Falcons Wrap Up Competition at Early Bird Invitational
Oct. 20, 2007
Fort Collins, Colo. - With 13 top-three finishes on day two, the Air Force men's swimming team captured first place at the Early Bird Invitational, hosted by Colorado State. The Falcons scored 1027.50 points, 72.5 points ahead of second-place Wyoming. Meanwhile, the Falcons took sixth place in the women's competition, scoring 180 points.
The day opened for the men with a victory, as Air Force's 200 medley relay team of Kai Yamashiro (Jr., Kaneohe, Hawaii), Justin Day (Jr., Peyton, Colo.), Bryan Avery (Jr., Mililani, Hawaii) and Stephen Grace (So., Cincinnati, Ohio) captured first place with a mark of 1:35.61. The Falcons also won the 800 freestyle relay, with Avery, Sean O'Keefe (So., Lake Oswego, Ore.), Benjamin Gunn (Fr., Gainesville, Ga.) and T.J. Cowling (Sr., Newport News, Va.) combining for a time of 7:01.07.
Air Force took the top two spots in the 1650 free, with O'Keefe winning the race in a time of 16:44.26, followed by freshman Tom Hansen (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) with a mark of 16:57.22. The Falcons also finished first and second in the 200 backstroke, as Yamashiro clocked in at 1:55.84, while Gunn registered a mark of 1:56.48.
Avery and Chris Morin (So., Crown Point, Ind.) finished second and third in the 100 fly, clocking in at 52.60 and 52.62, respectively. Day added a second-place finish in the 100 breast with a time of 59.09, Cowling took second in the 100 free at 47.48 and Nick Dixon (Jr., Plymouth, Mich.) finished second in the 200 fly with a mark of 2:00.62. Also capturing a second-place finish for Air Force was the 400 freestyle relay team of Morin, Grace, Avery and Cowling, clocking in at 3:09.07.
Rounding out the group of the Falcons' top three finishers was O'Keefe, who took third place in the 200 free, recording a time of 1:45.88.
On the women's side, junior Jane Hwang (Irvine, Calif.) led the Falcons with a pair of top-10 finishes. In addition to placing fourth in the 100 free with a mark of 53.95, Hwang took seventh place in the 100 fly, clocking in at 1:00.38. Hwang also swam the lead leg for the 10th-place 400 freestyle relay team which included Kelly Grabarek, Lindsay Brown (So., Rockledge, Fla.) and Esther Kim (Fr., Huntington Beach, Calif.).
In addition, freshman Kaeli Kluesner (Denver, Colo.) notched two top-15 performances, taking 12th in the 200 back and 14th in the 400 IM.
The Air Force women return to action next weekend, Oct. 27, when they open up the Mountain West Conference slate against San Diego State, Colorado State and New Mexico. Meanwhile, the men are off until Nov. 3, when they visit TCU.