Jan. 11, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team opened the 2014 campaign with a third-place finish at the annual Rocky Mountain Open on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. In front of a standing-room only crowd of over 1,000 spectators, the Falcons tallied a combined score of 423.100 to finish in the middle of the five-team field.
Freshman Tim Wang, the Academy's first all-around competitor since 2011, finished third in the six-event competition after compiling a score of 84.500. Wang also paced the Falcons on the floor exercise (14.750, sixth), while earning top-10 finishes on the pommel horse (eighth, 13.800) and parallel bars (eighth tie, 14.850).
Junior Gared Chapman claimed the highest event finish for Air Force, as he placed fourth on the still rings with a score of 15.050. He was one of two Falcons to place in the top five of that event, as classmate Jon Spiro finished fifth with a score of 15.000.
Senior Nick Owen paced the Falcons on the pommel horse with a score of 14.350, while juniors Skyler Awisus and Josh Ramos claimed the same team-leading placements on the parallel bars (14.900) and high bar (13.900), respectively. Ramos, who missed the majority of last season with injury, added another top-10 finish during his return to the lineup, as he tied with Wang for eighth on the parallel bars.
Senior Ben Zaiser, who also finished among the top 10 on the floor exercise with an eighth-place score of 14.550, was the Falcons' top finisher on the vault, as he tied for 13th with a mark of 14.000. Senior team captain Mac Ritchie rounded out the contingent of top-10 finishers for Air Force, as he scored a 13.700 to place ninth on the high bar.
Second-ranked Oklahoma won its 15th straight Rocky Mountain Open team title, after tallying a combined score of 443.150. Nebraska, ranked 10th in the preseason coaches' poll, finished second with 423.700 to narrowly edge the Falcons, who placed third with a score of 423.100. Arizona State (402.105) and Washington (367.300) rounded out the five-team field.
OU claimed five of the six individual event titles, as well as the all-around. Alec Robin (floor exercise, 15.600), Sergey Resnick (pommel horse, 14.950; pommel horse, 15.600), Michael Squires (still rings, 15.850), Raymond White (vault, 14.750) and Danny Berardini (all-around, 86.950) all claimed titles for the Sooners, while Nebraska's Louis Klein picked up a first-place score of 14.800 on the high bar.
Air Force will travel to Norman, Okla., next Saturday (Jan. 18) for a rematch with Oklahoma at 5 p.m.