Sept. 17, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. - Backed by a first-place finish from senior Jim Walmsley, the Air Force men's cross country team won the 22nd annual Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, Sept. 17. The women's squad finished second in their race at Pioneer's Park, behind a second-place individual finish from junior Melissa Fuerst.
With the Falcons accounting for three top-10 finishes and five top-15 marks, the men easily won the 28-team race. The Falcons collected just 35 points, bettering the second-place team by nearly 50 points. With all five scoring runners placing within the top 25, the women's team finished second in the team standings during their first 6000-meter race of the year. Scoring 55 points, the Falcons placed second among 25 teams in the women's field.
Walmsley clocked a time of 24:15.3 to win the 305-runenr Woody Greeno Invitational for the second straight year. Running at a 4:53 pace, the senior won the race by eight seconds, while accounting the for the sixth-fastest 8000-meter time ever at Pioneer's Park.
Air Force earned three total finishes within the top 10, while all five scoring runners placed within the top 14. Junior Jeremy Drenckhahn finished third with a time of 24:45.7, while classmate Andrew Quallio clocked a time of 25:05.0 to finish ninth. Sophomore Isaiah Bragg placed 11th with a time of 25:24.7, while classmate Charlie Perkins rounded out the scoring runners with a 14th-place race of 25:26.7.
On the women's side, Fuerst paced the Falcons with a runner-up time of 21:25.7. Fuerst was one of three Falcons to finish in the top 10 of the 283-runner race, as classmates Jen Bremser and Kate Kanetzky placed fourth (21:34.2) and eighth (21:45.7), respectively. Freshman Heather Connick crossed the finish line in 232:35.0 to finish 21st, while senior Kate Carroll rounded out the scoring runners with a 24th-place time of 22:46.7.
In addition to the scoring runners, 15 additional runners took to the 8K course for the men's team today. Sophomore Jake Hawkins finished 15th with a time of 25:29.1, while classmate Gavin Owens placed 25th after a time of 25:49.6. Freshman Zach Perkins made his collegiate debut with a 31st-place time of 26:07.0, while sophomore Dan Bailey took 32nd behind a time of 26:12.0. Junior Seth Pelletier (45th, 26:21.1) and senior Nick White (48th, 26:29.2) also finished within the top 50.
Junior Ted Artz clocked a time of 26:33.5 to finish 53rd, while sophomore Carl Eifert and junior Gage Owens place 73rd (26:50.4) and 78th (26:54.9), respectively. Freshman Ronnie Elly clocked a time of 27:00.5 to finish 82nd, while sophomore Carson Fugal's time of 27:13.5 was 98th. Freshman Elliot Myers placed 108th with a time of 27:20.9, while junior Sam O'Hair and sophomore Matt Caldwell finished 116th (27:30.4) and 119th (27:33.7), respectively. Freshman Zack Christenson rounded out the Falcons' finishers with a 203rd-place time of 28:56.6.
In addition to the scoring finishers, six other runners competed in the women's race and all placed within the top half of the field. Freshman Taylor Drolshagen clocked a time of 22:53.0 to finish 30th, while sophomore Carley Gross finished 37th behind a time of 22:59.9. Sophomore Amanda Blain used a time of 23:19.0 to finish 52nd, while freshman Emily Hazen placed 64th in a time of 23:36.5. Freshman Rebecca Esselstein (71st, 23:40.7) and senior Alexa Ramsier (119th, 24:38.7) rounded out the Falcons' competitors in the women's race.
Air Force returns to action over the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 weekend. Select Falcons will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Sept. 30, while the rest of the squad will compete at the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 1.