Soldotna graduate Paige Blackburn was named the most valuable athlete on the 2012 Air Force Academy women's track and field team on May 21.
The award came during an outstanding senior season for Blackburn. On the same night, she also won the Laura Piper Ironman Award for the second time in her career.
During her senior season, Blackburn set an Academy record in the hammer throw, won the Mountain West javelin title and scored for Air Force in the six throwing events that comprise the indoor and outdoor season.
At the indoor conference championship meet, Blackburn was fourth in the shot put and fifth in the hammer throw. In addition to her top finish in the javelin at the outdoor conference meet, Blackburn also was second in the discus, seventh in the shot put and eighth in the hammer throw.
Blackburn recently completed competing in the West Preliminary portion of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas. Blackburn competed in the javelin and discus, just one of three Falcons to compete in multiple events.
On Thursday, Blackburn finished 14th in the semifinals of the javelin, missing a spot in the national finals by 5 inches. Blackburn's longest throw at the event was 158 feet, 9 inches.
On Friday, Blackburn finished 23rd in the discus throw with a mark of 163—10 and also missed a spot in the national finals in that event.
Blackburn competed in the NCAA meet after graduating from the Academy and being commissioned as a second lieutenant on Wednesday.