Justin Tyner Places Third at MWC Championships
Oct. 31, 2009
OREM, Utah - Junior Justin Tyner clocked a career-best time of 23:45 to place third at the 2009 Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Orem, Utah. With all five scoring runners placing within the top-25, the Falcons finished third in the team standings. The women picked up an impressive fourth-place finish in the team standings, as four of the five scoring runners placed within the top 30.
Finishing just 10 seconds off of the meet winner, Tyner's first-team all-conference performance was the Falcons' best individual finish since Nick Wilson placed second at the 2005 meet. The junior was one of two Air Force runners to earn all-conference selections, as senior Zach Nordahl placed 13th with a season-best time of 24:42. It is the second consecutive year that Nordahl has claimed all-conference second-team honors, as he finished 14th last year.
Tyner and Nordahl were the only two runners within the top 17 that did not represent conference champion New Mexico or runner-up BYU.
Sophomore Jonathan Rock matched his career-best time of an even 25 minutes to place 19th, while classmate James Walmsley finished 21st with a time of 25:14. Senior Andy Schweitzer rounded out the Falcons' five scoring runners, as he clocked a career-best time of 25:34.
Freshman Jeremy Drenckhahn and junior Tyler Small finished back-to-back, as Drenckhahn covered the course at Cascade Golf Course in 26:13 to place 31st and Small posted a career-best time of 26:15 to place 32nd. Sophomore Ryan Del Grosso finished 38th with a time of 27:00, while classmate Nick White rounded out the Air Force contingent with a 45th-place time of 27:50.
New Mexico won its first-ever conference crown with 29 points, while BYU, which had won the last five titles, finished second with 34 points. Air Force collected 72 points to take third and distance itself from the rest of the pack. Colorado State (118 points), Wyoming (132 points) and TCU (186 points) rounded out the conference's six-team men's race.
On the women's side, freshman Jen Bremser had a stellar showing at her first conference championship meet, pacing the Falcons with a 20th-place finish. Clocking a career-fast time of 22:36, Bremser became the first freshman to pace the women this season. It is also the best finish for an Air Force female since Nicole Graham finished eighth at the 2005 meet.
Bremser paced four Falcons to top-30 placements, helping Air Force to its best team finish since 2004.
Junior Katherine Ward crossed the finish line in a season-best time of 22:43 (22:43.2) to place 23rd, while sophomore Auriele Fain was right on her heels at 22:43.5 to finish 24th. Senior Katie Lynch clocked a 6K time of 22:49 to finish seventh. Freshman Kate Kanetzky rounded out the scoring members of the Air Force squad, as she recorded a personal-best time of 23:15 to finish 37th.
Sophomore Meghan Prinkey finished right behind Kanetzky with a 38th-place time of 23:18, while senior Brittany Morreale, competing in her first 6K race of the season, finished 46th with a time of 24:04. Also competing in her first race at that distance was freshman Melissa Fuerst, who finished 51st in 24:21 to round out the Air Force runners.
New Mexico successfully defended its conference title, tallying just 24 points behind five of the top-eight runners. BYU finished second with 45 points, while Colorado State accumulated 64 points to place third. Air Force scored 124 points to place fourth, distancing itself from fifth-place Wyoming by 41 points. Utah tallied 195 points to edge TCU for sixth by a single point, while San Diego State (207) and UNLV (210) rounded out the nine-team field.
Air Force is off from competition for a week to train for the 2009 NCAA Regional Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, in Albuquerque, N.M.