July 2, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by nine state champions and the reigning New Balance Indoor National pentathlon champion, the Air Force track and field team welcomed 15 members to its roster with the arrival of the Academy's Class of 2016, head coach Ralph Lindeman recently announced.
In all, the eight men and seven women that joined the Air Force program have totaled 13 state titles and an additional six runner-up finishes (individual athlete highlights are below). The Falcons' freshmen roster includes athletes from 10 states, including three from Colorado and Ohio, as well as two from Texas.
Men's Track and Field Class of 2016
Dylan Bell (Alvarado, Texas | Alvarado HS)
Grant Hamilton (Idabel, Okla. | Idabel HS)
Jake Lazas (Brentwood, Tenn. | Brentwood HS)
Nolan Mayhew (Colorado Springs, Colo. | Cheyenne Mountain HS)
Kevin Mihalik (San Diego, Calif. | Rancho Bernardo HS)
Casey Peloquin (Gig Harbor, Wash. | Gig Harbor HS)
Tanner Ruhl (Aurora, Colo. | Smoky Hill HS)
Joey Wilkin (Westerville, Ohio | Westerville North HS)
Women's Track and Field Class of 2016
Naomi Alston (Fayetteville, N.C. | Douglas Byrd HS)
Hannah Everson (Colorado Springs, Colo. | Liberty HS)
Katelyn Holland (Tomball, Texas | Concordia Lutheran HS)
Morgan Horn (Waynesfield, Ohio | Waynesfield Goshen HS)
Anna Olesinski (Roswell, N.M. | Roswell HS)
Riley Vann (Oswego, Ill. | Oswego HS)
Natalie Zidd (Medina, Ohio | Highland HS)
The newest Falcons arrived at the Academy on Thursday, June 28, and are currently in the midst of Basic Cadet Training. The first session of BCT takes place in the Cadet Area and focuses on military orientation, including basic military skills and responsibilities, improving physical conditioning and understanding teamwork through competitive sports. During the second phase, the Basics will march out to Jack's Valley, where they will focus on field training activities, while developing their mental and physical confidence training.
Classes begin at the Academy on August 9.
NAOMI ALSTON | Fayetteville, N.C. | Douglas Byrd High School
Ran 56.01 in the 400-meter dash to repeat as the North Carolina 3A state champion during senior season, after first claiming the title as a junior...also finished second in that event as a sophomore...competed in the Golden South post-season meet...recorded a best of 25.46 in the 200-meter dash this past season.
DYLAN BELL | Alvarado, Texas | Alvarado High School
Texas 3A state champion in the pole vault as a senior...was the state runner-up as a junior...set a new meet record in the pole vault at the Air Force High School Invitational (15'6")...placed second at the 2012 Texas Relays with a season-best clearance of 17'2¾"...that mark was ranked second in the U.S. for high school athletes...finished fourth at the New Balance Indoor National Championships.
HANNAH EVERSON | Colorado Springs, Colo. | Liberty High School
Placed second at the Colorado 5A High School State Cross Country Championships this past fall...placed fourth in the 3200-meter run at the 2011 5A state track championships...finished fifth in that event at the 2012 state meet with a season-best time of 11:02.42 (altitude)...also ran 5:05.48a in the 1600-meter run to finish ninth...named the Colorado Springs Gazette Cross Country Athlete of the Year after both her junior and senior seasons.
GRANT HAMILTON | Idabel, Okla. | Idebel High School
Two-time Oklahoma 4A high school state champion in the discus throw...season-best distance of 191'9" was the 16th-best throw in the nation by a high school senior...placed third in the discus at the Great Southwest Classic...two-time state runner-up in the shot put...recorded a career-best 55'7" in that event.
KATELYN HOLLAND | Tomball, Texas | Concordia Lutheran High School
TAPPS (Texas) state champion in the shot put...also placed third in the discus throw at the state meet...recorded personal-best marks of 41'10½" in the shot put and 130'4" in the discus throw.
