Feb. 1, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - With a season-high score of 427.700, the 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team captured its fourth straight team title at the All-Academy Championships on Saturday, Feb. 1, in Houston, Texas.
The Falcons recorded the second-highest overall score in Academy history to easily defeat 14th-ranked Navy (410.150) and 13th-ranked Army (409.350) at Reliant Arena during the Houston National Invitational. As a team, the Falcons posted the top event scores on five of six events, while setting a new Air Force record on the pommel horse (70.800).
Freshman Tim Wang, who won the floor exercise (career-best 14.850), pommel horse (career-best 14.800), vault (career-best 15.250), high bar (14.250) and all-around (career-best 87.200), was the 2014 recipient of the All-Academies Iron Cross Award. In addition to accounting for winning marks during the meet, Wang also impacted the Academy's top-10 lists in the pommel horse (second all-time), vault (second) and floor exercise (10th), while his all-around score is a new program standard.
Wang's vault score was the top among all competitors in the entire afternoon session, which also included elite-level gymnasts and members of the USOTC.
Junior Josh Ramos picked up the final event victory for Air Force, winning the parallel bars with a 14.400 to pace the Falcons to the top three finishes. Junior Greg Chaput scored a season-best 14.350 to take second, while Wang finished third with a 13.800.
Wang led the Falcons to a sweep of the high bar's top five, as Air Force bettered their academy rivals by nearly six points. Behind Wang's winning score of 14.250, senior Mac Ritchie tallied a season-best 14.100 to take second. Junior Skyler Awisus finished third with a 13.900, while Ramos and freshman Chase Cannon rounded out the scoring with respective fourth- (13.850) and fifth-place (career-best 13.600) finishes.
The Falcons also posted four of the top-five individual scores on the pommel horse, en route to the new Academy record. Senior Nick Owen finished second to Wang with a 14.250, while Chaput and classmate Jon Spiro finished fourth (14.050) and fifth (career-best 14.000), respectively.
Senior Ben Zaiser picked up a pair of runner-up finishes on the day, placing second on both the floor exercise (season-best 14.750) and vault (career-best 14.940 - fourth-best score in Academy history). The Falcons also earned top-five placements from senior Tyler Huebner (still rings, season-best 14.950, third), junior Gared Chapman (still rings, 14.750, fourth) and classmate Corbin Palmer (floor exercise, season-best 14.650, fourth).
Air Force returns to the Academy on Saturday, Feb. 8, when it hosts seventh-ranked Minnesota at 5 p.m. The meet, which will run in conjunction with the women's dual meet against Auburn, will be held in the Cadet Center Gym.