Sept. 28, 2011
The Air Force cross country team splits for a pair of weekend races. Select Falcons will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the adidas/Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Sept. 30, while the rest of the squad will head to Boulder, Colo., for the 26th annual Rocky Mountain Shootout. The men are currently receiving votes in the weekly USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll.
Meet Notes 03: at adidas/Notre Dame Invitational; at Rocky Mountain Shootout
MEET INFORMATION: NOTRE DAME
The adidas/Notre Dame Invitational is comprised of two men's races, two women's races and one junior varsity race. Air Force will compete in the Blue Division, which features programs from Auburn, Baylor, Butler, BYU, Clemson, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Princeton, Texas A&M, UCLA, UTEP, Utah State, Washington State and Weber State. The women will also face Arkansas, James Madison, Rice, SMU, Stony Brook, Toledo and UAB, while the men's field includes squads from Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Indiana State, Santa Clara and Stanford. In all, 28 women's teams (with seven ranked in the Sept. 27 USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll) and 26 men's teams (with 12 ranked in the coaches' poll) will compete in the Blue Division Races at the Notre Dame Cross Country Course.
THE TIMING SYSTEM
Action officially gets underway with a pair of Gold Division Races, featuring 20 schools from all three divisions of the NCAA, as well as the NAIA. The women's Gold race begins at 2 p.m., while the men's Gold event starts at 2:45 p.m. Junior varsity athletes will compete in the JV Race at 3:30 p.m., before 32 Division I programs toe the line for the start of the Blue Division Races. The women's 5K race is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m., while the shotgun for the men's five mile race is slated to go at 5 p.m.
MEET INFORMATION: ROCKY MOUNTAIN SHOOTOUT
The Rocky Mountain Shootout, hosted by the University of Colorado and entering its 26th year, is one of the longest-running collegiate cross country meets in the country. The field traditionally includes local Division I programs such as Air Force, Colorado (No. 7 men, No. 4 women), Wyoming and Northern Colorado, as well as non-DI teams from Adams State, Western State, Metro State, Colorado College, New Mexico Highlands, Colorado School of Mines, Fort Lewis, Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado Christian, South Dakota, School of Mines, Montana State and Regis. The host Buffs have won the last 20 men's titles and the last 12 women's titles. Air Force's men's squad has finished second among Division I teams in four of the last nine meets (2002-03-05-08).
AT THE SOUND OF THE GUN
The women's 6000-meter race will kick off the Rocky Mountain Shootout at 9 a.m., while the men's 8000-meter race is set for 9:45 a.m.
DIRECTIONS TO THE COURSE
Head west on U.S. 36 (from I-25 or I-270). Exit Table Mesa/South Boulder Road (right at fork on off-ramp). Turn left on Table Mesa (exit ramp light), go through the first set of lights and proceed over the bridge (U.S. 36). At the second light, take a left into the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course.
MEN RECEIVE VOTES FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK
The men's team continues to receive votes in the USTFCCCA National Coaches' Poll, sitting at No. 31 in the weekly rankings. The Falcons, who earned their first "RV" designation on Sept. 20 after a six-year absence, are currently just six points out of the coaches' Top-30.
WOMEN RANKED IN MOUNTAIN REGION FOR FIRST TIME IN 2011
The women's team made their season-debut in the Mountain Region Rankings on Sept. 26, vaulting from unranked to 12th in the 15-team standings. That ranking matches the best weekly standing for the women's program since the 2009 preseason standings.
WALMSLEY AND FUERST SHARE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS
Jim Walmsley and Melissa Fuerst were named the Mountain West Cross Country Athletes of the Week on Sept. 20, marking just the third time in program history that the Falcons have claimed both MW honors in the same week. It was the second straight honor for Walmsley and the first for Fuerst.
DID YOU KNOW?
Jim Walmsley's second honor marked the first time since 2008 that any runner in the conference has claimed Athlete of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks. He is also just the fifth Falcon to receive the honor more than once in a career. Melissa Fuerst is the first member of the women's team to claim the weekly honor since 2008 ... and just the fifth female overall since Air force joined the Mountain West.
WALMSLEY WINS NEBRASKA RACE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
Jim Walmsley won the Woody Greeno Invitational for the second straight year on Sept. 17, bettering the 305-runner field by eight seconds. His time of 24:15.3 - the second-fastest 8K of his career - is the sixth-fastest time ever at Nebraska's Pioneer Park. Walmsley now owns two of the top 20 times in course history, as he recorded the 17th-fastest mark in 2010.
FUERST TAKES SECOND
Clocking a personal-best time of 21:25.7, Melissa Fuerst placed second in a 6K field of 283 runners at the Woody Greeno Invitational on Sept. 17. Her time, a personal improvement by nearly one minute, was the seventh-fastest course time at Pioneer Park since 2002.
MEN WIN WOODY GREENO INVITATIONAL
Backed by three top-10 finishes and all five scoring runners placing within the top 14, the men won the 28-team Woody Greeno Invitational by nearly 50 points. In addition to Jim Walmsley's first-place finish, Jeremy Drenckhahn finished third (24:45.7) and Andrew Quallio placed ninth (25:05.0), while Isaiah Bragg and Charlie Perkins placed 11th (25:24.7) and 14th (25:26.7), respectively.
WOMEN TAKE SECOND AT NEBRASKA
With all five scoring runners finishing within the top 25, including three within the top 10, the women finished second at the 25-team Woody Greeno Invitational. Melissa Fuerst paced the Falcons with a second-place finish, while Jen Bremser and Kate Kanetzky finished fourth (21:34.2) and eighth (21:45.7), respectively. Heather Connick (21st, 22:35.0) and Katie Carroll (24th, 22:46.7) rounded out the scoring runners
Several Air Force runners will travel to Hays, Kan., for the annual Tiger Invitational, hosted by Fort Hays State, on Saturday, Oct. 8. The women's 5K is scheduled to run at 9 a.m., while the men's 8K race will go at 9:40 a.m.