Athletics seniors honored at final banquet

USAF ACADEMY, Colorado – The Class of 2022 Air Force Track and Field Team was recognized this afternoon (May 22) at the program’s annual senior awards ceremony at the Blue and Silver Club. At the final team rally of the season, the coaching staff honored its 33 seniors and handed out 14 awards, including the program’s two most prestigious accolades – the Gen Tad Oelstrom Award for Overall Excellence and the David Lyon Award for Leadership.

Sean Geither closed his Academy career with the team’s highest honor – the Gen Tad Oestrom Award for Overall Excellence, an award given to the only member of the senior class who excels militarily, academically and athletically. Geither, ranked 12th in the Academy’s Class of 2022, had another strong season on the track for the Falcons. The first runner in the 4×100-meter relay that won the MW Outdoor Championships title, Geither clocked the 11th-fastest outdoor 200-meter time in program history (21.31) and scored for the Falcons. in the 200 and 400-. counter events in conference meeting.

The David Lyon Award for Leadership, established in 2014 to honor Capt David Lyon, an Academy graduate in 2008 and a former Air Force pitcher killed in action in 2013, was awarded to Jenna kill. The cross-country MVP led a team of young women at distance to resounding success in 2022. Scoring for the Air Force at the Indoor (mile run) and Outdoor (1,500 meter run) Conference Championships, Kill impacted the program’s Top 10 in both events, as she clocked the seventh-fastest mile (4:51.83a) and ninth-fastest 1,500-meter run (4:27.03) of Air Force history. Additionally, she led the 4×1600 meters relay which posted the third fastest time in Academy history (19:47.50) and ran the third leg of the medley distance relay which made its debut at No. 10 in the outdoor rankings (11:54.02) at the Drake Relays.

Michael Roca was named the women’s team’s Most Valuable Athlete, while Wyatt Murphy and Ari Martinez won the Top Competitor awards for their respective teams.

Roca capped her career by breaking her own Academy record in the 400-meter hurdles, becoming the first female runner under 60 hurdles in Air Force history in a championship performance of 59.81 in outdoor MW. Roca, who broke the senior class record in the event four times this season, also led the 4×400 meters relay which recorded the fastest outdoor time in the program in 38 years (3:42.14, second overall ) in the conference meet and raced in the sprint medley relay that crushed the program standard at the Drake relays (3:56.82). During the indoor season, she clocked the third-fastest 400-meter time (55.17) and fifth-fastest 200-meter time (25.13) in program history, anchored the 4×400 meter relay which posted the second fastest indoor time in Academy history (3:44.52), and ran the sprint leg of the distance medley relay which was the sixth fastest mark in program history (11:48.86a) in an all-conference performance at the Mountain West Indoor Championships.

Murphy won four Mountain West medals in a remarkable senior season, anchoring the winning 4×100-meter relay, placing second in both multi-event competitions (heptathlon/decathlon) and earning a third-place finish in the 60-meter. In addition to posting the second-highest heptathlon total in program history (5,442), Murphy also posted top-25 marks in the Air Force in the 60 meters, 200 meters and long jump. during indoor season. Outdoors, Murphy became the first Air Force decathlete to break the 4,000-point barrier on the first day of competition – a performance of 4,004 points that was one of three Decathlon event records he has established this year (long jump: 23’11½”); 110 meters hurdles: 14.80). Murphy, whose long jump distance was also the fifth best overall score in Academy history, collected 7,108 points at the MW Outdoor Championships to move into eighth place in the program’s all-time standings.

Martinez, who capped the regular season with the second-best outside clearance in Air Force history at 5’10”, became the third Falcon to medal in the high jump at the MW Outdoor Championships after falling ranked third in last week’s game with a mark of 5’8″. The eldest improved her personal height by two bars during her Air Force Twilight Open streak to post the conference-leading 5’10” clearance. Martinez, who posted a season-best height of 5’7¾” tied for fourth at MW Indoor Championships, ranked top four in 11 of 14 high jump competitions (four of six indoors, seven of eight outdoor). Martinez, who will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships next week, also received the Gail Conway Outstanding Performance Award for her game-winning 5’10” clearance at the Twilight Open.

