Junior Michelle Roca highlighted the Falcons’ day on the track, as she recorded the second-fastest 400-meter hurdles time in Academy history and broke the program’s 10-year-old Junior Class Record. Dropping more than a half second from the time she set last week to debut in the top 10, Roca crossed the finish line in 61.23 to pick up a third-place finish and vault from sixth to second in the Academy history books.
Freshman Katie Thompson continued to rewrite the Academy’s all-time standings on Saturday, as she improved a pair of top-10 lists within a four-hour span. After recording a long jump distance of 18’8½” to finish fifth in the meet and improve her own No. 3 placement in the Academy Record Book, Thompson clocked a 100-meter hurdles time of 14.59 to place within the top half of the field (10th) and debut in seventh on the program’s all-time standings.
Senior Luke Zuluaga, junior Sean Geither, senior Zachary Dicken and junior Wyatt Murphy capped the rewrite of the record book with the fourth-fastest 4×400-meter relay in Academy history. Combining to cross the finish line in 3:09.66, the quartet became the first relay since 2018 to impact that top-10 list.
Senior Konrad Steck easily broke the Clyde Hart Stadium Record in the 5000-meter run this afternoon, as he posted a time of 14:18.59 to earn first-place honors and lead Air Force to a sweep of the top-four finishes in that 14-runner event. Steck was one of three Falcons to better the previous facility record of 14:29.76 that had stood since 2015. Freshman Ryan Child posted a time of 14:22.14 in his debut in the outdoor 5000-meter run to finish second, while sophomore Joseph Wittig took nearly a minute off his previous time to finish third (14:24.93). Senior Drew Lester completed the Air Force sweep, as he clocked a career-best time of 14:40.52 to finish fourth.
Child was one of five Falcons to claim runner-up honors on Saturday. Junior Jake Hall cleared 6’8¼” to finish second in the high jump and lead Air Force to two of the top-three clearances – and four of the top-six finishes. Murphy and freshman Philip Hundl tied for fourth with matching marks of 6’4¼” (career-best for Murphy), while junior Addison Brown cleared that same bar to finish sixth based on attempts. Junior La’akea Aiu earned runner-up honors in the 400-meter hurdles (52.92) after taking nearly a second off his previous best time, while classmate Nick Oesterling and sophomore Jaret Prete earned that same placement in two of the throwing events. Oesterling unleashed the first 200-foot javelin of his career (201’2″) to finish second in that event, while Prete added a runner-up distance of 182’1″ in the hammer.
Freshman John Colizzi recorded a career-best distance of 22’7¼” to finish third in the long jump, while the men’s 4×100-meter relay earned the same placement after clocking a time of 41.46. Junior Ethan Gardner added a top-five finish in the pole vault, as he cleared 16’8¾” to finish fourth in the 14-vaulter event.
Senior Addyson Smith earned a pair of top-five marks for the women, as she finished fourth in the shot put (42’2″) and fifth in the discus throw (145’1″) this afternoon. Junior Brid O’Connell clocked a career-best time of 2:13.43 to finish third in her first outdoor 800-meter race of the season, while classmates Ari Martinez and Kristin Kerrigan collected top-five finishes in the high jump (fourth, 5’5¼”) and javelin throw (fifth, 117’11”), respectively.
Air Force returns to action with a pair of meets next weekend. The multi-event athletes travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the annual Jim Click Decathlon on April 8-9, while the rest of the team travels to Boulder for the Colorado Invitational on April 9-10.