Jan. 8, 2009
The 2009 season gets underway this Saturday (Jan. 10) for the Air Force men's gymnastics team, as they host the annual Rocky Mountain Open at the Cadet West Gym. The meet will feature Arizona State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Washington, as well as three members of the U.S. Olympic Training Center team.
Meet Notes 01: Rocky Mountain Open
The Rocky Mountain Open is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., and will feature the team and individual event finals. It is the second straight year that the meet has been just one night. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. They can be purchased at the entrance to the Cadet West Gym.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
This is the first meet of the season for all five collegiate programs. Oklahoma, which has won the past nine RMO meets, enters the 2009 season ranked second, while Nebraska and Air Force are ranked 10th and 13th, respectively.
`ROUND AND `ROUND WE GO...
Air Force will begin the meet on the floor exercise and follow the event progression of pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Nebraska will begin on the pommel horse, while Oklahoma will start on the still rings. Arizona State, Washington and the USOTC members will open on the vault, parallel bars and high bar, respectively.
Two members of the collegiate competition hail from the state of Colorado. Nebraska junior Kyle Shanahan hails locally from Monument, while Oklahoma senior Kyle McNamara calls Littleton home.
LOOKING BACK AT THE 2008 RMO
Backed by five event champions, Oklahoma won its ninth straight RMO collegiate title in 2008. Oklahoma's Stephen Legendre won the all-around and floor exercise, while teammate Kyle McNamara won the vault and parallel bars. Chris Brooks won the high bar, while Taquiy Abdullah-Simmons tied for first on the still rings with Air Force's Jake Schonig. Nebraka's T.J. Schmidt won the pommel horse.
All of the champions from the 2008 Rocky Mountain Open will look to defend their titles this weekend.
HOME SWEET HOME?!?
Home may be where the heart is, but it isn't a place where you will find the Falcons during much of the 2009 season. With only two home meets on the home calendar, Air Force will be on the road for 11 of its 13 meets this season. Air Force closes out the home slate on Saturday, Jan. 31, when it hosts Army.
A BUSY OFF-SEASON...
Senior Jake Schonig spent the fall semester as the Academy's Wing Commander. The position, which oversees the daily operations of the cadet wing, is the highest leadership role attainable by a cadet. Schonig was the 20th cadet-athlete to hold the title of Wing Commander.
FALCONS NET HIGHEST PRESEASON RANKING EVER
Air Force earned a No. 13 placement in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll. That is the best-ever preseason ranking for the Falcons and the first time since 2004 that they received a mention in the poll.
LOESER AND HOUDER HELP LEAD TEAM B-52 TO VICTORY
Bolstered by top finishes from senior Josiah Loeser (still rings) and freshman Jacob Houder (pommel horse), "Team B-52" won the first-ever Air Force Gymnastics Mixed Pairs Meet. Loeser and Houder also accounted for a pair of second-place finishes in the vault and high bar, respectively. Senior Abbey Rogers paced the team with three event victories.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Air Force added six freshmen to its roster for the 2009 season. Jacob Houder, Kyle Mefford, Devin Menefee, Travis Myers, Chase Nobles and Joel Uptmor are the newest members of the Falcons' program.
LEADING THE WAY
Air Force seniors Josiah Loeser and Jake Schonig will serve as co-captains for the 2009 season. It is the 11th time in the Falcons' 53-year history that a pair of gymnasts has shared the honor of team captain.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Following a week off from competition, Air Force will head to the East Coast for a pair of competitions. The Falcons will travel to Annapolis, Md., on Saturday, Jan. 24, for the Navy Open, before traveling to Philadelphia, Pa., the following day (Jan. 25) to take on Temple.