Falcons Split for Weekend Meets
Nikki Freeman

March 27, 2013

The Air Force track and field team splits this weekend (March 29-30) for a pair of nationally-recognized competitions. Select members of the squad will travel to Austin, Texas, for the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, while another handful of Falcons will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational.

Meet Notes 13: at Texas Relays, at Stanford Invitational Get Acrobat Reader

The field for the 86th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (#TXRelays13), which will be held March 27-30, in Austin, features nearly 6,500 athletes from around the world. The meet, which traditionally fills the 20,000-seat Mike A. Myers Stadium, features athletes from high school, college/university and elite/invitational levels. Live results will be available at www.TexasSports.com.

The 39th annual Stanford Invitational will take place at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif). Like the Texas Relays, the Stanford Invitational features athletes from around the world, representing all three levels of competitions. A link to live results will be available at www.GoStanford.com.

In addition to the athletes competing at Texas and Stanford, several members of the Falcons' program will be competing at various meets around the country during the final weekend of the Academy's spring break. Updates will be made on the team's Twitter feed (@af_trackfield) over the weekend and a complete recap of those individual performances will be available on Monday.

Kassie Gurnell and Angelea Ross had a stellar time on the triple jump runway at the Arizona State Invitational. Gurnell captured her second triple jump title in as many meets, as she recorded a season-best jump of 41'0¼" to better the field by nearly two feet. Ross helped Air Force earn half of the top-four finishes, as she recorded a career-best distance of 37'9¼" to finish fourth. In addition, Ross debuted in a tie for seventh on the Academy's all-time list in that event.

In addition to her victory in the triple jump, Kassie Gurnell ran the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay squad that accounted for the fifth-fastest time in Academy history. In the team's first race of the season, Naomi Alston, Bethany Gross, Morgan Malone and Gurnell combined for a time of 3:51.82.

With the inclusion of the 2013 squad's time of 3:51.82 to the program's top-10 standings, Bethany Gross, who ran the second leg of the March 23 relay, has now competed on three of the five fastest 4x400-meter relay teams in Academy history. She ran the anchor leg of the program's third-fastest team (3:45.05) as a freshman, before running the second leg of the fourth-fastest squad in Academy history (3:50.89) as a sophomore.

Kobi Rex returned to the Falcons' lineup at Arizona State on March 23, recording the best collegiate high jump of the meet. Rex, who sat out the indoor season after competing at Harvard prior to transferring to the Academy, cleared the bar at 6'10¾" in his season debut ... a mark that was only a quarter-inch shy of his personal best. Bettering the collegiate field by four inches, the sophomore finished third overall behind defending World champion Jesse William and reigning World bronze medalist Trevor Berry.

Nikki Freeman claimed her second straight title in the javelin throw, as she recorded a distance of 141'1" to take first at the Arizona State Invitational. The sophomore also won the javelin throw (147'2") at the season-opening Jack Quiller Classic in Boulder on March 15.

The men's high jump team collected four of the top seven finishes at Arizona State, while their pole vault counterparts placed four within the top nine of that event. Kobi Rex was the top collegiate finisher and took third overall in the high jump with a mark of 6'10¾", while Travis Smith, Evan McDowell and Michael Tibbs finished fourth (6'6¾"), sixth (6'4¾") and seventh (6'2¾"), respectively. In the pole vault, Cale Simmons and Joey Uhle placed second and third, respectively, with matching marks of 17'3", while Cort Rogers and Rob Simmons finished eighth (16'7¼") and ninth (16'1¼"), respectively.

Brian Ford had a stellar day at the Tom Benich Classic in Greeley, Colo., on March 22, collecting a one event title and two top-10 Academy marks. Ford won the hammer throw with a career-best distance of 198'2", moving into third on the program's all-time list in that event. He also debuted on the Academy's all-time list in the discus throw, as he tossed the fifth-best distance in program history (176'11") to finish third among collegiate competitors and fourth overall.

The Falcons return to the Academy next weekend, opening the outdoor season with the second-annual Air Force Relays. The event, which begins with the Combined Events on Thursday-Friday, April 4-5, concludes on Saturday, April 6, at the Outdoor Cadet Track and Field Complex.



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