BOULDER, Colo. – Sophomore Marshall Wheeler paced a young contingent of runners from the Air Force cross country team to a second-place finish at the 32nd-annual Rocky Mountain Shootout this morning (Sept. 30) at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course in Boulder.
Wheeler, who finished fifth amongst Division I runners, clocked a time of 26:35 to finish 13th in the overall field 127 runners that completed the 8K course. Junior Josh Wojciechowski deleted more than one minute off of his time from last year’s Shootout to finish eighth among DI runners and 18th overall (26:48), while classmate Nic Cheuvront posted a career-best RMS time of 27:07 to finish 29th (13th in Division I field). Freshmen Hunter Boyer and Konrad Steck rounded out the Falcons’ scoring lineup, as the pair finished 31st (27:13, 14th in DI) and 35th (27:19, 15th), respectively, in the full field of runners.
With all five scoring runners finishing within the top 15 of the Division I field, Air Force placed second in the DI team standings. Colorado, ranked fourth in the most recent USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll, won their home meet with 17 points, while Air Force (55) bettered a squad from 15th-ranked Colorado State (76) by 21 points. Northern Colorado rounded out the DI field with 93 points.
Eight other men represented the Falcons this morning in Boulder, with four finishing within the top half of the overall field. Freshman Scott Johnson clocked a time of 27:23 to place 39th, while senior Conner Wilburn added a top-50 time of 27:47 (48th). Freshman Alex Schrank finished 52nd (27:55) and sophomore Jordan Armstrong placed 59th (27:13) to finish within the top 60. Freshmen Drew Lester and Colin Dwyer finished 64th (28:26) and 65th (28:29), respectively, while fellow freshman Joe Way (87th, 29:27) and junior Gordon Kowalkowski (88th, 29:35) rounded out the Air Force contingent.
Former Air Force runner Riley Coates (Class of 2015) won the men’s 8K with a time of 25:25, while current cadet coach Anthony Bucci, competing unattached, finished 40th with a time of 27:24.
Three members of the women’s team also raced today, completing a 5.8K course around the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course. Sophomore Swathi Samuel was the trio’s top finisher, placing 22nd in the 88-runner event with a time of 22:56 – a personal improvement of over one minute from last year’s race. Freshmen Sarah Bodmer and Shay Stayton also placed within the top half of the overall field, finishing 35th (23:39) and 36th (23:47), respectively, in their first race in Boulder.
The Falcons are off from competition until Friday, Oct. 13, when they travel to Madison, Wis., for the ninth-annual Nuttycombe Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.