Air Force Men Lead on Opening Day at MWC Championships
Feb. 25, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Setting a pair of school records in its first two swimming events, the Air Force men's swimming and diving team leads the team standings on day one of the 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships, being held in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Falcons currently have 99.5 points, followed by TCU in second place with 86 points. Meanwhile, the Air Force women are in ninth place after six events with 46 points, while the Wyoming women sit on top of the team leaderboard.
The Air Force men started out the meet strong, setting a school record in the 200 medley relay to finish third in the event. The relay team of Kai Yamashiro (Sr., Kaneohe, Hawaii), Justin Day (Sr., Peyton, Colo.), Chris Morin (Jr., Crown Point, Ind.) and Robert Dawson (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) registered a mark of 1:28.68, besting the previous Academy record of 1:29.55, set in 2001. The Falcons' time was just three-hundredths of a second off the NCAA `B' standard in the event.
Meanwhile, the Falcons added another school-best performance in the 800 freestyle relay, clocking in with an NCAA `B' standard mark of 6:32.32 to take second place. The mark, set by the relay team of Tom Hansen (So., Berkeley Heights, N.J.), Sean O'Keefe (Jr., Lake Oswego, Ore.), Eric Robinson (So., Lakewood, Colo.) and Benjamin Gunn (So., Gainesville, Ga.) shaved more than two seconds off the previous Air Force record, set in 2007.
For the divers, a pair of Falcons advanced to the finals of the men's 1-meter springboard event, with junior David Arlington (Eagle River, Alaska) earning a fifth-place finish with a mark of 290.55, while classmate Kyle Van Valkenburg (Tucson, Ariz.) took seventh place with a score of 284.20. In addition, two other men's divers advanced to the consolation finals, with senior Randy Rogers (Fort Worth, Texas) finishing 11th overall, while Jesse Bicknell (Fr., Westtown, N.Y.) tied for 15th.
On the women's side, Air Force posted season bests in both relays, with the team of Katelyn Hunter (Jr., La Crescent, Minn.), Jane Hwang (Sr., Irvine, Calif.), Katharine Ernst (Fr., Folsom, Calif.) and Laken Stogner (Sr., Bowdon, Ga.) notching a season-best mark of 1:46.58 in the 200 medley relay, placing eighth in the event. Meanwhile, in the women's 800 freestyle relay, Hwang, Cassie Fletcher (Fr., Durham, N.C.), Stogner and Becky Gleason (Jr., Ballwin, Mo.) combined for a season-best mark of 7:36.79, finishing seventh.
Also on Wednesday, senior Ashleigh Peck (Beaver Falls, Pa.) led the Air Force women's divers, placing 17th overall on the 3-meter springboard with a mark of 232.40.
The second day of action at the MWC Championships commences tomorrow, Feb. 26, with 10 total events, starting with the preliminary rounds of the women's 1-meter dive and women's 500 freestyle at 10:00 a.m. (CT). Meanwhile, finals competition is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m.