Air Force Takes Third at Annual Rocky Mountain Open
Jan. 12, 2007
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by a third-place finish on the high bar by junior Tyler Sickles (Burke, Va.), the Air Force men's gymnastics team opened the 2007 campaign with a third-place finish at the Academy's annual Rocky Mountain Open on Friday, Jan. 12.
Defending national champion Oklahoma easily picked up its eighth straight RMO title with a score of 207.350. Nebraska placed second with a team total of 189.700, while the Falcons finished third with a total of 178.300. Arizona State rounded out the field with a fourth-place score of 172.350. Several members of the U.S. Olympic Training Center combined for a score of 150.200.
During the team's final rotation, Sickles posted the best finish of the night for Air Force, collecting an 8.500 on the high bar to finish third. That score was just .300 shy of the event's winning mark.
Air Force earned a pair of top-10 finishes on the floor exercise, as freshman Brennan Wolford (Thornville, Ohio) and junior Brian Boardman (Naperville, Ill.) finished sixth and seventh, with respective scores of 8.300 and 8.150.
Freshman Garrett Canter (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the Falcons on the pommel horse, placing 13th with a score of 6.800. Sophomore Jacob Schonig (Los Gatos, Calif.) recorded a 12th-place finish on the still rings with a career-best score of 8.350 - a one-point improvement from his previous personal-best.
Fellow sophomore Josiah Loeser (Alvin, Texas) garnered a 7.700 on the vault to finish in a tie for 14th, while senior Kurt Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) paced the Falcons' parallel bars rotation with a 12th-place score of 7.600.
The only individual-based event to be determined this evening was the all-around. In his first meet as a collegiate gymnast, Wolford finished eighth with a combined score of 41.300. In addition, Antonio tied for ninth with a six-event score of 40.850. Oklahoma's Jacob Messina took home the top honor with a total of 51.000.
Sickles was one of seven Falcons to advance to the event finals tomorrow, based on their performances from tonight's competition and the Open's rule that no more than three athletes per school compete in each event during the finals. Those seven finalists are the most Falcons to advance to day two of the Rocky Mountain Open this decade.
Air Force will be represented in five of the six events during the RMO finals tomorrow (Jan. 13) at the Academy's West Gym. Wolford and Boardman will compete on the floor, while Canter will participate in the pommel horse finals. Schonig will perform on the still rings, while Antonio and Loeser compete on the parallel bars. Action is slated to begin at 1 p.m.