Thursday, May 31, 2007

SPORTS>>Academy record set at NCAA Regionals

DES MOINES, Iowa — While qualifying for a spot in tomorrow’s event final, junior Kevin Hawkins set an Academy record in the 800-meter run, as select members of the Air Force track and field team participated in the first day of competition at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, May 25, in Des Moines, Iowa.

During the preliminary round of competition for the 800-meter run, Hawkins crossed the finish line in 1:48.66 to qualify for tomorrow’s finals.

That time, which placed Hawkins sixth in the preliminary heat, is the fastest ever by an Air Force athlete, breaking Jeff Kuzma’s record of 1:48.68 that was set in 1994.

Two Falcons could earn a spot at the national championships, based on their finishes today. The top five finishers from each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, while the sixth, seventh and eighth-place finishers have a chance for an at-large bid based on the national descending order lists once the regional meets are finished. Freshman Dan Paladino will have a shot for an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships, after placing eighth in the hammer with a throw of 189’4”.

That mark, which was just inches shy of his personal best, was the second-best distance in its flight. Classmate Nick Frawley also earned a shot at an at-large consideration, as he placed eighth in the pole vault after clearing 16’7¼”. He was one of just two underclassmen to finish within the top 10.

Sophomore Kirk Devine picked up two 16th-place finishes, beginning a trend that saw three others claim that same finish.
Devine threw a 181’0” to take 16th in the hammer, while amassing a distance of 164’0” to take that same placement in the discus.

From the track, sophomore Kellen Curry timed in at 14.54 in the 110-meter hurdles to take 16th in the preliminary heat. Junior Travis Picou earned the same place finish in the preliminaries of the 200-meter dash, as he finished 16th with a time of 21.45.

In the Falcons’ only event final from the track, sophomore Sean Houseworth picked up a 16th-place finish in the 5000-meter run behind a time of 14:58.02.

On the women’s side, senior Casey Bayne threw a 144’8” to place 13th in the javelin, while freshman Katie Weber finished 17th, with a throw of 130’11”. Another senior-freshman duo competed in the shot put, as senior Olivia Korte and freshman Sara Neubauer finished 14th and 18th, respectively. Korte tossed a distance of 47’7¾”, while Neubauer recorded a mark of 46’8¼”.

Action concludes tomorrow (May 26) at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. Air Force begins competition at 2 p.m. (CST) with the women’s pole vault and concludes at 4 p.m., with the women’s shot put.


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