Air Force Wins Third Straight All-Academy Title
Feb. 16, 2013
ATLANTA, Ga. - Backed by an Academy-best 427.050, the 14th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team easily won its third straight All-Academy Championships title on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Atlanta, Ga. The Falcons, who improved their overall team score by nearly 13 points, easily defeated No. 13 Army (410.600) and No. 15 Navy (407.300).
The Falcons swept all six event titles, en route to their third consecutive team title.
Sophomore Gared Chapman picked up a pair of event titles for the Falcons, highlighted by an Academy-record performance on the vault. Chapman scored a career-best 15.000 to break the program record he already shared by 0.250. In addition, he won the still rings with a season-high tally of 14.950 - a 0.800 seasonal improvement.
Junior Ben Zaiser won the floor exercise with a career-best 14.900, while classmates Nick Owen and Mac Ritchie won the pommel horse (14.750) and parallel bars (14.350), respectively. Sophomore Nick Gaudlip rounded out the Falcons' event winners with a career-best 14.450 performance on the high bar.
The Falcons also accounted for the runner-up spots in five of the six events against their service academy opponents, while sweeping the top-three places in two.
Junior Tyler Huebner and Zaiser finished second (career-best matching 14.900) and third (career-best 14.750), respectively, on the still rings, while senior Tory Brown (career-best 14.950) and Zaiser (season-best 14.700) earned those same two placements on the vault. Freshman Zach Owen was the runner-up on the floor exercise (personal-best 14.650), while sophomore Greg Chaput took second on the pommel horse (season-best 14.150). In addition to his win on the parallel bars, Ritchie finished second on the high bar with a season-best score of 14.250. Sophomore Skyler Awisus added a third-place, career-best score of 13.950 on the parallel bars to the Falcons' record-setting day.
In addition to setting a new program record combined total, Air Force also improved its team event scores on all six apparatus. Highlighting the Falcons' improved event scores was a three-and-a-half-point advancement on the still rings total (73.500).
The Falcons return to action next Saturday (Feb. 23), when they travel to Norman, Okla., for a dual meet with second-ranked Oklahoma.