Blue Team Defeats Silver Squad in Preseason Action
Dec. 5, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Highlighted by six first-place finishes, the Air Force gymnastics "Blue" team defeated its "Silver" counterparts in the second annual Blue-Silver Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. Gymnasts from Team Blue (211.775) posted a share of the top scores in five of the six men's events, as well as one of the women's events, to better the Silver Squad (206.995).
Five different members of the men's team contributed to its five first-place finishes, including three freshmen. James Okamoto recorded a score of 14.100 - a tally just .100 off of the Academy record - to win the pommel horse, while Tory Brown's tied for first on the vault behind a score (15.700) that is just .150 off of the Academy standard. Fellow freshman Travis Langham won the high bar with a mark of 12.750. Junior Aaron Zaiser won the floor exercise with a tally of 14.650, while classmate Matthew Thorne paced a Blue Team sweep of the top four scores on the parallel bars with a winning score of 13.800.
Brown also counted as a scoring member of the Blue team on the floor exercise (13.350), parallel bars (13.550) and high bar (12.000), while Langham's score of 13.050 on the still rings also counted toward the team total. In addition to his top score on the floor, Zaiser also scored for the Blue team on the vault (15.000), while scores from Nick Owen (pommel horse, 12.400) and sophomore Devin Menefee (still rings, 12.500) also counted toward the team's overall score.
Junior Dan Klimkowski, a member of the Silver squad, won the still rings with a score of 13.550 and also paced the team on the floor exercise with a score of 13.700. Sophomore Joel Uptmor, who tied with Brown for first on the vault (15.700), also scored on the high bar with a mark of 12.000.
Nash Mills posted the team's top marks on the pommel horse (13.150) and parallel bars (12.100), while also scoring on the still rings (13.400) and vault (15.300). Team co-captain Brennan Wolford posted the highest Silver score on the high bar (12.650), while also scoring on the pommel horse (12.300). Freshman Thom Wilkinson tallied a scoring finish on the floor exercise at 13.500, while senior co-captain Garrett Canter's mark of 12.000 on the parallel bars also counted toward the Silver's overall score.
On the women's side, Team Blue recorded a first-place finish from freshman Britney Calley, who won the uneven bars with a score of 9.550. Senior captain Aftan Boudreaux also scored for the Blue team on that event with a tally of 9.125.
Junior Lisa Wong and senior Michelle Denise tied for the Blue team's top score on the floor exercise, with matching marks of 9.300, while both gymnastics also scored on the vault. Denise paced the team with a 9.350 and Wong scored with a mark of 9.050. In addition, Wong tied with freshman Erin Brown for Blue's top score (9.400) on the balance beam.
Sophomores Jenna Dudley and Katie Shetley accounted for three first-place finishes for the Silver team. Dudley won the balance beam (9.650) and floor exercise (9.575), while Shetley, who won the vault with an impressive tally of 9.775, finished second to Dudley on both the beam (9.425) and floor (9.500).
Junior Brittany Dutton was the top-scoring member of the Silver squad on the uneven bars, collecting a score of 8.900, while freshman Tara Harris recorded scoring marks on the vault (9.250) and bars (8.525).
The men's team officially opens the season at home on Saturday, Jan. 16, as they host the annual Rocky Mountain Open at 6 p.m. The women begin the season on Friday, Jan. 8, at the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational in Corvallis, Ore., against Alaska-Anchorage, Illinois and host Oregon State. The women open their home schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 27, with the second of four regular season competitions against Alaska-Anchorage.