Amanda Blain and Gavin Owens Lead Falcons at Tiger Invitational
Oct. 8, 2011
HAYS, Kan. - Sophomores Amanda Blain and Gavin Owens led the Air Force cross country team at the Tiger Invitational, hosted by Fort Hays State, on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Hays, Kan. Blain finished seventh to pace the women to a second-place finish, while Owens finished 11th to lead the men to a third-place finish.
Blain clocked a 5K time of 18:39.0 to finish 11th in the 99-runner race (6th among collegiate competitors), while sophomore Adrianna Dong and freshman Taylor Drolshagen finished ninth (eighth) and 10th (ninth), with respective times of 18:42.7 and 18:45.4. Freshman Rebecca Esselstein finished 14th (12th) with a time of 18:58.1, while sophomore Annette Eichenberger rounded out the scoring finishers with a 19th-place (17th) time of 19:09.1.
Eichenberger was one of five Falcons to finish within seven places of one another. Sophomore Tasha Mayne finished on her heels at 19:09.8 to place 20th (18th), while senior Alexa Ramsier crossed the finish line in 19:15.1 to take 21st (19th). Freshman Emily Hazen placed 23rd (21st) in 19:17.7, while sophomore Stephaney Saari finished 25th (23rd) with a time of 19:20.0. Freshman Michelle Ferguson rounded out the Falcons' contingent with a 29th-place (27th) time of 19:26.9.
With three runners finishing within the top 10, Air Force tallied 52 points to finish as the runner-up in the 16-team race and first among the two Division I programs in the field. Friends University, ranked seventh in the NAIA, won the meet with 30 points, while Colorado School of Mines finished third behind the Falcons with 86 points. Host Fort Hays State Northern Colorado finished fourth (103 points) and fifth (110), respectively.
Owens clocked an 8K time of 25:15.5 to finish 11th among 152 runners (10th in the collegiate field), while classmate Dan Bailey placed 15th overall (13th among college runners) with a time of 25:24.3. Juniors Seth Pelletier and Cameron Edwards finished 22nd (18th) and 24th (20th) with respective times of 25:36.3 and 25:42.5. Senior Nick White rounded out the scoring finishers with a 30th-place time of 25:55.5 to finish 26th among collegiate runners.
Nine additional Falcons also competed at the Tiger Invitational. Freshman Zach Perkins finished 35th overall (31st) with a time of 26:07.8, while sophomore Carson Fugal finished 38th (33rd) in 26:13.7. Classmate Carl Eifert crossed the finish line in 26:17.0, while juniors Sam O'Hair (26:24.9) and Gage Owens (26:25.6) finished 47th (42nd) and 48th (43rd), respectively. Freshman Ronnie Elly placed 55th (49th) in a time of 26:37.6 and classmate Elliot Myers finished 57th (51st) in 26:41.3, while sophomore Alex Lindsay and freshman Zack Christenson rounded out the Falcons' contingent with respective times of 26:25.6 (69th, 63rd) and 26:53.0 (70th, 64th).
With four of the five scoring runners placing within the top 25, the men tallied 75 points to finish third in the 15-team race and first among the two Division I schools in attendance. Colorado School of Mines, ranked fourth in Division II, won the race with 23 points, while Friends University took second with 60 points. Garden City Community College and host Fort Hays State rounded out the top five finishers with respective fourth (118 points) and fifth-place (125 points) finishes.
The Falcons return to action next weekend (Friday, Oct. 14) for the final meet of the regular season, traveling to Madison, Wis., for the 2011 adidas Invitational at 1 p.m. CST.