April 19, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - With a score of 333.750, the 12th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics program wrapped up team competition this evening (April 19) at the NCAA National Qualifier in Norman, Okla. The Falcons finished sixth in the session of national qualifying action.
Fourth-ranked Illinois won the session with a score of 356.250, finishing just 0.050 ahead of host and top-ranked (356.200). Eighth-ranked California finished third with a score of 351.150, while fifth-ranked Minnesota placed fourth with a 343.450. Ninth-ranked Temple and 12th-ranked Air Force rounded out the qualifying session with respective fifth-place (339.450) and sixth-place (333.750) finishes.
Air Force claimed a pair of top-10 finishes on the pommel horse, as freshman Greg Chaput and junior James Okamoto finished ninth (14.400) and 10th (14.350), respectively. Chaput's score is a career-best by 0.200 and tied for the sixth-best mark in Academy history. Sophomore Patrick Duffy also finished within the top half of the 43-competitor field, as he placed 18th with a season-high 14.050.
Chaput also paced the Falcons on the parallel bars, scoring a 14.350 to finish 18th. Classmate Josh Ramos, who led Air Force with a 19th-place score of 14.350 on the floor exercise, also finished within the top half of the field on the parallel bars (14.300, 20th).
Junior Tory Brown was Air Force's top finisher on the vault, scoring a career-high 14.600 to finish 20th and move into a tie for third on the program's all-time list. Sophomore Mac Ritchie paced the Falcons on the high bar with a 21st-place score of 14.000, while senior Devin Menefee collected the squad's top score on the still rings (13.600, 24th).
The top three teams from tonight's session will join the top three teams from the afternoon session - sixth-ranked Michigan (353.450), second-ranked Penn State (353.000) and third-ranked Stanford (348.500) - in the team finals of the NCAA Championships, which will take place tomorrow (April 20) at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.