March 3, 2011
Six members of the Air Force track and field team will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday, March 4. The meet will give sophomore Cale Simmons (pole vault) and junior Jim Walmsley (5000-meter run), as well as the distance medley relay team of senior Anthony Delgado, sophomore Anthony Delgado, junior Nick White and senior Justin Tyner, the chance to improve their marks before selections are made for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Alex Wilson Invitational will be held March 4-5 at the Loftus Center in South Bend, Ind. All three of Air Force's events will take place on Friday, beginning with Cale Simmons in the pole vault at 6 p.m. Jim Walmsley will compete in the 5000-meter run at 7:25 p.m., while the quartet of Tyler Stanley, Anthony Delgado, Nick White and Justin Tyner will run in the distance medley relay at 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, MARCH 4 Only Air Force events are listed...
6:00 p.m.: Men's Pole Vault (Simmons)
7:25 p.m.: Men's 5000-Meter Run (Walmsley)
8:00 p.m.: Men's Distance Medley Relay (Stanley, Delgado, White, Tyner)
LINDEMAN NAMED MWC COACH OF THE YEAR
Ralph Lindeman was selected by his peers as the Mountain West Conference Indoor Coach of the Year, following the championship meet that saw the Falcons claim their best-ever indoor finish (second, 122 points). It is the fourth MWC indoor award for Lindeman, who also tallied the honor in 2001, 2004 and 2008. The Falcons' mentor has also earned the MWC Outdoor Coach of the Year award twice (2001, 2003), as well as awards as the WAC Indoor Coach of the Year (1995) and the WAC Cross Country Coach of the Year (1991).
TYNER NABS MWC HIGH POINT AWARD
Backed by conference titles in the 3000- and 5000-meter races, Justin Tyner claimed the conference's High Point Award with 20 points. The senior claimed the 5000-meter title on Friday, Feb. 25, with a championship meet record time of 14:13.33, successfully defended his 3000-meter title on Saturday, Feb. 26, with another championship meet record (8:16.72). Tyner became the second Air Force athlete to earn the conference's High Point Award, joining Sean Houseworth, who earned the honor following a sweep of the same two races in 2009.
FALCONS CLAIM NINE ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
Seven individuals and one relay team earned all-conference distinction, based on their top-three finishes at the MWC Indoor Championships. The nine all-MWC honorees are the most since 2008 (10) and the second-most since 2004. The Falcons' all-conference selections included Justin Tyner (3000-meter run, 5000-meter run), Chris Severino (400-meter dash), Jim Walmsley (5000-meter run), Noah Palicia (heptathlon), Michael Tibbs (heptathlon), Robert Drye (shot put), Cale Simmons (pole vault) and the 4x400-meter relay of Manny Smith, Anthony Delgado, Cory Engel and Severino.
MEN TAKE SECOND AT CONFERENCE MEET
Backed by three first-place finishes and a combined 122 points, the men's team claimed their best-ever finish at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.
TWO DAYS. TWO RACES. TWO TITLES
In a span of two days, Justin Tyner collected conference titles in the two longest races of the indoor season, both with MWC Championship-Record times. One day after winning the 5000-meter race in a meet record time of 14:13.33, he defended his title in the 3000-meter run (8:16.72) with another meet record.
WHAT A WAY TO END
Manny Smith, Anthony Delgado, Cory Engel and Chris Severino ended the 2011 MWC Championships on a high note, capturing a first-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay with a season-best time of 3:12.79. The time, the fourth-fastest mark in Academy history, helped survive a late charge by BYU for the program's first-ever conference title.
DID YOU KNOW?
Justin Tyner's victory in the 3000-meter race marked the fourth straight year that Air Force has claimed the top honor at that distance. Former Falcon Sean Houseworth claimed back-to-back titles at the 2008 and 2009 championships, before Tyner claimed the 2010 medal and defended his title in 2011. It is the most consecutive titles ever in that event.
TWO OUTTA THREE AIN'T BAD
Justin Tyner and Jim Walmsley finished first and second, respectively, in the 5000-meter run, while Noah Palicia (second) and Michael Tibbs (third) placed within the top three of the heptathlon. It is the fifth time since 2000 that Air Force has taken two of the top three spots in the 5000-meter run, while Palicia and Tibbs marked the program's first all-MWC selections in the multi-event since 2007.
THE THREE J'S
Justin Tyner, Jim Walmsley and Jeremy Drenkhahn accounted for three of top four spots in the 5000-meter run and three of the top five spots in the 3000-meter race. The trio finished first, second and fourth, respectively, in the 5000-meter distance, before placing first, fourth and fifth at the 3000-meter event.
MOVING ON UP
In the event finals of the 200-meter dash, Anthony Delgado recorded the eighth-fastest time in Academy history (21.77) to finish fourth. Cale Simmons moved up to fifth in the pole vault record book, recording a career-best clearance of 17'3¾". Noah Palicia and Michael Tibbs both recorded career-best highs in the heptathlon to move into second (5352) and sixth (5014), respectively, on the program's all-time list. Jim Walmsley and Jeremy Drenckhahn made an impact on the 5000-meter records, as they respectively accounted for the second (13:56.21, altitude adjusted) and fourth (14:01.72, altitude adjusted) fastest times in program history.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
Michael Tibbs used a career-best performance in the final event to break the Sophomore Class Record in the heptathlon, en route to a third-place finish at the conference meet. Accumulating 5014 points, Tibbs bettered Brian Walsh's 2005 mark by two points. In addition to bettering his overall score by more than 150 points, Tibbs now owns both the Freshman and Sophomore Class Records in the heptathlon.
Katherine Ward clocked a career-best time of 9:48.37 (converted for altitude) to move into second on the Academy's all-time list. Ward headlined some major changes to the program record book - which had seen only three incursions since 1995 - as Jen Bremser debuted in 10th on the list with an altitude converted time of 10:14.84.
The weight throw received two improvements to the program's record book during the conference meet, as Paige Blackburn threw a 56'1¾" to move improve her third-place all-time standing and Christina Burke tossed the seventh-best throw in Academy history at 51'0". Tawny Lambuth recorded a career-best pole vault clearance of 12'10¼" at the conference meet to move into third on the program's all-time list, while Lesly Torres collected a personal-best 3190 points in the pentathlon to move into fifth on that event's all-time list.
WHAT'S ON DECK
The 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place on Friday-Saturday (March 11-12) in College Station, Texas. Justin Tyner has already qualified to the national 3000-meter run, following an NCAA Auto time at the Husky Classic on Feb. 12. The entire championship field will be announced on Monday, March 7.