The Air Force cross country team, which includes the 29th-ranked women’s squad, opens the 2017 season this weekend, when it travels to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Colorado State Duals on Friday, Sept. 1. Action gets underway at 6:00 p.m. (MT).
The annual Colorado State Duals will take place on the fields surrounding Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins on Friday, Sept. 1. The men and women will both complete a 5K course, with the women starting at 6:00 p.m., and the men following at 6:30 p.m.
LAST YEAR AT THE COLORADO STATE INVITATIONAL
Backed by a first-place finish from Carina Gillespie, the women captured the team title at the 2016 Colorado State Invitational. Gillespie clocked the fifth-fastest 5K time in Academy history (17.33) to win the 93-runner event by two seconds. All five of the women’s scoring runners – Jaci Smith, Samantha Skold, Katie Burnham, Lindy Long – finished within the top 12, while three men – Matt Dorsey, Andrew Johnston, Kyle Eller – finished in the top 10 to lead the men to a runner-up finish in the team standings.
WOMEN RANKED 29TH IN USTFCCCA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
The women earned its first preseason nod from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Aug. 29, as the Falcons were listed 29th in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Falcons return a talented lineup that includes all but two of the runners that helped Air Force qualify for its first NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship meet last season.
MEN RECEIVING VOTES IN PRESEASON COACHES POLL
The men received votes in the preseason poll, tallying 15 points to rank 34th in the season’s first poll.
MEN, WOMEN RANKED THIRD IN MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON POLL
The Air Force men and women were selected third in the Mountain West Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The women accounted for 81 points to finish third in the 11-team standings – just eight points out of second – while the men registered 36 points to earn the same placement in the eight-team field.
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE LOCALS
Eight Falcons hail from the Centennial State, including two from Colorado Springs (Maria Mettler, Conner Wilburn) and one from Monument (Drew Lester). Air Force’s roster also includes runners from Arvada (Zac Petrie, Giulianna Vessa), Fort Collins (Preston Roche), Littleton (Noah Riley) and Parker (Scott Johnson).
WELCOME TO THE TEAM
Air Force added 10 men and six women to its roster for the 2017 season. The men’s freshman lineup includes Hunter Boyer, Colin Dwyer, Scott Johnson, Aric Kedge, Zack Lavier, Jordan Lesansee, Drew Lester, Alec Schrank, Konrad Steck and Joe Way, while the women’s roster includes Sarah Bodmer, Brooke Drabek, Maria Mettler, Mahala Norris, Alexis Sherwin and Shay Stayton.
FOLLOW THE FALCONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans of the Air Force cross country program can follow the team on Twitter via @af_trackfield – the official account of the Falcons’ cross country, track and field teams. Air Force can also be found on Facebook (AirForceTF) and Instagram (af_trackfield).
THE NEXT COURSE
Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 16, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the annual Woody Greeno Invitational at Pioneers Park.