MORGAN HORN | Waynesfield, Ohio | Waynesfield-Goshen High School
Placed seventh in the pole vault (11'6") at the Ohio D3 State High School Championships...also placed third in the 300-meter hurdles with a best time of 46.33...ran a leg of the 4x100-meter relay team that captured the state championship as a junior...twin sister Ivy will compete in the heptathlon at Ohio State...older brother Gray is a three-time All-American and three-time SEC champion in the decathlon at Florida...father Jon is a 1986 Academy graduate and still ranks on the Academy's all-time list in the high jump (10th at 6'10").
JAKE LAZAS | Brentwood, Tenn. | Brentwood High School
Won the national title in the pentathlon at the New Balance Indoor National Championships...two-time Tennessee high school state champion in the decathlon...scored a personal-best 7.299 points in the state's version of that event...also won the long jump at the AAA State Championship meet...coached by Gary Kindler, who won the decathlon at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials...older brother Kevin holds the American Junior Record in the decathlon and finished third in the decathlon at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships during his sophomore year at Arkansas.
NOLAN MAYHEW | Colorado Springs, Colo. | Cheyenne Mountain High School | Texas A&M
Finished second in both the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run at the Colorado 4A High School State Championships...placed third in both events as a junior...as a senior, recorded career-best marks of 47.31 in the 400-meter dash and 1:52.66 in the 800-meter run...placed second in the 400-meter dash at the 2011 Great Southwest Classic...attended Texas A&M during the 2011-12 academic year, red-shirting both the indoor and outdoor season.
KEVIN MIHALIK | San Diego, Calif. | Rancho Bernardo High School
Won the 1600-meter run at the Mt. Carmel/Asics Invitational as a senior...clocked a personal-best 4:13.99 at that meet...also recorded a career-best 800-meter time of 1:54.98...named team captain of the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team, signifying his selection as the boys' cross country Student-Athlete of the Year for San Diego.
ANNA OLESINSKI | Roswell, N.M. | Roswell High School
Won both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter titles at the 2012 New Mexico 4A State Track and Field Championships...recorded a season-best time of 5:05.73a in the 1600-meter run and a time of 11:08.74 in the 3200-meter run...also competed in the modern pentathlon...ranked fifth in the U.S. and 31st in the world in that event...brother, Marek, just completed his freshman year at USAFA, as a member of the Falcons' basketball team.
CASEY PELOQUIN | Gig Harbor, Wash. | Gig Harbor High School
Member of the team that won the Washington 4A State Cross Country Championship title...also member of the team that placed 15th at the Nike Cross Country Team National Championships...recorded a career-best 1600-meter time of 4:29.66.
TYLER RUHL | Aurora, Colo. | Smoky Hill High School
Finished second in the 800-meter run at the Colorado High School 5A State Championships...recorded a career-best time of 1:53.36 at that meet...also posted a career-best time of 49.42 in the 400-meter dash.
RILEY VANN | Oswego, Ill. | Oswego High School
Placed 10th in the pole vault at the Illinois 3A State High School Championships as a senior...recorded a season-best height of 12'0"...also competed in the hurdle events, posting marks of 14.55 in the 100-meter hurdles and 45.48 in the 300-meter hurdles.
JOEY WILKIN | Westerville, Ohio | Westerville North High School
Placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles at the Ohio Division I High School State Championships as a senior...also finished sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at that meet...recorded season-best times of 14.37 in the 110-meter hurdles and 38.61 in the 300-meter hurdles...placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the Midwest Meet of Champions...also finished 13th in the 110-meter hurdles and 16th in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2011 National Junior Olympics.
NATALIE ZIDD | Medina, Ohio | Highland High School
Ohio High School Division I state champion in the 800-meter run as a sophomore...ran 2:10.36 at that meet...placed eighth at the New Balance National Championships as a junior...recorded a season-best time of 2:11.78 as a senior...placed sixth at last summer's World Youth Trials for Team USA...also recorded a career-best 1600-meter time of 5:02.25.