Brid O’Connell received the Callie Calhoun Award for her drive and determination, while Grace Prosch received the Laura Piper Ironman Award – an honor named after former Air Force track and field athlete Lt. Laura Piper (Class of 1992), who was killed in action during the operation Provide Comfort in 1994. O’Connell continually improved his 800 meter time during the season, finishing with an indoor best time of 2:11.29a and an outdoor best time of 2:09.42 – both marks ranking among the five best in Air Force history. A member of the all-conference medley relay and two-time 800-meter scorer this year, O’Connell also posted the program’s seventh-fastest 400-meter time (56.73, indoors), anchored the sprint medley relay record (3:56.82) and raced the 4×400 meter relays which posted the second fastest times in Air Force history during the indoor seasons (3:44.52 ) and outside (3:42.14), the latter serving as the fastest time since 1984. Proesch, another member of the medley sprint and 4×400-meter relays, had a terrific final season on the Air Force track, competing in every sprint event and posting the Air Force’s Top 10 in the 100 meters (12.11 – No. 2 all-time in the Air Force), 200 meters (24.63 outdoors – No. 3 all-time; 25.20 indoors – No. 6 all-time) and 400 meters (56.41 outdoors – No. 3 all-time); 10 all-time; 56.81 inside – No. 8 all-time). Proesch, whose 100-meter time is a new Air Force senior class record, also led the 4×100-meter relay that recorded the seventh-fastest time in Air Force history at a landmark finish at the MW Outdoor Championships.

Ryan Ioanidisthe most improved athlete on the men’s team, and Jacques Hall, recipient of the Arne Arneson Coaches Award for Dedication, are both in the midst of stellar senior seasons that will continue next week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Ioanidis, a national qualifier in the 10,000 meter race, was named the best performer in the MW Indoor Championships after sweeping the two longest races of the competition. His 5,000 meter winning time of 14:09.55 shattered the championship meet record and became the third fastest time in program history (13:47.08a), while his 3,000 meter finish of 8:09.15 was the second fastest time ever. in the conference meet, converted in the sixth-fastest time in Air Force history (7:57.11a) and earned the men’s tag team title. His success continued into the outdoor season, as he ran the second-fastest 10k in program history (28:44.03) in his first outdoor competition, earned all-MW honors at the conference championships, debuted in the program’s top 10 in the 5,000 meters (13:50.74 – No. 8 all-time) and earned a score at the MW meet that again helped the men win the tag team title. Like Ioanidis, the MW Indoor Championships were also memorable for Hall, who became only the eighth Falcon in program history to clear the seven-foot high jump mark in a 7’0¼ performance. All-Conference (#3 All-The only senior in an event group that included three freshmen and one sophomore, Hall earned four first-place finishes and clocked an outdoor record 6’11 at the Beach Invitational to lead the high jump to a top-10 ranking in the USTFCCCA Event Squad Rankings.

Charles Dimnwaobi and Calvin Ciganik completed the program’s senior awards, as Dimnwaobi received the Paul Gensic Resilience Award and Ciganik was honored with the Falcon Award for Spirit and Enthusiasm. Dimnwaobi, who battled injuries in his first two seasons with the program, culminated a stellar senior campaign by running the winning 4×100-meter relay and winning a pair of individual medals at the MW Outdoor Championships. After tying the program’s 300-meter record during the indoor season, Dimnwaobi ran into the Academy’s record books in the spring, tying the third-fastest 100-meter time in Air Force history. (10.46) for a second-place finish at the conference championships. and tying his own career-best 200-meter time of 21.01 — the sixth-fastest time in program history — to take third place at the MW meet. Ciganik posted a career-best 15’7″ in the pole vault during the indoor season and notched five top-five finishes during the year.


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