May 30, 2014 12:00 AM by Jordan Mason
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Sophomore Patrick Corona impacted the Academy record book in the 1500-meter run and senior Annette Eichenberger earned an advancing spot in the 800-meter run, as members of the Air Force track and field team opened competition at the West Preliminary of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday in Fayetteville, Ark..
Corona accounted for the eighth-fastest 1500-meter time in Academy history (3:44.96) during the opening round of competition at John McDonnell Stadium. Finishing seventh in his heat, Corona placed 28th in the overall field - missing a spot in the quarterfinals by just one second and a total of four places. Freshman Matt Dorsey finished 42nd in a time of 3:52.80, while junior Zach Perkins, whose training was hampered with illness and injury, finished 48th in 4:00.32.
Eichenberger used a second-place finish in her heat of the 800-meter run to automatically advance to tomorrow's quarterfinal round. Clocking a time of 2:06.60, the newly commissioned second lieutenant placed sixth overall in the opening round.
Senior Matthieu Caldwell also competed in first-round competition this evening, finishing 47th in the men's 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.50.
Although first-round races were held for several running events today, nine Falcons competed in events that acted as national semifinals, with the top 12 finishers earning a spot in next month's finals.
Sophomore Dylan Bell finished just two places shy of advancing in the pole vault, after placing 14th overall based on attempts. In a competition dotted with rain delays, Bell recorded a clearance of 17'3", which was tied for the second-highest clearance of the day. Junior Joey Uhle finished in a tie for 16th with a clearance of 16'9¼", while senior Cort Rogers tied for 34th behind a height of 16'3¼".
Sophomore Grant Hamilton finished 19th in the shot put with a mark of 57'2¾", while freshman Darby Maier, who posted the best distance in the opening flight of throwers, finished 23rd with a mark of 51'3". Junior Danielle Tabb competed in the women's event, finishing 42nd with a throw of 46'9½". Classmate Blue Kearney placed 19th in the long jump (23'10¼"), while sophomore Garrett Griffin finished 43rd in the javelin with a distance of 188'4".
In the night's only running event to serve as a national semifinal, senior Isaiah Bragg placed 36th in the 10,000-meter run. Crossing the finish line in a time of 31:09.35, Bragg finished 11 places ahead of his regional ranking.
Eichenberger will be one of three Falcons to compete tomorrow (May 30) at Arkansas' John McDonnell Stadium, as classmates Kassie Gurnell and Gavin Owens compete in the triple jump and steeplechase, respectively. Action begins for Air Force at 5:00 p.m. (CT).