Sept. 29, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Highlighted by top-10 placements from senior Jen Bremser and junior Isaiah Bragg, the Air Force cross country team capped off a strong day of competition at the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday, Sept. 29. The men earned a third-place finish in the team standings, while the women placed fourth.
Bragg clocked a season-best 8K time of 24:12.80 to finish 10th and pace Air Force to a third-place finish in the team standings. Bragg was one of four Falcons to place within the top 20, while all five scoring runners finished among the top 25 of the 159-runner event. Senior Andrew Quallio improved his season time at that distance by over one minute (24:16.00) to finish 12th, while classmates Matt Bell and Jeremy Drenckhahn finished 17th (season-best 24:22.90) and 19th (season-debut 24:27.10), respectively. Sophomore Elliot Myers rounded out the scoring runners with a 23rd-place time of 24:34.30.
The Falcons accumulated 81 points to finish third in the 14-team event. Kansas won its home invitational with 35 points, while No. 11 Indiana used a 44-point outing to place second. Texas Tech (100 points) and Rice (131 points) rounded out the top-five teams in the men's field.
Bremser finished ninth in a season-best 6K time of 20:59.80, marking the third consecutive meet this season that she has paced the Falcons in individual finishes. Fellow senior Melissa Fuerst finished 24th with a time of 21:43.50, while sophomores Heather Connick and Rebecca Esselstein finished 35th (22:03.60) and 37th (season-best 22:05.80), respectively. Senior Kate Kanetzky rounded out the Falcons' scoring finishers with a 43rd-place time of 22:20.80 (season-best). Freshman Hannah Everson also competed at Rim Rock, recorded a career-best time of 22:22.30 to place 45th.
Air Force accounted for 128 points to finish fourth in the 15-team women's 6K race at Rim Rock Farms. Michigan, ranked 11th in the USTFCCCA national rankings, won the meet with 33 points, while 22nd-ranked Toledo finished second with 43 points. Indiana scored 99 points to place third, while Air Force and New Mexico State (138 points) rounded out the top five.
Five men, including four that placed within the top 30, also competed in the 8K race. Junior Charlie Perkins finished 25th with a season-debut time of 24:37.90, while classmate Lance Wolfsmith improved his time from the Woody Greeno Invitational by nearly two minutes (24:45.10) to place 28th. Sophomore Riley Coates crossed the finish line in 24:45.10 (an improvement of over one minute) to placed 30th, while junior Gavin Owens cut his seasonal time by two minutes (24:49.60) to finish 32nd. Freshman Kevin Mihalik rounded out the Falcons' contingent with a career-best time of 25:40.30 to place 71st.
Air Force returns to action next Saturday (Oct. 6), when it travels to Denver for the Metro State Invitational. The meet, which will be held at Washington Park, begins at 10 a.m., with the men's 8K race. The women's 6K event is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m.