Oct. 27, 2010
The Air Force cross country team kicks off the championship season this Friday (Oct. 29), as its top runners travel to Laramie, Wyo., for the 2010 Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships. The meet, hosted by the University of Wyoming, will feature six men's teams and nine women's teams. The two championship races, which begin at 10 a.m. (MST), will take place at Jacoby Golf Course.
Meet Notes 05: at MWC Championships
The Mountain West Conference Championships will take place throughout Jacoby Golf Course on the campus of the University of Wyoming. The women's 6000-meter race will kick off the championships at 10 a.m., while the men's 8000-meter race is slated for an 11 a.m. start. The award ceremony will follow the conclusion of the men's race.
All nine conference schools - Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming - field a women's team, while the men's race will feature runners from six schools, including Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, TCU and Wyoming. New Mexico, the defending men's and women's champions, boasts a pair of nationally ranked teams (women: 10th, men: 12th). In addition, the BYU men's team is ranked 13th in the latest national polls.
Entering the conference championships, Justin Tyner is ranked fourth in the conference with an 8K time of 23:58.1. Jim Walmsley is ranked 15th (24:31.8), while Jon Rock is ranked 16th (24:36.7).
The men's team won the conference championship title in 2003, while they have accounted for five second-place finishes and four third-place finishes. The only year that the Falcons have not finished within the top three was in 2002, when they placed fourth. The women placed third at the championship meet during the first six years of competing within the Mountain West Conference. With a fourth-place finish at last year's meet, Air Force accounted for its best team finish since 2003.
Air Force's men have accounted for 33 all-conference selections, including 11 first-team selections. In all, 19 different Falcons have earned all-league honors. Three members of the women's team have also received all-conference accolades.
LAST YEAR AT THE MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS: MEN
Justin Tyner clocked a career-best time of 23:45 to place third at the 2009 MWC Championship meet and pace the five scoring Falcons to top-25 finishes. Tyner (first-team) and Zach Nordahl (13th, second-team) claimed all-conference honors, as Air Force placed third in the team standings. Jon Rock (19th), Jim Walmsley (21st) and Andy Schweitzer (23rd) rounded out the scoring members of the team.
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE PERFORMER
Justin Tyner returns to this year's lineup as the Falcons' returning all-conference performer. Last season, Tyner placed third at the conference meet to earn the squad's best individual finish at the MWC Championships since 2005.
LAST YEAR AT THE MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS: WOMEN
Clocking a career-fast time of 22:35, Jen Bremser placed 20th to become the highest finishing female Falcon at a conference meet since 2005. Paced by Bremser, four Falcons finished within the top 30, as the squad accounted for its best team finish (fourth) since 2004. Katherine Ward (23rd), Auriele Fain (24th) and Katie Lynch (27th) finished within the top 30, while Kate Kanetzky rounded out the scoring with a 37th-place finish.
LOOKING BACK AT PRE-NATS
Three of the five men's scoring runners placed within the top half of the 274-runner field at the Pre-Nationals Meet on Oct. 16. Justin Tyner paced the squad with a 43rd-place finish, while Jeremy Drenckhahn (69th) and Jim Walmsley (75th) also finished within the top half of the White Race. Jon Rock (115th) and Isaiah Bragg (168th) rounded out the scoring.
WARD EARNS ANOTHER TOP FINISH
For the fourth consecutive meet, Katherine Ward was the Falcons' top finisher. Posting a career-best time (21:58.0), Ward placed 116th at the Pre-Nationals Meet on Oct. 16. Jen Bremser and Morgan Mosby also placed within the top 200, finishing 188th and 199th, respectively. Melissa Fuerst (202nd) and Carley Gross (239th) rounded out Air Force's scoring runners.
PELLETIER PACES MEN AT TIGER INVITATIONAL
Finishing 24th in a 156-competitor race, Seth Pelletier paced the Falcons to a fifth-place team finish at the Tiger Invitational on Oct. 16. Pelletier and Andrew Quallio (27th) finished within the top 30, while all five scoring runners - including Gavin Owens (36th), Ryan Del Grosso (43rd) and Jake Hawkins (49th) - finished within the top 50.
TAKING DOWN THE TIMES
Four of the five scoring runners (Seth Pelletier, Andrew Quallio, Gavin Owens and Jake Hawkins) accounted for career-best times at the Tiger Invitational, while Ryan Del Grosso clocked a season-best time. Sam O'Hair shaved over three minutes off of his previous 8K time, while Dan Bailey, Matt Caldwell, Cameron Edwards, Carson Fugal, Carl Eifert and Tommy Heikkinen also recorded personal-best times. In addition, Ted Artz, Matt Cain and Nick White accounted for season-best times.
The Falcons will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2010 NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 13. The men's 10K race and women's 6K race will take place at Rose Park Golf Course.