2008 Men's Gymnastics Season Preview
Jan. 8, 2008
Backed by a strong contingent of returning athletes and a fresh infusion of incoming talent, the Air Force men's gymnastics team looks to have another break-through season in 2008. Head coach Kip Simons added seven impressive freshmen to a roster which already boasted several talented veterans.
Air Force returns eight gymnasts to the lineup, including four NCAA participants, one USAG national champion and six USAG All-Americans.
With one of the largest senior classes in recent memory, Air Force should receive strong leadership from all four of its fourth-year gymnasts. For the second consecutive year, Brian Boardman (
In addition, the Falcons return seniors Tyler Sickles (
The junior class is paced by Jacob Schonig (
USAG All-American Brennan Wolford (
"We should have strong leadership from all four seniors," Simons previewed. "Greg is healthy and will once again lead the team in the gym. Plus, I expect to see solid performances from our sophomores and juniors to fill in the talented lineup."
"I expect our freshmen to have an immediate impact on our program," Simons commented. "This class is filled with talent."
That statement can be backed by the credentials that each gymnast brings to the program. In all, the class has combined for 13 appearances at the Junior Olympics National Qualifier, while amassing six USAG Academic All-America selections.
Daniel Klimkowski (
Nash Mills (
"They are a typical class here at the Academy," Simons continued. "They are community leaders with strong character and academic excellence."
Like its roster, the coaching staff has also has a slightly new appearance.
In addition to its returning Olympians in Simons and assistant coach Brett McClure, the Falcons add Capt Levi Torkelson to the bench as an assistant coach. Torkelson, a 2001 Academy graduate, was a two-time USAG national champion on the parallel bars, while earning nine USAG All-America selections.
Once again, the Falcons' schedule is filled with some of the nation's top-ranked teams. Opponents from within the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation are continually ranked among the country's elite. Air Force will also face fellow service academy rivals, Army and Navy at the annual All-Academy Championships.
"We look to be competitive within our conference and the NCAA," Simons said. "We also look to have a presence at the NCAA Championships."
THE FINAL WORD
With a strong corps of returning gymnasts and a large talented incoming class, the Air Force men's gymnastics team is preparing for another exciting season.