Feb. 7, 2013
The Air Force track and field team returns to the Academy this weekend to host the Air Force Team Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Cadet Field House Indoor Track. While the majority of the team will take part in the eight-team competition, which will serve as the Falcons' final home meet of the indoor season, select distance runners will travel to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic on Feb. 8-9.
Air Force will welcome seven teams to the Academy's Cadet Field House Indoor Track this weekend, including a pair of nationally ranked squads in BYU (No. 19 men) and Wichita State (No. 23 women). Colorado, Colorado State, Long Beach State, Northern Colorado and Wyoming will also compete in the all-Division I meet. Admission to the meet is free until 1 p.m., when the ticket office opens for the Air Force-Nevada women's basketball game. In-meet updates will be available on the team's official Twitter feed (@af_trackfield).
AIR FORCE TEAM CHALLENGE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
8:30 a.m.: Women's Weight Throw, Men's Weight Throw, Women's Shot Put, Men's Shot Put; 10 a.m.: Women's Pole Vault, Men's Pole Vault; 10:00 a.m.: Men's Long Jump (south runway), Men's Triple Jump, Women's Triple Jump; 10:00 a.m.: Women's Long Jump (north runway); 10:00 a.m.: Women's High Jump, Men's High Jump; 11:00 a.m.: 60-Meter Hurdles (qualifying), 60-Meter Dash (qualifying), Mile Run, 60-Meter Hurdles (final), 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).
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Air Force will send 14 of its distance runners to Seattle, Wash., this weekend for the annual Husky Classic at Dempsey Field House. Annette Eichenberger, Rebecca Esselstein and Alex Lindsay will compete in the 800-meter run; Ted Artz, Jake Hawkins, Morgan Mosby, Zach Perkins and Lance Wolfsmith will run the mil; Melissa Fuerst will run in participate in the 3000-meter run and Matt Bell, Isaiah Bragg, Jen Bremser, Jeremy Drenckhahn and Andrew Quallio will compete in the 5000-meter run.
KENT NAMED AIR FORCE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
William Kent was named the Academy's Athlete of the Week on Feb. 4, after he improved his overall distance in the weight throw by nearly five feet to win the New Mexico Classic and became the sixth thrower in Academy history to break the 60-foot mark in the weight throw. Kent, who reset his PR twice during competition, unleashed the winning throw of 60'10½" on his next to last attempt to debut in third on Air Force's all-time list.
DID YOU KNOW?
Since the program started, six Falcons have surpassed the 60-foot mark in weight throw competition ... with three of those throwers residing on the current roster. Brian Ford (61'0¼") and William Kent (60'10½") broke that plateau this season, while Jalen Fooster threw a 60'3¾" last year. In fact, the current trio holds three of the top four distances in Academy history.
THE MIGHTY MILE
Two of the Academy's Class Records for the mile fell at the New Mexico Classic over the Feb. 1-2 weekend. With a time of 4:05.12 (adjusted for altitude), Zach Perkins broke Mark Walters' 2004 Sophomore Class Record on Friday night, while Patrick Corona cut Walters' 2003 Freshman Class Record to 4:10.74a on Saturday afternoon.
STAKING THEIR CLAIM
With a time of 3:51.06, the women's 4x400-meter relay team of Bethany Gross, Annette Eichenberger, Morgan Malone and Naomi Alston combined for the third-fastest time in Academy history at the New Mexico Classic. With the addition, Gross and Malone are now listed on two of the three fastest relays in program history.
CAN I GET A REWRITE?
Three Falcons improved their standing on the women's all-time list at the New Mexico Classic. With a time of 2:12.56 (adjusted for altitude), Rebecca Esselstein made the biggest jump of the weekend, as she moved from 10th to fifth in the 800-meter run. Melissa Fuerst climbed from 10th to seventh in the mile after improving her time to 4:54.11a, while Jen Bremser jumped from eighth to fifth in the 3000-meter run after clocking a winning time of 9:57.92a.
WE'RE NOT DONE YET
In addition to the Falcons that improved already established marks, three others made their debut in the program's all-time record book at the New Mexico Classic. William Kent and Danielle Tabb made their first appearances weight throw record book, respectively accounting for the program's third-best men's distance (60'10½") and fifth-best women's distance (54'1"). In addition, Zach Perkins clocked a time of 4:05.12 (adjusted for altitude) in the mile, which is ranked seventh on the all-time list.
After a 14-month absence from competition while recovering from injury, Rob Simmons returned to the pole vault lineup at the New Mexico Classic. He cleared a season-opening 16'2¾" to finish fourth in the 22-competitor event.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force will travel to Golden, Colo., for the Joe Davies Open at the Colorado School of Mines on Saturday, Feb. 16. It will be the Falcons' final competition prior to the 2013 Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 21-23 in Boise, Idaho.