May 13, 2014
The outdoor championship season begins this week for the Air Force track and field team, as it travels to Laramie, Wyo., for the 2014 Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The four-day event, which gets underway on Wednesday, May 14, will feature seven men's teams and 11 women's teams.
The 2014 MW Outdoor Championships will be held at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex and Memorial 8 Track on the campus of the University of Wyoming. The venue is located at the corner of 30th Street and Willett Drive in Laramie. Single-session tickets for Friday and Saturday's competition at $10 for adults and $5 for children, while all-session passes are $16 and $8. There is no charge for Wednesday and Thursday.
The conference championships begin on Wednesday, May 14, with the first four events of the heptathlon (12:00 p.m.) and the first five events of the decathlon (12:30 p.m.). The multi-event competition concludes on Thursday, May 15, beginning with the decathlon at noon (heptathlon at 12:30 p.m.), while individual events all take place on Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17. A complete schedule of events can be found on page 3 of this release.
FOLLOW ALONG FROM HOME
If you can't make it to the championships, the conference will be offering live results all four days and live video during the final two. A direct link to both is available on the team's calendar page at GoAirForceFalcons.com. All information pertaining to the Mountain West Outdoor Championships can be found on the Championship Central page at theMW.com. Additionally, in-meet updates regarding Air Force performances will be available on the team's Twitter page (@af_trackfield).
The Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships will feature all 11 women's teams (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming) and the men's programs from Air Force Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming. Two conference teams were listed in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings, which were released on May 13. San Diego State is ranked 18th in the women's top-25, while New Mexico is ranked 23rd in the men's standings.
ROGERS RETURNS TO LARAMIE
Cort Rogers is the only member of the Air Force track and field team to have ever competed at the Madrid Sports Complex. The senior, who spent two academic years on an LDS mission in the Republic of South Korea, was a freshman on the Falcons' roster when Wyoming last hosted the Mountain West Championships (2009). Rogers cleared a (then) career-best height of 16'0¾" to finish fourth at that meet.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Air Force has been atop the MW Outdoor medal podium on 53 occasions, while claiming 185 all-conference honors with top-three finishes. Anthony Park, Ben Payne and Dana Pounds are the Academy's most decorated outdoor champions, as they have all won three individual MW titles. Air Force currently holds four of the conference's Championship-Meet records, including the men's 1500-meter run (Zach Perkins, 3:44.38 in 2013), the men's 10,000-meter run (Ben Payne, 30:01.96 in 2004), the men's pole vault (Cale Simmons, 18'1¾" in 2012) and the women's javelin throw (Dana Pounds, 195'8" in 2005).
LAST YEAR AT THE CONFERENCE MEET
All 28 members of the men's travel party scored at least one point, as Air Force captured its second-straight outdoor title at the MW Championships on May 11 in Las Vegas. Backed by conference titles from Anthony Delgado (400-meter dash), Zach Perkins (1500-meter run) and Cale Simmons (pole vault), five of the top-seven finishes in the pole vault and two of the top-three places in the 400-meter dash, 10,000-meter run, high jump, shot put, discus throw and javelin throw, Air Force won the conference title by 45 points.
Highlighted by Annette Eichenberger's #15 ranking in the 800-meter run (2:04.52), six Falcons are currently listed among the top-50 of the national standings. Dylan Bell and Joey Uhle are ranked 24th in the national standings of the pole vault with matching marks of 17'6½", while Grant Hamilton (44th, 59'10½") and Danielle Tabb (46th, 56'11") are both ranked in the shot put and Gavin Owens is ranked 49th in the 3000-meter steeplechase (8:57.31).
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Backed by league-leading marks, the men hold four of the top-five positions in the pole vault and two of the top-three spots 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 fifth (16'0"). Grant Hamilton leads the league in the shot put with a toss of 59'10½", while Darby Maier is ranked third with a throw of 57'2¼". The Falcons have one additional MW-leader, as Annette Eichenberger is ranked first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:04.52.
TABB NABS AIR FORCE'S WEEKLY AWARD
After becoming just the second female thrower in Academy history to pass the 50-foot mark in the shot put, Danielle Tabb was named the Air Force Athlete of the Week on May 12. With a career-best toss of 51'11", Tabb won the Air Force Twilight Invitational by seven feet and moved into second on the Academy's all-time list.
PUTTING UP SOME BIG DISTANCES
The top-10 of the women's shot put received two upgrades at the Air Force Twilight Invitational on May 9. While Danielle Tabb moved from fourth to second on the all-time list with her career-best throw of 51'11", Katelyn Holland improved her own #8 distance with a new career-long of 44'11¾".
Alexa Chacon clocked a time of 14.48 during the Falcons' regular-season finale to move into fourth on the program's all-time list in the 100-meter hurdles, while Patrick Corona debuted in eighth on the top-10 list of the men's 1500-meter list with an altitude-converted time of 3:45.02. In addition, Cydnee Reese matched her own fifth-ranked distance in the discus throw (157'10").
SWEEP IT UP
Air Force accounted for a sweep of the first-place spots in the 400-meter dash (Josh Nielsen, Stephanie Robb), 1500-meter run (Patrick Corona, Hannah Everson), 3000-meter run (Dan Caddigan, Samantha Skold) 110-/100-meter hurdles (Joey Wilkin, Alexa Chacon), 400-meter hurdles (Jordan McCool, Chacon), high jump (Taylor Smith, Rachel Herald), shot put (Grant Hamilton, Danielle Tabb) and javelin throw (Garrett Griffin, Kim Smith) at the Air Force Twilight Invitational.
WHAT'S ON DECK
Air Force returns to action on May 29-31, when select members travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the preliminary round of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at John McDonnell Field. A list of accepted Falcons will be released next week.