March 5, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Air Force head coach Ralph Lindeman and junior pole vaulter Cale Simmons received regional distinction from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the USTFCCCA office announced today (March 5).
Lindeman was selected as the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Men's Head Coach of the Year, while Simmons was honored as the Mountain Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year.
In his 23rd season as the Falcons' head coach, Lindeman coached Air Force to its first-ever Mountain West Conference Championship title, en route to his fifth MW Indoor Coach of the Year award. Under his guidance in 2012, the Falcons set two Academy records, collected a program- record six conference titles (3000-meter run, 5000-meter run, 4x400-meter relay, distance medley relay, high jump, pole vault) and matched a program record with 13 all-conference distinctions.
Simmons is the second-leading collegiate pole vaulter in 2012, after clearing an Academy record and NCAA Automatic Qualifying Mark of 18'1¼" at the Air Force Invitational on Feb. 11. Improving his career clearance by nine inches this season, Simmons now holds the third-best clearance in Mountain West Conference history. He won the pole vault during four of six competitions this season, including the Mountain West Championships.
Simmons is the second pole vaulter to claim regional honors by the USTFCCCA, joining Nick Frawley, who captured the men's field athlete award during the 2009 indoor season. It is also the second time in program history that the Falcons have claimed a pair of regional awards, joining Sara Neubauer (women's regional field athlete of the year) and Scott Irving (women's regional assistant coach of the year) in 2010.
The recipients of the USTFCCCA Regional awards are selected by the coaches of nine regions (Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, South Central, Southeast and West). Lindeman and Simmons are two of five USTFCCCA honorees from the Mountain West, as TCU's Darryl Anderson (women's head coach), Whitney Gipson (women's field athlete) and Nick Petersen (women' assistant coach) earned the South Central awards.