Three Falcons Invited to Compete at the Winter Cup Challenge
Jan. 13, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Three members of the Air Force men's gymnastics team were selected to compete at the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge in early February, USA Gymnastics announced this week (Jan. 13). Junior Nash Mills, sophomore Joel Uptmor and freshman Tory Brown will become the first Air Force gymnasts in six years to compete at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev.
With the selection to the 2010 meet, these three gymnasts have matched the number of Air Force invitees to the Winter Cup from the last 20 years combined. Only two Academy gymnasts have competed at the Winter Cup Challenge, as Jeff Andersen competed in the all-around in 2004 and Joel Miller participated on the still rings in 1992. Former Falcon Greg Stine was invited to compete at the 2007 meet, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Over 100 gymnasts were selected to compete at the two-day meet, including members of the current Senior National Team and Junior Elite National Team. Air Force, the only service academy to send gymnasts to the 2010 Winter Cup, will be joined by 11 gymnasts from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Mills is coming off of a stellar sophomore campaign, which saw him advance to the NCAA Championships in the all-around and ranked among the nation's top 20. Uptmor had a strong freshman season, earning USAG All-America honors on the floor exercise and setting a then-Academy record on the vault. As a club gymnast, Brown was the 2009 Oregon state gymnasts champion and a three-time junior national qualifier.
The Winter Cup Challenge, which will be held at the Las Vegas Sports Center, begins on Thursday, Feb. 4, with three sessions of preliminary competitions. The top 42 athletes from the first day will advance to the finals, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6.
The Falcons open the 2010 season this Saturday (Jan. 16), as they host the annual Rocky Mountain Open at 6 p.m., in the Cadet West Gym.
Kip Simons, Air Force Head Coach
"Ultimately, I want to have athletes representing our institution at the national, and possibly international, level. After four years at USAFA, I am now convinced that these gymnasts have the opportunity to compete at the highest level, while pursuing a career that sets them up for life after gymnastics."
Nash Mills, Junior Gymnast
Joel Uptmor, Sophomore Gymnast
"Being one of the few gymnasts from Air Force to ever compete at the Winter Cup Challenge, brings an even greater sense of honor. Kip and Brett have done a lot of great things for this team and the Air Force gymnastics program. We have all put forth maximum effort to get where we are today, and it is time to represent Air Force and show what we can do. Not only that, but to show where we are going."
Tory Brown, Freshman Gymnast