Feb. 28, 2013
The Air Force track and field team will send 10 of its athletes to South Bend, Ind., for the annual Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday-Saturday, March 1-2. The two-day final qualifying meet will be held at the Loftus Sports Center on Notre Dame's campus.
WHO TO WATCH
The Falcons will send 10 athletes - Dylan Bell, Jen Bremser, Annette Eichenberger, Melissa Fuerst, Bethany Gross, Jake Hawkins, Alex Lindsay, Morgan Mosby, Zach Perkins and Jake Spuller - to Notre Dame. Bell (pole vault) and Bremser (5000-meter run) will compete on Friday night, along with the men's (Hawkins, Spuller, Lindsay, Perkins) and women's (Fuerst, Gross, Eichenberger, Mosby) distance medley relay teams. Additional events are tentatively scheduled for Eichenberger (800-meter run), Lindsay (800-meter run) and Perkins (mile run) on Saturday.
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
6:00 p.m.: Men's Pole Vault
7:00 p.m.: Women's 5000-Meter Run
7:45 p.m.: Women's Distance Medley Relay
8:00 p.m.: Men's Distance Medley Relay
FALCONS NET PROGRAM-BEST 17 ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
Based on finishes within the top three of their respective events at the Mountain West Indoor Championships, Air Force received an Academy (indoor) record 17 all conference selections. In all, 14 individuals (15 events) and three relay teams earned all-MW distinction, including a program-best four honors on the women's side.
Five Falcons claimed multiple all-conference selections at the conference meet, including Matt Bell, who finished second in both the 3000- and 5000-meter races. All four members of the runner-up 4x400-meter relay team - Jake Spuller (200-meter dash, second), Uzor Udensi (200-meter dash, third), Alex Lindsay (800-meter run, second) and David Ptacek (distance medley relay, second) - claimed multiple medals based on top-three finishes in their respective events.
WOMEN CAPTURE BEST-EVER CONFERENCE FINISH
With a program-best 59.33 points, the women's team recorded its best placement in team history with a sixth-place finish. The 4x400-meter relay squad of Bethany Gross, Morgan Mosby, Morgan Malone and Annette Eichenberger secured the team standing by finishing ahead of Colorado State in the final race, which guaranteed the Falcons a one-point advantage (59.33-58.33) over the Rams.
UHLE AND PERKINS CLAIM MW TITLES ON FINAL DAY
Air Force earned a pair of conference titles during the final day of competition (Feb. 23). With a career-best clearance of 17'9¾", Joey Uhle became the third Falcon in four years to capture a Mountain West title in the pole vault, while Zach Perkins became just the program's second MW champion in the mile after edging the field by two seconds with a time of 4:08.23.
BREMSER NAMED AIR FORCE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Jen Bremser was named the Air Force Athlete of the Week after breaking an Academy record that had stood since 1990 to finish second in the 3000-meter run at the MW Indoor Championships. Clocking in at 9:40.73, Bremser cut over one second off of the previous record that Callie Calhoun had held since before Bremser was born. The senior, who entered the meet ranked seventh on the conference's descending order list, improved her time by 17 seconds to finish as the runner-up in the 30-competitor final. That finish tied for the program's best individual finish at an indoor conference meet.
DID YOU KNOW?
Jen Bremser's 3000-meter time of 9:40.73 is the second-fastest time in Mountain West Championship-meet history.
GURNELL BREAKS OWN TRIPLE JUMP RECORD
Recording a career-best distance of 41'5", Kassie Gurnell broke her own Academy record in the triple jump during a third-place performance at the MW Indoor Championships, while pacing a major rewrite of the program's top-10 lists. In addition to Gurnell's record-breaking performance, Angelea Ross posted the second-best distance in Academy history, as she hit the sand with a mark of 39'7¼" to finish fifth.
AIR POWER AT ITS FINEST
As one spectator at the MW Indoor Championships said, the men's pole vault competition could be called the "Air Force Invitational". Backed by conference champion Joey Uhle and all-conference selection Cale Simmons (17'2¾"), the Falcons claimed five of the eight scoring positions - marking the third straight conference meet that has seen Air Force claim at least five of the top-eight finishes. Dylan Bell and Rob Simmons finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with matching marks of 16'10¾", while Cort Rogers finished seventh with a height of 16'2¾".
MAKING A STATEMENT
The women made history at the 2013 MW Indoor Championships, accounting for two runner-up finishes on the track. Jen Bremser finished second in the 3000-meter run with an Academy record time (9:40.73), while Annette Eichenberger earned the same placement with the second-fastest 800-meter time in program history (2:09.80). Prior to their respective finishes, only one Air Force runner had ever placed within the top three of an individual women's track event at the conference championship meet.
WOMEN DEFEND DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY TITLE
Backed by the third-fastest time in Academy history, the team of Melissa Fuerst, Bethany Gross, Morgan Mosby and Rebecca Esselstein successfully defended Air Force's title in the distance medley relay at the MW Indoor Championships. The quartet combined for a time of 11:52.73 to better the field by over four seconds.
Evan McDowell collected four career-best marks, en route to a second-place finish in the heptathlon to open the MW Indoor Championships for the men's team. McDowell, who improved his marks in the 1000-meter run (2:43.90), pole vault (13'5¼"), long jump (22'1½") and 60-meter dash (7.33), combined for a personal-best 5,184 points to move into fifth on the program's all-time list. His total, a personal improvement of nearly 200 points, bettered the Academy's Sophomore Class Record by over 130 points.
MORE ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
The distance medley relay team of Ted Artz, David Ptacek, Jake Hawkins and Patrick Corona finished second with a time of 9:59.30, while Alex Lindsay (800-meter run, 1:51.28) and Zach Wood (high jump, 6'9¾") earned the same placement in their respective events. In addition, Isaiah Bragg (5000-meter run, 14:23.40) and Brian Ford (weight throw, 60'5¼") picked up third-place finishes.
OFF TO A FAST START
In just her second collegiate pentathlon, Kendra Smith recorded the fourth-best total in Academy history (3,317 points). Smith, who added over 230 points to her total, vaulted from ninth to fourth on the program's all-time list with a 12th-place performance at the Mountain West Indoor Championships.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Several other incursions were made to the program's all-time record book during the conference championship meet. Paige Shirley and Bizzy Mellado both improved their all-time standings in the pole vault, as Shirley moved into fourth (12'10¾") and Mellado improved her seventh-place standing (12'6¾"). Bethany Gross, Morgan Mosby, Morgan Malone and Annette Eichenberger accounted for the second-fastest 4x400-meter relay time in Academy history (3:50.04), while Jake Spuller clocked a career-best 21.71 in the 200-meter dash to improve his ninth-place standing on the men's all-time list.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
Jake Spuller and Uzor Udensi finished second and third, respectively, in the 200-meter dash at the Mountain West Indoor Championships. It is the first time in Academy history that Air Force runners have claimed two of the top-three finishes in that event.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The indoor season comes to a conclusion next weekend (March 8-9) with the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The two-day national championship meet will take place at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.