Falcons Place Third at Rocky Mountain Open
Jan. 10, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - In front of a capacity crowd at the Cadet West Gym, the No. 13 Air Force men's gymnastics team opened the 2009 season with a third-place finish at the annual Rocky Mountain Open on Saturday, Jan. 10. Highlighted by a fifth-place score on the vault by sophomore Aaron Zaiser, the Falcons accounted for seven top-10 finishes.
Defending national champion Oklahoma, ranked second in the nation, won its 10th consecutive Rocky Mountain Open collegiate title with a team score of 355.000. No. 10 Nebraska finished second with a total of 332.400, while the Falcons placed third with a score of 317.900. The club teams of Arizona State and Washington finished fourth (312.950) and fifth (303.200), respectively.
Zaiser paced the Falcons in their season-opener with a fifth-place finish on the vault. His career-best score of 15.350 is tied for second in the Air Force record book.
A pair of freshmen found themselves leading the squad in their collegiate debut. Chase Nobles paced the Falcons on the pommel horse, finishing 11th with a score of 13.700 - a mark just .100 off of the Academy record. Classmate Jacob Houder, who finished fifth in the all-around with a score of 79.200, placed ninth on the parallel bars with a total of 13.800.
Sophomore Nash Mills, who competed just once as a freshman, picked up a pair of top-10 finishes. Mills led the squad with a tie for eighth on the high bar (13.350), while also placing 10th on the still rings with a score of 14.300.
Sophomore Daniel Klimkowski finished eighth on the floor exercise (13.800), while senior Jake Schonig earned the same placement on the still rings (14.450). Klimkowski also placed seventh in the all-around with a total of 77.400.
Oklahoma swept the individual titles, with sophomore Stephen Legendre claiming first on the floor exercise (15.350), vault (15.900), parallel bars (14.950), high bar (14.700) and all-around (89.400). Fellow Sooners Corey English (pommel horse, 14.900) and Ian Jackson (still rings, 15.300) rounded out the award winners.
The Falcons are off from competition until Saturday, Jan. 24, when they travel to Annapolis, Md., to take part in the Navy Open. Air Force will also compete at Temple on Sunday, Jan. 25, during its first road trip of the season.