Jan. 12, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Backed by two Academy record-matching scores on the vault, the 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team claimed a season-opening score of 405.500 to place third at the 32nd annual Rocky Mountain Open on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet West Gym.
Sophomore Gared Chapman and freshman Josh Pyne matched the program standard of 14.750 on the vault to place second in a collegiate field that featured three of the nation's top 11 teams. Senior team captain Tory Brown also claimed a runner-up finish, as he recorded a mark of 14.650 to take second on the floor exercise.
Brown, who also tied for seventh on the vault (career-best 14.650), was one of three Falcons to finish within the top 10 on the floor exercise, as junior Ben Zaiser (14.400) and sophomore Josh Ramos (13.900) finished fifth and ninth, respectively. In addition to his top-10 placement on the floor, Zaiser tied for ninth on the vault with a score of 14.600.
Junior Tyler Huebner paced the Falcons on the still rings, as he finished fourth with a mark of 14.300. Freshman Denis Aurelius also claimed a top-10 finish on that event, as he recorded a collegiate debut tally of 13.550 to take 10th. Air Force also claimed a pair of top-10 finishes on the parallel bars, as Ramos and classmate Skyler Awisus finished eighth (13.950) and ninth (13.850), respectively. Awisus also paced Air Force on the high bar, scoring a 13.400 to tie for fifth.
Junior Nick Owen, who returned to the program after missing last season while recovering from shoulder surgery, was the Falcons' lone top-10 place-finisher on the pommel horse, when he scored a career-best 14.400 to tie for fourth.
Third-ranked Oklahoma won its 14th straight Rocky Mountain Open title, after tallying a combined total of 423.500. Ninth-ranked Nebraska placed second with a total of 418.900, while No. 11 Air Force finished third with a 405.500. Arizona State rounded out the collegiate field with a fourth-place mark of 392.300.
OU swept the collegiate titles, as Alex Robin (floor exercise, 14.900; all-around, 80.950), Sergey Resnick (pommel horse, 15.100; parallel bars, 14.400-tie), Michael Squires (still rings, 15.150), Josh Yee (vault, 14.850; parallel bars, 14.400-tie) and William Clement (high bar, 14.300) won their respective events.
The Falcons remain at the Academy next weekend (Jan. 19), when they host service academy rival Army. Action begins at 1 p.m., at the Cadet West Gym.
** A new team scoring system went into effect for the 2013 season. Prior to this year, six gymnasts competed in each event and the top four scores counted toward the overall team total. Beginning this season, five of the six scores will count toward the squad's overall total, until March, when only five gymnasts will compete in each rotation.