Nov. 1, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Senior Isaiah Bragg won the Mountain West men's cross country title this morning (Nov. 1) during the championship race at the Academy's Eisenhower Golf Course. Bragg, who was also named the MW Student-Athlete of the Year, clocked a course-record 8K time of 24:08.39 to best the 64-member field by four seconds.
Bragg, the program's first MW champion, is the third conference champion in Academy history, joining former Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champions, Chris Nelson (1990, 1991) and Eric Mack (1995).
Sophomore Patrick Corona joined Bragg as an all-conference selection, as he finished 13th in a time of 24:39.55. The final three members of the scoring party finished within three-places of one another in the top 25. Junior Zach Perkins, clocked in at 24:49.89 to finish 21st, while juniors Riley Coates and Elliot Myers finished 22nd (24:52.51) and 23rd (24:56.60), respectively.
Four other Falcons also competed at the conference meet, including seniors Charlie Perkins and Gavin Owens, who finished 28th (25:11.66) and 31st (25:19.66), respectively. Sophomore Dan Caddigan finished 38th in a time of 25:29.67, while freshman Kyle Eller clocked a time of 25:47.05 to finish 41st in his first conference championship race.
As a team, Air Force finished third with 80 points. New Mexico tallied 32 points to account for its fifth-straight team title, while Colorado State finished second with 51 points. Boise State followed Air Force with 101 points, while Wyoming (106 points), Utah State (130), Fresno State (222) and San Jose State (248) rounded out the team standings.
Not to be outdone by the history that happened on the men's side of the course, sophomore Hannah Everson claimed the highest placement by a female runner in a conference championship, as she placed fifth with a 6K time of 21:41.07. Everson, who bettered the previous high finish of eighth that was set in 2005, also became the program's first female to garner first-team all-conference distinction.
For the second straight season, Air Force picked up a pair of all-MW honorees, as senior Annette Eichenberger claimed second-team status with a ninth-place time of 21:59.01. A pair of freshman paced the final three scoring runners, as Samantha Skold and Lindy Long finished 34th (22:53.81) and 37th (22:58.03), respectively. Junior Taylor Drolshagen rounded out the scoring placements, as she clocked a time of 22:59.38 to finish 39th.
Four other Falcons also competed at the Mountain West Championships, including junior Heather Connick finished 42nd with a time of 23:34.39, while classmate Rebecca Esselstein finished 51st in a time of 23:34.39. Sophomore Emily Wagemaker finished 63rd with a time of 24:11.78, while freshman Kirsten Linnartz rounded out the Air Force contingent with a 72nd-place time of 24:30.47.
As a team, the women tallied 118 points to finish fourth - just one point shy of third. New Mexico used a 31-point output to claim it sixth consecutive team title, while Boise State finished second with 60 points. Colorado State scored 117 points to edge the Falcons by just one point. Utah State finished fifth with 121 points, while Wyoming (143 points), Nevada (162), Fresno State (201), San Diego State (274), San Jose State (297) and UNLV (330) rounded out the team standings.
Air Force returns to action on Friday, Nov. 15, when it travels to Riverdale, Utah, for the 2013 NCAA Mountain Region Championships.