Feb. 19, 2013
The Air Force men's track and field team begins defense of its conference title this week, as it travels with the women's program to Nampa, Idaho, for the 2013 Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships. The three-day event gets underway at 11 a.m., on Thursday (Feb. 21) and continues through Saturday (Feb. 23) at Jacksons Indoor Track at the Idaho Center.
The Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships will held at Jacksons Indoor Track at the Idaho Center, marking the first time in league history that the annual indoor meet has not taken place at the Academy or in Albuquerque. Tickets are $8 each day of full competition and can be purchased at the door. For fans unable to make it to the meet, real-time results will be available. There is one team listed among the USTFCCCA national standings, as San Diego State (women) is ranked 24th.
Thursday's action, which features the women's pentathlon and first four events of the men's heptathlon will begin at 11 a.m. Friday's action also begins at 11 a.m., with the conclusion of the heptathlon. Individual events get underway from the field at 1 p.m., while the first track event will begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's field action begins at 11 a.m., while the running events get underway at 12:30 p.m. A complete schedule of events is located on page 2 of this release.
The Mountain West Indoor Championships will feature all nine women's teams (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming), as well as the men's teams from Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico and Wyoming).
A LOOK AT LAST YEAR'S MEN'S MEET
Highlighted by a program-record six event titles (3000-meter run, 5000-meter run, 4x400-meter relay, distance medley relay, high jump, pole vault), the men's team won the first Mountain West team title in program history at the 2012 meet in Albuquerque, N.M. A thrilling victory in the final event of the competition (4x400-meter relay) secured a narrow 156.50-154 victory over Boise State for Air Force's first conference title.
A LOOK AT LAST YEAR'S WOMEN'S MEET
The women's team had its best MW Championship-meet performance in 2012, scoring a program-best 58 points to finish seventh. Backed by the first distance medley relay title in Academy history and additional all-MW honors in the pole vault and triple jump, the Falcons shattered their previous high point total of 47.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
Since the formation of the Mountain West for the 2000 season, Air Force has been atop the indoor medal podium on 37 occasions and earned 128 all-conference selections. Former Air Force standouts Sean Houseworth, Travis Picou and Justin Tyner are the most decorated indoor champions, as each as won three indoor titles.
TAKING CONTROL OF THE STANDINGS
Behind Cale Simmons' league-leading clearance of 18'2", Air Force holds eight of the top 10 heights in the pole vault this season. Dylan Bell and Joey Uhle are ranked second (17'5½") and third (17'2¾"), respectively, while Cort Rogers (fifth, 16'8¾") and Michael Tibbs (sixth, 16'4¾") are ranked among the top six. Elliott Beski and Rob Simmons are tied for seventh with matching clearances of 16'2¾", while Chase Cooper is ranked 10th with a height of 16'0¾".
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Air Force holds the second- and third-best placements in the conference standings in both the men's high jump (Zach Wood, 6'10¼"; Travis Smith, 6'8¼") and men's weight throw (William Kent, 62'10"; Brian Ford, 62'8½").
James Chambers improved his fourth-place standing on the USTFCCCA list of Indoor Bests by Football Players, as he recorded a career-best distance of 55'5½" in the shot put at the Joe Davies Open on Feb. 16. That mark, which is ranked sixth in the program's all-time standings, is the second-best throw in the nation among NCAA Division I football players. In addition, Gavin McHenry, who accounted for the 10th-fastest 60-meter time in program history (6.81) at the Air Force Team Challenge is ranked 17th overall on the USTFCCCA's two-sport list.
THROWERS SHINE IN FINAL INDOOR TUNE-UP
Backed by four event titles and five incursions into the program's all-time standings, Air Force throwers had a stellar day of competition at the Joe Davies Open on Feb. 16. The men captured four of the top five spots in the shot put, as well as five of the top-eight distances in the weight throw.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Recording the second-best throw in Academy history and setting a new Senior Class Record, Brian Ford won the men's weight throw on Feb. 16 with a career-best distance of 62'8½". James Chambers, who entered the program's top-10 list one week earlier, improved his standing to from ninth to sixth on the all-time shot put list, as he won that event with a toss of 55'5½". On the women's side, Becca Bauman won the weight throw with a personal-best distance of 55'5¾", while Danielle Tabb tossed a career-best 47'4½" to take first in the shot put. Both Bauman and Tabb improved their fourth-place standings on the program's all-time list.
DID YOU KNOW?
Three of the four top weight throw distances in program history belong to members of the current Air Force roster. William Kent set the Academy record (62'10") at the Air Force Team Challenge on Feb. 9, while Brian Ford recorded the program's second-farthest distance (62'8½") one week later at the Joe Davies Open. Jalen Fooster also improved his overall distance on Feb. 16, recording a throw of 60'7¾" to hold the fourth-best mark in Academy history.
SWEEPING IT UP
Air Force also swept the pole vault titles at the Joe Davies Open on Feb. 16, as Joey Uhle (16'6") and Bizzy Mellado (season-best 12'2½") won the men's and women's titles, respectively. Uhle paced Cort Rogers (16'2") and Rob Simmons (15'8¼") to a sweep of the top-three placements.
BENSON NAMED TO TEAM USA STAFF
Distance coach Juli Benson was named to the Team USA women's coaching staff for the 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Championships on Feb. 14. Benson, who also serves as the head coach of the Falcons' cross country team, will coach the women's distance runners at the world championships, which will be held Aug. 10-18 in Moscow.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Select Air Force athletes will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the annual Alex Wilson Invitational on March 1-2.