Feb. 8, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by an Academy-record team score of 431.550, the ninth-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team made a strong return to the Cadet Gymnasium, after having spent the past month on the road. The Falcons improved three program records during a loss to sixth-ranked Minnesota (434.200) on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Air Force broke two Academy marks on the pommel horse, setting new individual and team records. Freshman Tim Wang won the event with a career-best 15.100, while three additional scores ranked among the program's all-time top-10 contributed to a new team mark of 72.350. Junior Jon Spiro placed third with a career-high 14.700, while senior Nick Owen and junior Greg Chaput finished fourth (14.600) and fifth (14.350), respectively. As a team, the Falcons improved the Academy standard on that event by nearly two points, easily eclipsing the previous mark that was set just one week earlier.
The Falcons also earned a first-place finish on the still rings, as senior Tyler Huebner scored a season-best 15.300 to win the squad's first rings title of the season. Huebner paced the Falcons to four of the top-five finishes, as sophomore Denis Aurelius finished second with a season-best 14.950. Juniors Gared Chapman and Jon Spiro rounded out the Falcons' top-five scorers, as they finished fourth (14.850) and fifth (14.800), respectively.
Wang, who took second in the all-around with a score of 85.650, led the Falcons to six of the top-eight scores on the parallel bars as he and junior Josh Ramos tied for third with matching score of 14.650. Junior Skyler Awisus finished fifth (14.350), Chaput and senior Mac Ritchie tied for sixth with scores of 14.250, and junior Nick Gaudlip rounded out the group with an eighth-place tally of 14.000.
In addition to pacing the Falcons with a sixth-place score of 14.500 on the vault, senior Ben Zaiser was the Falcons' top finisher on the floor exercise. Zaiser score a career-best 14.950 - the eighth-highest score in Academy history - to take third in the opening event, while Wang and Gaudlip also finished within the top half of the field, taking fourth (14.800) and fifth (season-best 14.500), respectively.
Air Force added three additional top-six finishes on the high bar, as Ritchie paced the squad behind a third-place, season-high score of 14.450. Ramos finished fourth with a career-high 14.350, while Gaudlip took fifth with a season-high score of 14.250.
The Falcons return to action this Friday (Feb. 14) when they travel to West Point, N.Y., for a dual meet with service academy rival Army. The squad will also head to Philadelphia, Pa., during this weekend's East Coast road swing to face Temple on Saturday, Feb. 15.