Falcons Narrowly Fall to Illinois-Chicago
March 7, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Despite a pair of first-place finishes, the Air Force men's gymnastics team suffered a narrow 334.400-333.100 defeat to visiting Illinois-Chicago on Friday, March 7, at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. The Falcons collected event victories on the floor exercise and still rings, while also upping the program standard on the floor and matching the best vault score.
Freshman Aaron Zaiser and senior Greg Stine tied for the lead on the floor exercise with matching marks of 14.850. The mark, which is a personal-best for Zaiser, is the second-highest score on the team this season, trailing only Stine's Academy record score of 15.200 which he set last week.
Backed by five career-high scores, the Falcons crushed the program standard on the floor. Air Force's score of 58.100 upped the mark by nearly one point from the old mark of 57.150 that was tallied at Army. In addition to Zaiser's 14.850, classmate William Eastman placed fifth with a score of 14.400. Sophomore Brennan Wolford (14.000), senior Brian Boardman (13.850) and junior Josiah Loeser (13.700) all recorded personal-best marks on that event.
Junior Jacob Schonig matched his personal-best score of 15.500 to win the still rings. With the second-highest score in the Academy record books, Schonig led the one-two Air Force punch on the event, as Stine finished second with a total of 15.150. Loeser also finished within the top half of the field, placing fifth with a score of 14.200. The team's 57.900 combined score is the second-best total to date.
The Falcons, who matched their program record on the vault with a score of 60.400, had three gymnasts clear the 15-point plateau and finish within the top five. Boardman paced the Falcons with a third-place, personal-best score of 15.300. Stine scored a 15.200 to place fourth, while Wolford upped his career-best mark to 15.000 in a fifth-place performance. Loeser again finished within the top half of the field, scoring a 14.900 to take sixth.
Air Force matched its third-highest pommel horse score of the season (50.900), thanks to three spots in the top five. Stine, who won the all-around with a score of 84.600, scored a career-best 13.250 to finish second, while senior Tyler Sickles matched his personal-high score (13.150) to place fourth. Boardman finished fifth with a score of 12.600.
The Falcons also accounted for a trio of top-five finishes on the high bar. Sickles was the event runner-up with a score of 13.200, while Stine (13.050) and sophomore Garrett Canter (12.950) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Loeser and Canter were the only two Air Force gymnasts listed in the top half of the field on the parallel bars, as Loeser finished fourth with a score of 13.700 and Canter placed sixth with a 13.600.
The Falcons close out the home slate this Sunday (March 9) with a rematch against Illinois-Chicago. Action is slated to begin at 2 p.m., in the Cadet West Gym.