Nov. 9, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Air Force men's cross country team finished sixth at the 2012 NCAA Mountain Region Championships, while the women posted their best regional finish since 2005 (11th) during the annual meet on Friday, Nov. 9, in Fort Collins, Colo.
Senior Matt Bell paced the seven-member men's contingent during their first 10K of the season. Clocking a time of 31:12.0 in his first collegiate race at that distance, Bell placed 36th among the 122 runners in the men's field. He finished just one place ahead of classmate Jeremy Drenckhahn, who finished 37th in a time of 31:19.6. Sophomore Riley Coates made his regional debut with a 47th-place time of 31:38.1, while junior Isaiah Bragg finished 55th in a time of 31:49.3. Fellow junior Lance Wolfsmith rounded out the contingent of Air Force scoring runners, as he placed 56th with a time of 31:50.4.
Two other Falcons also competed in the 10K race, although their scores did not count toward the team standings. Senior Andrew Quallio placed 62nd with a time of 32:02.7 - a mark just 0:0.5 shy of his career best - and sophomore Elliot Myers posted a 10K debut time of 32:25.4 to finish 75th.
Northern Arizona, ranked 18th in the most recent USTFCCCA poll, won the Mountain Region with 56 points; while seventh-ranked BYU edged second-ranked Colorado for the second automatic qualifying spot by just one points (69-68). No. 16 New Mexico placed fourth (108 points) and Weber State (196) rounded out the top five, while Air Force, the second-highest placing team not in the national rankings, finished sixth with 231 points, as only 38.4 seconds separated the five scoring runners.
With a time of 21:29.4, senior Jen Bremser paced the women's squad with a 32nd-place finish in the 133-runner 6K regional. Classmate Morgan Mosby crossed the finish line in time of 21:49.3 to finish 49th, while sophomore Heather Connick clocked in at 22:21.2 to finish 70th. Senior Kate Kanetzky and junior Annette Eichenberger rounded out Air Force's scorers with respective 87th (22:51.8) and 90th (23:00.5).
Sophomore Rebecca Esselstein also participated in the regional race, finishing 94th in a time of 23:04.5.
Weber State, ranked 13th in the nation, won the regional meet with 63 points, while 17th-ranked New Mexico took second with 95 points to earn the second automatic spot to the national championship meet. No. 24 Colorado placed third with 107 points, while Southern Utah (132 points) and Colorado State (173) rounded out the top five. The Falcons amassed 328 points to finish 11th, which marked its best finish since the squad placed 10th at the 2005 championships.