LINCOLN, Neb. – With all five scoring runners placing within the top 20, a young Air Force men’s cross country squad finished third in the team standings at the Woody Greeno/Dirksen Invitational this morning (Sept. 16) in Lincoln.
“This competition always serves as a good investment in our future,” head coach Ryan Cole said. “Ten of the 12 that competed today were freshmen or sophomores – and many in their first 8K. These guys will carry our program down the road and it was great to see them get a quality competition early in their college careers.”
Sophomore Marshall Wheeler, one of those 10 to compete in his first 8K, was the Falcons’ top performer, clocking a time of 26:18.4 to finish ninth in the 56-runner Red Division. Classmate Trevor Whiteside posted a time of 26:21.5 to place 12th in his initial 8K race, while freshman Hunter Boyer and junior Nic Cheuvront finished 13th (8K debut of 26:26.4) and 14th (26:26.9), respectively. Freshman Konrad Steck rounded out the Falcons’ scoring lineup, as he posted a time of 26:37.2 to finish 17th in his first 8K event at the collegiate level.
Air Force tallied 65 points to finish third in the Red Division race. Iowa (29 points) won the competition and co-host Nebraska (51) finished second, while South Dakota (fourth, 97) and Kansas State (fifth, 105) finished behind the Falcons to round out the Division I field.
Junior Josh Wojciechowski also placed within the top 20 of the overall field, as he clocked a time of 26:39.9 to finish 19th in just the second 8K of his Academy career. Sophomore Justin Weber placed 21st in his first 8K race (26:43.3), while freshman Alec Schrank posted a time of 26:57.5 to finish 28th. Fellow freshman Scott Johnson crossed the finish line in 27:19.9 to finish 35th, while classmate Colin Dwyer and sophomore Jordan Armstrong finished 37th (27:25.7) and 38th (27:26.2), respectively. Freshman Drew Lester rounded out the list of Air Force runners, as he finished 40th with a time of 27:33.2.
The Falcons return to action on Friday, Sept. 29, when select members travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. It will be a busy weekend for Air Force, as it will also send a contingent to Boulder, Colo., for the annual Rocky Mountain Shootout on Saturday, Sept. 30.