March 2, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Backed by victories on the final four events, the 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team posted its highest score of the season (338.900) to defeat No. 14 Illinois-Chicago (329.500) on Friday, March 2, at the Academy's Cadet West Gym.
Sophomore Mac Ritchie moved into sixth on the program's all-time high bar list, after scoring a career-best 14.500 to win that event. He was one of four Falcons to finish within the top half of that event, as freshman Josh Ramos placed second with a career-best 14.300 - the ninth-best score in Air Force history - and juniors Tory Brown and James Okamoto placed fifth (13.600) and sixth (13.500), respectively.
Air Force also claimed four of the top six scores on the still rings. Senior Devin Menefee won the event title with a score of 15.000, while freshman Gared Chapman scored a career-best 14.800 to take second. Sophomore Ben Zaiser collected a personal-best tally of 14.600 to tie for third, while freshman Jon Spiro finished sixth with a score of 14.300.
With a winning score of 14.400, Zaiser paced the Falcons to the top three placements. Freshman Corbin Palmer took second with a 14.300, while Okamoto and Chapman tied for third with matching marks of 14.100.
Ramos rounded out the Falcons' event winners, as he scored a 14.100 to win the parallel bars. He was one of three freshmen to place within the top three, as Nick Gaudlip and Skyler Awisus finished second (career-best 13.800) and third (13.700), respectively.
Okamoto paced the Falcons on the pommel horse, finishing second with a 14.400. Freshman Greg Chaput and senior Jacob Houder finished third (14.000) and fourth (13.800), respectively, while sophomore Patrick Duffy finished tied for fifth with a score of 13.700.
In addition to his runner-up sport on the vault, Palmer paced the Falcons with a second-place score of 14.400 on the floor exercise. Ramos tied for third (14.100), while Chaput and Chapman placed fifth (14.000) and sixth (13.800), respectively.
The Falcons improved their team score by over one point to 338.900, bettering the mark of 337.700 that they set during their last home meet against Minnesota.
The two programs will face off again on Sunday, March 4, at 1 p.m. The meet will be the final regular season home contest for the Falcons.