Jake Schonig Repeats as USAG Still Rings Champion
March 28, 2009
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Air Force senior Jake Schonig successfully defended his still rings title, as eight members of the men's gymnastics team competed in the individual event finals of the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships on Saturday, March 28, in Williamsburg, Va. The Falcons' co-captain was one of five Falcons to earn USAG All-America honors.
Schonig scored a 15.500 to win his second consecutive USAG national championship title on the still rings. With the victory, he becomes just the third gymnast to claim multiple titles. Schonig joins Greg Stine (all-around, 2007-08) and Levi Torkelson (parallel bars, 1999-2000) as back-to-back champions.
The Falcons' senior paced a one-two Air Force punch on the rings, as classmate and fellow co-captain Josiah Loeser finished second with a mark of 14.900. That score matches Loeser's career high, which he first accounted for last night during the team finals. With the runner-up finish, Loeser earned his first USAG All-America certificate.
Schonig and Loeser were two of the five Falcons to claim USAG All-America honors in six events. That total (five) is tied for the third-highest number of individual USAG All-Americans in program history.
Jacob Houder collected a pair of USAG All-America honors in his USAG debut. Scoring a 13.800, the freshman placed third on the high bar. In addition, he finished fourth on the pommel horse with a score of 13.500. He is only the third Air Force gymnast since 2000 to collect a top-six finish on the pommel horse in the event finals (joining Stine and Torkelson).
Fellow freshmen Joel Uptmor and Devin Menefee rounded out the Falcons' USAG All-Americans. Uptmor tallied a score of 13.600 to place fifth on the floor exercise, while Menefee scored a 14.850 to place sixth on the vault.
Three other Falcons competed in tonight's event finals. Junior Garrett Canter competed on the pommel horse and high bar, finishing seventh (13.200) and ninth (12.800), respectively. Sophomore Nash Mills accounted for a seventh-place score of 14.800 on the vault, while sophomore Aaron Zaiser placed ninth on the floor exercise with a score of 12.100.
The Falcons return to action one week from today, when they travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the 2009 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships.