March 2, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Bolstered by a program-best score on the high bar, the ninth-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team shattered the Academy's all-time team record with a 439.700 performance on Sunday, March 2, at the Academy's Center Gym. Improving the program standard by over eight points, the Falcons defeated 17th-ranked Illinois-Chicago (407.650) in their final home meet of 2014.
When compared to other "season-best" scores around the country, Air Force is ranked fifth in the NCAA.
All five members of the high bar lineup posted scores of at least 14.850 to sweep the top spots and add nearly two points to the Academy record on that event (74.350). Junior Skyler Awisus and freshman Tim Wang tied for first with matching marks of 14.950 (career-best marks for both), while junior Nick Gaudlip, senior Mac Ritchie and freshman Chase Cannon tied for third with equal scores of 14.850 (season-high marks for Gaudlip and Ritchie, career-matching for Cannon).
Air Force also claimed the top five scores on the parallel bars, backed by a winning, career-best performance from Ritchie. Gaudlip recorded a season-best 14.600 to take second, while Wang (third, 14.500), Awisus (fourth, 14.200) and junior Josh Ramos (fifth, 13.550) rounded out the top five.
In addition to tying for first on the high bar, Wang claimed top honors on pommel horse and vault, while tying for the first on the floor with sophomore Denis Aurelius. Improving his own Academy record in the all-around to a mark of 88.400, Wang collected a career-best mark on the floor exercise (14.950) and winning scores on the pommel horse (15.000) and vault (14.850).
Senior Tyler Huebner rounded out the list of Air Force event winners, scoring a 15.400 to win the still rings and lead the Falcons to a share of the top four scores. Junior Gared Chapman garnered a season-best score of 15.100 to place second, while classmate Jon Spiro finished third with a 14.800. Aurelius, who tied for first on the floor with a career-best 14.950, tied for fourth on the rings with a score of 14.300.
The Falcons claimed four of the top-five marks on the pommel horse, highlighted by first- and second-place finishes from Wang and senior Nick Owen (season-best 14.750). Cannon, who finished fourth on the vault with a career-best 14.700, earned the same placement on the pommel horse with a personal-best tally of 14.250, while junior Greg Chaput finished fifth with a 14.200.
Ramos and senior Ben Zaiser finished third (career-best 14.850) and fourth (14.800), respectively, on the floor exercise behind the tie for first by Aurelius and Wang, while sophomore Josh Pyne added a fifth-place finish on the vault behind a season-high mark of 14.650.
Air Force is off from competition until Saturday, March 15, when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., for a five-team meet with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.