Academy graduates Higgins, Simmons to compete in Olympic Games

Two recent Air Force Academy graduates will be competing in the Olympic Games in Rio in August. David Higgins, a 2016 graduate, will compete in rifle while Cale Simmons, a 2013 graduate, will compete in track and field in the pole vault.

Simmons earned his place on the Team USA pole vault squad after finishing second at the Olympic Trials, which were held at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., in July. He entered the competition on the opening height, easily clearing 17’8½” on his first attempt. He added clearances of 18’0½” and 18’4½” on second attempts, while securing the runner-up finish by making the 18’6½” bar on his first try.

Simmons will compete in the qualifying round of the pole vault on Saturday, Aug. 13, beginning at 8:20 p.m., in Rio (5:20 p.m., locally), while the event finals are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15, at 8:35 p.m. (5:35 p.m., local). Track and field action will be broadcast on NBC, with additional coverage on

Higgins shoots Friday, Aug. 12, beginning at 9 a.m. Rio time, 6 a.m. locally. The finals are set to begin at 11 a.m. in Rio, 8 a.m. locally. The action will be video streamed live by

Olympic video stream coverage for all sports is available by clicking here.

Higgins qualified after three days of shooting at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Fort Benning, Ga., in April. Higgins passed three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons to earn his spot in smallbore in men’s prone rifle, becoming the first at the Academy to qualify for an Olympic team while competing as a cadet.

Higgins has been surrounded by Olympic experience since coming to the Academy. Air Force head rifle coach Launi Meili and assistant coach Mike Anti each have Olympic experience. Meili shot for the U.S. Shooting team for 10 years. In that time, Meili participated in two Olympic Games, two Pan American games and a World Championship. During her career, she produced three world records, three Olympic records, a world team championship and the Olympic Gold medal in Barcelona in 1992, becoming the first American woman to ever win gold in smallbore. She also placed 11th in air rifle in Barcelona after finishing sixth in air rifle and seventh in three-position rifle at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. She remains the only woman to compete in both events at two Olympics.

Anti was a 1992 Olympian in men’s 50m prone rifle, 2000 Olympian in men’s three position, earned the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in three-position rifle, and a 2008 Olympian in men’s prone. Anti is a two-time World Cup champion and won the silver medal at the 2000 World Cup Finals.





Leave A Comment