Falcon Gymnastics to Host Rocky Mountain Open
Jan. 14, 2004
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force gymnastics program kicks off the 2004 season hosting the annual Rocky Mountain Open this weekend (Jan. 16-17) at the Cadet West Gymnasium. The Falcon men start things off with the team competition on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m., and conclude with the event finals on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m. The Air Force women get underway at 6:30 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 17.
Men's head coach Lou Burkel will lead the Falcons into their first competition of the season against teams with impressive resumes, highlighted by defending national champion Oklahoma. The five-time NCAA champion Sooners finished second at the RMO last season and are currently ranked second in the 2004 GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll. Iowa and Nebraska are also ranked among the nation's best in the preseason poll, as the Hawkeyes are ranked sixth and the eight-time NCAA champion Cornhuskers are ranked 10th. Rounding out the collegiate competition are Washington and the 2003 USAG Collegiate Club Champions of Arizona State. The Falcons will also host the team from the U.S. Olympic Training Center, who won the RMO last season. Included on the roster for the USOTC are World Championship team members, Steve McCain, Jason Gatson and Brett McClure.
The Air Force women and head coach Lisa Woody, who finished second at the Rocky Mountain Open last season, will host four teams in the evening. Texas Women's University, the defending USAG Collegiate Champions, is making its second straight appearance at the annual competition, after finishing third last season behind UC-Davis and Air Force. Utah State is currently ranked 30th in the preseason coaches' poll after finishing the 2003 season ranked 32nd. Fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation team member, San Jose State will be the only squad that has already competed in one competition this season, finishing fourth in a quadrangular meet at Stanford last weekend. Wisconsin-Eau Claire is making its first appearance in the Rocky Mountain Open to round out the competitors on the women's side.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children 18 and under and can be purchased at the door. On Saturday, one ticket will get spectators into both the men's and women's competition.