Air Force, which includes the 29th-ranked women's team, will travel to Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday, Sept. 1, for the CSU Duals.

Aug. 31, 2017
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The Air Force cross country team, which includes the 29th-ranked women’s squad, opens the 2017 season this weekend, when it travels to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Colorado State Duals on Friday, Sept. 1. Action gets underway at 6:00 p.m. (MT).

Meet Notes 01: at Colorado State Duals Get Acrobat Reader

The annual Colorado State Duals will take place on the fields surrounding Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins on Friday, Sept. 1. The men and women will both complete a 5K course, with the women starting at 6:00 p.m., and the men following at 6:30 p.m.

Backed by a first-place finish from Carina Gillespie, the women captured the team title at the 2016 Colorado State Invitational. Gillespie clocked the fifth-fastest 5K time in Academy history (17.33) to win the 93-runner event by two seconds. All five of the women’s scoring runners – Jaci Smith, Samantha Skold, Katie Burnham, Lindy Long – finished within the top 12, while three men – Matt Dorsey, Andrew Johnston, Kyle Eller – finished in the top 10 to lead the men to a runner-up finish in the team standings.

The women earned its first preseason nod from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Aug. 29, as the Falcons were listed 29th in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Falcons return a talented lineup that includes all but two of the runners that helped Air Force qualify for its first NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship meet last season.

The men received votes in the preseason poll, tallying 15 points to rank 34th in the season’s first poll.

The Air Force men and women were selected third in the Mountain West Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The women accounted for 81 points to finish third in the 11-team standings – just eight points out of second – while the men registered 36 points to earn the same placement in the eight-team field.

Eight Falcons hail from the Centennial State, including two from Colorado Springs (Maria Mettler, Conner Wilburn) and one from Monument (Drew Lester). Air Force’s roster also includes runners from Arvada (Zac Petrie, Giulianna Vessa), Fort Collins (Preston Roche), Littleton (Noah Riley) and Parker (Scott Johnson).

Air Force added 10 men and six women to its roster for the 2017 season. The men’s freshman lineup includes Hunter Boyer, Colin Dwyer, Scott Johnson, Aric Kedge, Zack Lavier, Jordan Lesansee, Drew Lester, Alec Schrank, Konrad Steck and Joe Way, while the women’s roster includes Sarah Bodmer, Brooke Drabek, Maria Mettler, Mahala Norris, Alexis Sherwin and Shay Stayton.

Fans of the Air Force cross country program can follow the team on Twitter via @af_trackfield – the official account of the Falcons’ cross country, track and field teams. Air Force can also be found on Facebook (AirForceTF) and Instagram (af_trackfield).

Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 16, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the annual Woody Greeno Invitational at Pioneers Park.

The Falcons' youngest class, which is comprised of 11 men and six women, combined for 14 state titles.

Aug. 17, 2017
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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force cross country welcomed 17 freshmen to its roster for the upcoming 2017 season, head coach Ryan Cole announced today, as the Academy’s Class of 2021 completed their first week of classes. The 11 men and six women that make up the Falcons’ youngest class combined for 14 state titles during their prep careers, as well as numerous top-10 finishes at the state level.

“We are extremely excited to have this group of freshmen joining our cross country teams at the Air Force Academy,” Cole said. “It’s a talented group of young people that are the right fit for our program and our institution. Not only will they help continue to elevate our athletic success, I’m confident these are individuals that will be great students, officers and future leaders for our country.”

The men’s freshmen roster will include Hunter Boyer (Lowell, Ind./Lowell HS), Colin Dwyer (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake HS), Zack Esponda (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande HS), Scott Johnson (Parker, Colo./Legend HS), Aric Kedge (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Academy), Zac Lavier (Portland, Ore./Catholic Central HS), Jordan Lesansee (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Academy), Drew Lester (Monument, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS), Alec Schrank (Winchester, Va./Millbrook HS), Konrad Steck (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette HS) and Joe Way (Evans, Ga./Evans Lakeside HS), while the women’s Class of 2021 lineup will include Sarah Bodmer (Apex, N.C./Cary Academy), Brooke Drabek (Fox Lake, Ill./Grant HS), Maria Mettler (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy HS), Mahala Norris (Roseburg, Ore./Roseburg HS), Alexis Sherwin (Niceville, Fla./Niceville HS) and Shay Stayton (Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville HS).

Air Force opens the 2017 campaign on Friday, Sept. 1, when they travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for the annual Colorado State Invitational.

Four Niceville athletes etch collegiate futures
Distance runner Alexis Sherwin, soccer goalkeeper Payton Lewis, swimmer Tatum Hackler and track and field thrower Skyler Joneson signed to further their athletic careers.

March 1, 2017

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By Josh Hyber | 315-4476 | jhyber@nwfdailynews.com

Alexis Sherwin looks at her family after her college signing event at Niceville High School. She will attend The Air Force Academy.

NICEVILLE — Just a few years ago, Niceville distance runner Alexis Sherwin attended an Eagles' college signing ceremony and thought to herself, "Whoa, that's never going to be me."

Just a few months ago, Niceville girls' soccer goalkeeper Payton Lewis feared a college soccer scholarship offer would never come.

For Sherwin, that mindset, and for Lewis that predicament, didn't last.

On Wednesday in the Niceville High School cafeteria, Sherwin, Lewis, Eagles' swimmer Tatum Hackler and Eagles' track and field thrower Skyler Joneson signed to further their athletic careers at the college level. Sherwin signed with her dream school, Air Force. Lewis signed with the University of Mobile. Joneson signed with Birmingham-Southern, and Hackler signed with Virginia Tech.

Lewis, who backstopped the Eagles to an elite eight appearance this season, couldn't wipe the smile, or brown icing, off her face.
"It was a life-long dream of mine to play college soccer," Lewis said, standing feet from where just moments earlier she was playfully pied in the face with a cupcake. "The University of Mobile came out of nowhere and offered me. I'm just really excited I get to play at the next level. I'm just proud of Niceville High School period."

Sherwin's decision came down to Air Force and Navy (a school she was previously dead-set on attending), but told the Daily News in December the aspects of the Naval Academy she likes, she likes even more at Air Force. This season, Sherwin finished 22nd at the cross country state meet (19:01.22), second at regionals with a personal record time of 18:48.50.
At the state track meet last season, she finished second in the 800-meter with a time of 2:14. She was also part of Niceville's 4x800 team that finished third and 4x400 team that placed eighth.

"Today was absolutely incredible," Sherwin said.

"I think that the Air Force is getting a tremendous runner with a huge upside in Alexis," Niceville cross country head coach Jamie LaFollette told the Daily News in December. "Having only been running competitively for one year, I am excited to see what kind of runner she will become at the next level."

Sherwin, who doesn't have to declared a major until her sophomore year, said she wants to study aviation and one day fly planes.

Hackler — a 12-time state medalist a gold medalist this season in the 200-medley relay — signed with the Hokies in September, but had yet to be recognized in a ceremony at the school.
"I'm glad I got to do it," Hackler said. "I'm really happy that it's finally my day. It kind of like seals the deal. I'm ready to go to Virginia and see how things go."

Joneson signed with Birmingham-Southern, a school she committed to in January. Last weekend, the senior set the school shot put record, throwing 39'7" (12.09m). Earlier in the month she set a personal record for distance thrown in the discus.
"I'm very excited. Excited to become a Panther," Joneson said. "It means a lot to see all these people turned out. I have a lot of family and friends here to support me. I'm definitely going to miss my teammates and coaches a lot. This team has built me to be who I am today. They got me where I am."