Falcons Sweep Event Titles at Southwest Cup
Feb. 27, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Highlighted by two individual Academy records and 19 personal-best scores, the Air Force men's gymnastics team swept the event titles at the annual Southwest Cup on Friday, Feb. 27, in Tempe, Ariz. Freshman Jacob Houder shattered his own record on the pommel horse (14.200), while classmate Devin Menefee broke the program's mark on the vault at 15.800.
Houder was the second Air Force gymnast to break the program record on the pommel horse during the meet. Sophomore Dan Klimkowski first broke the record early in the rotation with a score of 13.900, but Houder reclaimed his spot as the Academy leader by tallying a winning mark of 14.200. Houder, who tied for first on the parallel bars with a personal-best score of 14.250, also posted a career high 14.000 to tie for third on the high bar.
In just his second collegiate vault, Menefee improved his total by over one point to raise the Academy standard to 15.800. It is the third time this season that the program's vault score has been rewritten, as classmate Joel Uptmor set the record twice. Menefee also set career-best marks on the floor exercise (13.250) and still rings (14.200).
In addition to winning the all-around with a career-best total of 85.300, Nash Mills claimed a pair of event titles. Mills tied with Houder for the top spot on the parallel bars at 14.100 (career-best), while winning the high bar outright with a personal-best score of 14.100 (the fifth-best score in Academy history). The Falcons' sophomore also finished second on the floor exercise (13.750) and vault (career-best 15.500), while finishing fifth on the pommel horse (personal-best 13.450) and still rings (14.250).
Senior Jake Schonig and sophomore Aaron Zaiser rounded out the Falcons' sweep of the top spots. Schonig tallied a season-best 15.600 (a mark just .050 shy of his career-high) to easily win the still rings, as he topped the field by nearly a point. Zaiser tallied a mark of 14.500 to win the floor exercise.
Klimkowski and senior Josiah Loeser improved their personal-best marks on every event they competed in this evening. In addition to his near record-setting performance on the pommel horse at 13.900, Klimkowski also improved his personal-best mark on the still rings, with a score of 13.800. Loeser tallied career-best marks on the still rings (14.600), vault (15.100) and parallel bars (14.100), while posting top-five marks on all three events.
Individually, the Falcons made 21 additions to the program record book, including 18 of which appeared in the top-10 all-time scores.
The Falcons are off from competition until Friday, March 20, when they travel to Chicago, Ill., for a tri-meet with Illinois-Chicago and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Nebraska. Air Force will remain in the Windy City for a rematch with UIC on Sunday, March 22.