record books. In addition, Jake Spuller (Dexter) clocked a team-leading, season-best time to finish as the collegiate runner-up in the 200-meter dash - his fourth race in a 25-hour span.
THE WINNING WAYS
David Ptacek (400-meter dash) and Alex Lindsay (800-meter run) accounted for event titles on the men's side at the Air Force Invitational, while Kassie Gurnell claimed a title in the triple jump for the women's team. Ptacek clocked a career-best 49.58 to win the 400-meter race, Lindsay finished first in his debut 800-meter event with a time of 1:54.41 and Gurnell recorded a distance of 40'4¼" to win the triple jump.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Saturday's action at the Air Force Invitational accounted for several changes to the program's all-time record book. Angelea Ross improved her distance in the triple jump by seven inches (38'9½") to move into fourth on the Academy's all-time list, while Paige Shirley added eight inches to her clearance in the pole vault to move into sixth all-time with a mark of 12'9½". In addition, Melissa Fuerst debuted in 10th on the all-time list in the mile (4:50.60, adjusted for altitude), while Rachel Herald matched her career-best high jump mark of 5'6", which is sixth on the program standings.
GOING THE DISTANCE
With a career-best throw of 50'6¾" at the Air Force Invitational, Grant Hamilton became the third Falcon thrower to break the 50-foot mark this season. He joins team-leader Brian Ford (53'5½") and James Chambers, who recorded a career-best 53'1¾" at Saturday's meet.
Backed by five career-best marks, Evan McDowell recorded the seventh-best heptathlon total in Academy history during the Air Force Invitational. In addition to matching his personal-best mark in the 60-meter dash and adding nearly one foot to his distance in the long jump, McDowell collected career-leading marks in the shot put and pole vault by at least one foot. He also shaved 11 seconds off of his 1000-meter time to finish the two-day event with a career-best 4,965 points - a personal improvement by 321 points.
Lesly Torres recorded a career-best distance of 17'8" during the long jump portion of the pentathlon on Jan. 24. That mark, a career improvement by over an inch, is the 10th-best distance in Academy history. The senior became the first Falcon since 2010 to impact the event's all-time list and the second since 2007.
OFF TO A FAST START
In her first collegiate pentathlon, Kendra Smith recorded the ninth-highest total in Academy history, as she accounted for 3,078 points at the Air Force Invitational on Jan. 24. She tallied career-best marks in her first three events, including a 0.24 decrease in time on the 60-meter hurdles and a one-foot improvement in the shot put.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The Falcons return to the Academy next Saturday (Feb. 9) to host the second-annual Air Force Team Challenge. In addition, several members of the program's distance and middle distance teams will travel to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., over the Feb. 8-9 weekend.