Air Force is set to host the Mountain West championship in the sport where its elevation makes the biggest difference - cross country.
In the first conference meet held at the academy, the men will begin with an 8K race at 10 a.m. and the women will follow with a 6K at 10:45.
"We're banking on that fact that we've got a little bit of a benefit," said Falcons coach Juli Benson, stating research that shows that every 1,000 feet of elevation marks a tremendous difference above 5,000 feet. The course at Eisenhower Golf Course climbs to as high as 6,590 feet.
Air Force might have a better idea of how it stacks up against league competition if it weren't for the government shutdown that forced the Falcons to miss an event at Notre Dame that included key competitors Boise State and Colorado State.
Instead, Air Force used that time to familiarize itself with the course.
"We turned it into a positive," Benson said. "I really believe we're the most prepared."
The Falcons men are ranked second in the conference and 28th nationally out of 301 cross country teams. Three others from the Mountain West are also in the top 30, paced by No. 9 New Mexico.
Isaiah Bragg is ranked third in the conference for the Falcons, with Patrick Corona ranked fifth.
Air Force has finished in the top three in the conference 13 of the past 14 seasons, with one title (in 2003) and seven runner-up finishes.
On the women's side, Air Force has moved from No. 4 in the conference's preseason poll to No. 3 in the midseason poll. Benson is eyeing a top-three finish from a squad that has been paced by sophomore Hannah Everson, a Liberty graduate.
The women's team has finished fourth in the conference for four straight seasons.
The Falcons earned the right to host the event as part of the conference's rotation.
"It starts at 10 o'clock and you'll be out by 11:15," said Benson, trying to rally support in the form of spectators. "We won't take up your whole day."