INDIANAPOLIS, Ind The Air Force track and field team earned a program-record 31 bids into the West Preliminary of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the national selection committee announced today (May 18). The Falcons, who qualified athletes in 23 different events, will travel to Austin, Texas, next week (May 25-27) for the opening round of the national meet.
The 31 selections are the most for the Falcons since Regional Qualifying began in 2003, easily surpassing the previous highs of 26 (under the four-region setup, 2003) and 25 (under the two-region setup, 2013). In addition, 18 men selected for individual events is a new program record, while the eight female qualifiers are the most since the 2003 team also sent eight athletes to the regional meet.
Based on their placement as one of the top-48 accepted athletes in the region, a total of 18 men, eight women and two relays earned a spot in 23 events at the NCAA’s west preliminary site. The Falcons will compete in 16 running events, four jumping events and three throwing events at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium next week.
The men qualified multiple athletes in five events, including the javelin throw (junior Donny Crabill, senior Eric Hoff, senior Taylor Hulslander), 200-meter dash (senior Zach Johnson, junior Jamiel Trimble), 400-meter dash (junior Tyler Koss, sophomore Sedacy Walden), 10,000-meter run (senior Kyle Eller, junior Andrew Johnston) and 110-meter hurdles (sophomore Micah Fontaine, Trimble). The women accounted for multiple qualifiers in the 1500-meter run (junior Carina Gillespie, junior Giulianna Vessa) and 10,000-meter run (senior Lindy Long, sophomore Jaci Smith).
The Falcons will be represented in both the men’s and women’s high jump (junior John Reynolds, junior Shelley Spires), pole vault (senior Kyle Pater, sophomore Kathryn Tomczak), 5000-meter run (sophomore Jacob Bilvado, Long), 1500-meter run (senior Matt Dorsey, Gillespie, Vessa) and 400-meter dash (Koss, Walden, freshman Megan Irvine).
Johnson will also compete in the 100-meter dash, while freshman Michael Rhoads (800-meter run), junior Chip White (400-meter hurdles), junior Andrew Milliron (3000-meter steeplechase), senior Darby Maier (shot put), senior Cydnee Reese (discus throw) and members of the men’s 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays will round out the Falcons’ lineup in Texas.
Dorsey is making his fourth straight trip to the opening round of the NCAA Outdoors Championships. Ranked second in the West Region’s high jump standings, Spires is the Falcons’ highest ranked qualifier. In addition, Hulslander (javelin throw), Pater (pole vault) and Trimble (200-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles) are all ranked among the region’s top 10 in their respective events.
The three-day West Preliminary will run simultaneously with the East meet in Lexington. The top 12 athletes in each event from both sites will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Ore., on June 7-10.
100-Meter Dash: Zach Johnson
200-Meter Dash: Jamiel Trimble, Zach Johnson
400-Meter Dash: Sedacy Walden, Tyler Koss
800-Meter Run: Michael Rhoads
1500-Meter Run: Matt Dorsey
5000-Meter Run: Jacob Bilvado
10,000-Meter Run: Andrew Johnston, Kyle Eller
110-Meter Hurdles: Jamiel Trimble, Micah Fontaine
400-Meter Hurdles: Chip White
3000-Meter Steeplechase: Andrew Milliron
High Jump: John Reynolds
Pole Vault: Kyle Pater
Shot Put: Darby Maier
Javelin Throw: Taylor Hulslander, Donny Crabill, Eric Hoff
400-Meter Dash: Megan Irvine
1500-Meter Run: Carina Gillespie, Giulianna Vessa
5000-Meter Run: Lindy Long
10,000-Meter Run: Lindy Long, Jaci Smith
High Jump: Shelley Spires
Pole Vault: Kathryn Tomczak
Discus Throw: Cydnee Reese