Falcons Split for Weekend Meets
Taylor Smith

April 23, 2014

The Air Force track and field team remains on the road this weekend, splitting up for three competitions. The Falcons will send 33 athletes to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 105th Drake Relays, and one relay team to Philadelphia, Pa., for the 120th Penn Relays, while the remainder of the squad travels to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Jack Christiansen Invitational.

Meet Notes 16: Drake Relays, Jack Christiansen Invitational, Penn Relays Get Acrobat Reader

Air Force athletes will compete in 27 events at the prestigious Drake Relays, which is already underway at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Action for the Falcons begins with the Distance Carnival on Thursday, April 24, that includes the 4x1600-meter relay, as well as the 5000-meter and 10,000-meter races. Air Force continues action on Friday (April 25) and Saturday (April 26). Live results are available under the Relays' tab at GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

The Jack Christiansen Invitational will be held over the April 25-26 weekend at Colorado State's track of the same name in Fort Collins (located at the corner of Pitkin and College). The hammer throw will take place at 2:00 p.m., on Friday, April 25, while all other events will be contested on Saturday, April 26, beginning at 10 a.m. Live results are not available for this meet.

10:00 a.m.: 5000-Meter Run, 4x100-Meter Relay, 1500-Meter Run, 110/100-Meter Hurdles, 400-Meter Dash; 10:00 a.m.: Women's Discus Throw, Men's Discus Throw, Women's Javelin Throw, Men's Javelin Throw; 10:00 a.m.: Men's Shot Put, Women's Shot Put; 10:00 a.m.: Men's Long Jump, Women's Long Jump, Men's Triple Jump, Women's Triple Jump; 10:00 a.m.: Women's High Jump; 10:00 a.m.: Men's Pole Vault, Women's Pole Vault; 1:00 p.m.: 100-Meter Dash, 800-Meter Run, 400-Meter Hurdles, 200-Meter Dash, 3000-Meter Steeplechase, 4x400-Meter Relay; 1:30 p.m.: Men's High Jump (the men will compete first in all running events).

The DMR quartet of Patrick Corona, Matt Dorsey, Alex Lindsay and Zach Perkins will represent the Academy at the 120th Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday, April 25. The foursome will be competing in the College Men's Distance Medley Championship of America, Presented by PECO, which is slated to begin at 2:25 p.m. (EST) at Franklin Field.

Seven Falcons are listed in the top-50 of the national standings. Dylan Bell and Joey Uhle are currently ranked 19th in the national standings of the pole vault with matching marks of 17'6½", while Zach Perkins (1500-meter run, 3:44.43), Blue Kearney (long jump, 24'7¾") and Grant Hamilton (shot put, 59'10½") are all ranked 38th in the their respective events. Gavin Owens is ranked 39th in the steeplechase (8:57.31) and Cort Rogers rounds out the list of Falcons ranked in the top 50 with a #44 spot in the pole vault (17'0¾").

The men currently hold three of the top-five Mountain West placements in the pole vault and javelin throw, as well as two of the top-three marks in the shot put. Dylan Bell and Joey Uhle share the lead in the pole vault with matching marks of 17'6½", while Cort Rogers is ranked third (17'0¾") and Kyle Pater is ranked fifth (16'0"). Taylor Hulslander is ranked second in the javelin throw with a toss of 201'4", while Garrett Griffin and Tim Urista are ranked fourth (199'6") and fifth (198'11"), respectively. In the shot put, Grant Hamilton leads the league with a toss of 59'10½", while Darby Maier is ranked third with a throw of 56'4".

Riley Vann became the eighth vaulter in Air Force women's history to clear the 12-foot bar in outdoor competition, as she cleared 12'0" to improve her #8 standing on the program's all-time list at the Beach Invitational on April 19.

Naomi Alston, who accounted for the program's ninth-fastest 200-meter time at the Jim Click Shootout on April 12, added her name to the program's top-10 of the 400-meter dash at the Beach Invitational on April 19. Clocking a time of 57.22 to finish among the top third on the 75-sprinter field, Alston debuted in 10th on the all-time list. In addition, Kassie Gurnell clocked the 11th-fastest time in Academy history in that event (57.31), as the pair bumped out a time that had stood on the all-time list for 12 years.

The Falcons dominated the top of the pole vault standings at the Beach Invitational, recording the top-four clearances in a field that included a total of 55 vaulters. Joey Uhle and Cort Rogers cleared the 17-foot bar to finish first (17'5¾") and second (17'0"), respectively, while Dylan Bell tied for third (16'6") and Kyle Pater broke the 16-foot bar (16'0") for the first time during a fourth-place (tie) performance).

Matt Dorsey clocked a new Freshman Class Record in the 1500-meter run at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 18. In just his second race at that distance, Dorsey clocked a career-best time of 3:45.74 to take a second off of the previous Class Record and debut in 10th on the program's all-time. Dorsey, who finished 19th in the 129-runner event, was one of three Falcons to place within the top 35, leading Zach Perkins (28th, 3:47.95) and Jake Hawkins (33rd, 3:48.86).

Darby Maier and Jake Spuller debuted on the men's all-time list in their respective events at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 18. Maier won his flight of the shot put and finished ninth overall with a career-best distance of 56'4" - a mark that matches the program's #4 throw, which was first set by David (Lissy) Lyon in 2008. On the track, Spuller finished within the top half of the 200-meter dash field (25th out of 60 total sprinters) with a career-best time of 21.39 - a mark that equals the #10 time on the Academy's all-time list originally held by Carlos Hattix (1995).

Within a seven-day span, Grant Hamilton and Darby Maier have accounted for two of the four best shot put throws in Academy history. Hamilton tossed a program-record 59'10½" at the Jim Click Shootout on April 12, while Maier followed that with the fourth-best mark in program history (56'4") one meet later (Mt. SAC Relays on April 19).

Representing each class of the Falcons' track roster, senior Annette Eichenberger, sophomore Naomi Alston freshman Mikayla Robertson and junior Morgan Malone clocked the fourth-fastest 4x400-meter relay time in Academy history on April 18 at the Mt. SAC Relays. The quartet combined for a time of 3:50.12 to win their section and finish 14th in the overall collegiate division.

The Academy's 10K standings received an update on April 17, as Isaiah Bragg clocked the sixth-fastest time in Academy history (29:37.25) to finish within the top half of the field at the Mt. SAC Relays' Elite Division (13th overall). Bragg deleted nearly a half-minute from his previous best time, while subtracting over a minute from his time at last year's Relays.

Air Force heads to Manhattan, Kan., next weekend for the Ward Haylett Invitational at Kansas State on Saturday, May 3. The Falcons will face off against Kansas and its 12th-ranked women's team, the host Wildcats and Wichita State in a scored meet at R.V. Christian Track.



Oct 16 Athlete of the Week_Denise Ssozi
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