Sept. 11, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Backed by three of the top four spots, the Air Force women's cross country team opened the season with a first-place finish at the Rust Buster Invitational, hosted by Colorado-Colorado Springs, on Saturday, Sept. 11, in Colorado Springs. Senior Katherine Ward paced the women's squad with a second-place finish, while junior Jim Walmsley finished third to lead the men.
Competing on a 4000-meter course, the women were led by Ward, who finished second with a time of 15:26.99. Junior Katie Carroll and sophomore Morgan Mosby placed third (15:34.50) and fourth (15:41.21), respectively. Air Force also earned top-12 finishes from freshman Carley Gross (ninth, 15:53.88) and sophomore Jen Bremser (11th, 15:58.25).
In fact all of the Falcons' runners finished within the top half of the field of collegiate runners. Freshman Annette Eichenberger placed 13th with a time of 16:06.51, while junior Alexa Ramsier finished 15th in 16:09.19. Sophomore Kate Kanetzky (16:11.43), freshman Tasha Mayne (16:13.04) and fellow freshman Amanda Blain (16:13.89) finished 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively, while sophomore Melissa Fuerst placed 22nd (16:21.61) and freshman Stephaney Saari rounded out the squad with a 25th-place time of 16:30.85.
The men started their 6K race in a pack. And although no individual was within the top 30 at the 2000-meter checkpoint, nine runners finished within the top 20 and 15 placed within the top 30.
The Falcons were paced by junior Jim Walmsley, who finished third with a time of 19:22.35. Sophomores Jeremy Drenckhahn and Matt Bell also finished within the top 10, as Drenckhahn clocked a time of 19:48.42 to place eighth and Bell finished 10th in 19:59.34. Juniors Alex Zubey (20:04.87) and Jon Rock (20:05.57) finished 11th and 12th, respectively, while senior co-captain Tyler Small clocked a 15th-place time of 20:08.98.
Sophomores Seth Pelletier (20:12.93) and Andrew Quallio (20:16.15) finished 17th and 18th, respectively, while freshman Isaiah Bragg placed 19th in 20:18.48. An additional trio of freshmen finished within the top-25, including Lance Wolfsmith (23rd, 20:25.66), Shawn Dubbs (24th, 20:27.58) and Jake Hawkins (25th, 20:29.30). Freshman Gavin Owens (27th, 20:31.27), junior Ryan Del Grosso (28th, 20:33.80) and freshman Dan Bailey (29th, 20:34.22) also finished within the top 30.
Junior Nick White finished 32nd in a time of 20:37.45, while sophomore Sam O'Hair (20:40.06) and freshman Matt Caldwell (20:40.97) finished 34th and 35th, respectively. Fellow freshman Carson Fugal clocked a time of 20:49.49 to place 40th, while senior Tyler Stanley (42nd, 20:51.55) and sophomores Tommy Heikkinen (43rd, 20:52.07), Ted Artz (46th, 20:56.48) and Donald Jackson (50th, 21:17.52) recorded times to place within the top 50.
Six additional Falcons also ran the 6000-meter course at Monument Valley Park, including junior Matt Cain (51st, 21:17.99), sophomore Gage Owens (53rd, 21:29.21), freshman Charlie Perkins (55th, 21:33.92), freshman Carl Eifert (56th, 21:39.87), sophomore Blair O'Bryant (66th, 21:58.18) and freshman Alex Lindsey (70th, 22:29.02).
Air Force returns to action next Saturday (Sept. 18), when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the annual Woody Greeno Invitational.