Falcons Head to California for Multiple Meets

    Annette Eichenberger
    Annette Eichenberger

    April 16, 2013

    The Air Force track and field team has a full slate of events this week, as it heads to California for several competitions. The Falcons' multi-event athletes are slated to open the busy week on Wednesday (April 17) at the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Decathlon and Heptathlon in Walnut, while the rest of the team will compete at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 18-20) and at the Beach Invitational (April 20).

    THE WHAT, WHERE AND WHEN...
    Air Force's itinerary for the week is based around a relatively small section of Southern California. The Mt. SAC/California Invitational Decathlon and Heptathlon will be held April 17-18 at Azusa Pacific's Cougar Stadium in Azusa, while the 55th Mt. SAC Relays will be contested at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut from April 18-20. Two Falcons will return to Azusa on Friday, April 19, for the Bryan Clay Invitational, while the Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State at Cerritos College's Falcon Stadium, will be held April 19-20 in Norwalk.

    JOHNSON TO BE INDUCTED INTO MT. SAC RELAYS HALL OF FAME
    Allen Johnson will be inducted into the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 17, as a member of the Class of 2013. Johnson, the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, is one of seven hurdlers to be inducted into this year's Hall of Fame Class.

    CHECKING OUT THE RANKINGS
    Three Falcons are listed among the nation's top 40, including two pole vaulters - Cale Simmons (fourth, 18'4¾") and Joey Uhle (seventh, 18'1") - that are ranked in the top 10. Annette Eichenberger holds the top ranking for the women's team, as she is listed 33rd in the 800-meter run (2:06.63).

    TWO-SPORT STATS
    Air Force has two of its members listed on the USTFCCCA list of track and field athletes who also compete in football. Garrett Griffin is ranked fourth in the javelin throw after tossing a personal-best 201'3" at the Air Force Triangular. Griffin, the top-ranked freshman, is listed second among Division I athletes in that event. Following career-best performances at the Air Force Triangular, James Chambers holds a pair of top-10 rankings, as he is listed sixth in the discus throw (174'5") and seventh in the shot put (53'5½").

     

     

    RELAYS DO IT AGAIN...
    Less than one week after recording the 10th-fastest 4x100-meter relay times in Academy history, both the men's and women's squads moved up to fourth on the all-time lists at the Air Force Triangular. The quartet of Uzor Udensi, Anthony Delgado, Jake Spuller and David Ptacek won their race in 40.70 to tie for fourth in the men's all-time standings, while Bethany Gross, Naomi Alston, Morgan Malone and Kassie Gurnell clocked 47.75 to move into the same position on the women's all-time list.

    FALCONS GO 3-1 AGAINST NEW MEXICO AND NORTHERN COLORADO
    In its first triangular meet since the end of the 2000 season, Air Force posted a combined 3-1 record over New Mexico and Northern Colorado at the Academy on April 12. The men went 2-0, defeating both New Mexico (121-67) and Northern Colorado (149-36), while the women split the day with a 116-71 victory over the Bears and a narrow 99-92 loss to the Lobos. In all, Air Force accounted for 18 first-place finishes, including a sweep of the eight field events.

    NOT A BAD WAY TO START
    Annette Eichenberger made her collegiate debut in the 400-meter dash at the Air Force Triangular on April 12 ... and promptly clocked the eighth-fastest time in Academy history. Eichenberger, who already holds the program's third-fastest 800-meter time, finished second in her first 400-meter event with a time of 57.01.

    THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS
    In addition to the two 4x1 relays that moved into fourth on the Academy's all-time list and Annette Eichenberger's eighth-fastest 400-meter time, three other incursions were made to the record book on April 12. Danielle Tabb moved from sixth to fourth in the shot put standings with a winning throw of 47'6½", while Rob Simmons debuted in 10th on the pole vault list with a winning clearance of 16'11". In the discus, Grant Hamilton broke the program's 22-year-old Freshman Class Record, as he added two feet (170'2") to Shawn Larcher's old 1991 mark.

    SWEEP IT UP
    James Chambers and Becca Bauman paced the Air Force throwers to a sweep of event titles. Chambers won the men's shot put (53'5½") and discus throw (174'5") events, while Bauman took first in the discus (141'10") and hammer throw (162'7"). Brian Ford (hammer throw, 187'7") and Tim Urista (javelin, 206'11") completed the men's sweep of throwing titles, while Nikki Freeman won her fourth javelin title in as many meets (135'4") and Danielle Tabb took first in the shot put (47'6½") to round out the women's throwing event winners.

    ROLLING OUT THE WINNERS
    Air Force earned half of the 36 first-place finishes at the Air Force Triangular on April 12. In addition to the eight throwing event titles, Air Force also finished first in the men's 4x100-meter relay, 200-meter dash (Jake Spuller), 400-meter dash (Anthony Delgado), 800-meter run (Zach Perkins), 110-meter hurdles (Joe Wilkin), pole vault (Rob Simmons) and long jump (Blue Kearney), as well as the women's 1500-meter run (Jen Bremser), 3000-meter run (Kate Kanetzky), high jump (Rachel Herald) and triple jump (Kassie Gurnell).

    WHAT'S ON DECK
    The Falcons split next weekend for a pair of meets. Over the April 26-27 weekend, part of the team will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the prestigious Drake Relays, while the rest of the squad heads to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Jack Christiansen Invitational.

    Inside Track & Field