Jan. 29, 2009
Just four meets into the season, the Air Force men's gymnastics team closes out its 2009 home slate on Saturday, Jan. 31. The Falcons will host service academy rival Army in a 2 p.m., showdown at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. Prior to the meet, the Falcons will recognize its two seniors, Josiah Loeser and Jake Schonig.
Meet Notes 03: Army
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
The Black Knights last competed at their annual West Point Open on Jan. 16-17, placing fifth with a season-best score of 317.750. After two competitions, Jonathan Grey and Justin Sappington have emerged as leaders for Army. Grey paces the team on the parallel bars (12.900 average) and high bar (13.225), while Sappington accounts for the team's top averages on the pommel horse (12.925) and still rings (13.250).
LOOKING BACK AT LAST YEAR'S DUAL
In 2008, Air Force claimed its first `varsity' victory of the season by narrowly edging Army at West Point. The Falcons tallied 331.350 to defeat Army's 331.300. It was the Falcons' first win over Army since the 2000 season, a span that totals over 15 meets.
Team captains Josiah Loeser and Jake Schonig will be competing in their final home meet this Saturday. The NCAA participants have made a significant impact on the program during their careers. Loeser has become a team leader on the vault and parallel bars, while Schonig is the defending USAG champion on the still rings.
GOING BY RANK
Air Force's roster boasts two national leaders, as senior Jake Schonig and freshman Jacob Houder lead the USAG national rankings on the still rings and parallel bars, respectively. Schonig holds an average 14.267 on the rings, while Houder averages 13.817 on the bars.
GETTING OUT ON TOP
The Falcons have accounted for 12 top-10 placements in the national USAG rankings. Jacob Houder, who leads the USAG on the parallel bars, is listed among the nation's top-10 in four events and the all-around.
UPTMOR SETS AIR FORCE VAULT RECORD
With a winning score of 15.550, freshman Joel Uptmor set an Academy record on the vault in just his second collegiate meet (Navy Open). Besting the field by a half point, Uptmor displaced the previous record of 15.400 that Greg Stine set last year.
SCHONIG TO BE FEATURED ON THE MTN NETWORK
Senior captain Jake Schonig will be featured on The Mtn Network's "Day in the Life" show. The network spent a day with Schonig in November, while he served as the Cadet Wing Commander. He will be the second Air Force gymnast to be featured on the show, as junior Brennan Wolford was shown completing his summer parachuting course following his freshman year. Schonig's episode is scheduled to debut on Monday, Feb. 9.
FALCONS DROP NARROW CONTEST TO TEMPLE
Backed by three individual event titles and the top all-around score, the Falcons set a season-best score of 325.900 in a dual meet with Temple on Jan. 25. Although the Owls just edged out Air Force for the meet title, the Falcons bettered their season score by nearly two points.
THE YOUNG WILL LEAD
One day after freshman Joel Uptmor won the vault with an Academy record score, a pair of freshmen claimed two of the team's three event titles at Temple. Chase Nobles tied for the top spot on the pommel horse, while Jacob Houder won the parallel bars. Nobles' pommel horse score of 13.700 matches his personal high, which is the second-best total in Academy history.
Senior Jake Schonig won the still rings on back-to-back nights (Jan. 24-25) during the Falcons' East Coast road swing. Schonig claimed the victory over 47 other competitors at Navy with a total of 14.300 and followed that up with a winning mark of 14.050 at Temple.
WHAT A DEBUT
Sophomore Nash Mills had an impressive debut in the all-around competition at Temple, winning the title with a score of 78.200. Included in his total was a tie for third on the high bar with a mark of 13.250. Mills also set personal-best marks on the pommel horse and vault at that meet.
EARNING GOLD AT NAVY
In addition to Joel Uptmor's record-setting win on the vault and Jake Schonig's top score on the still rings, Air Force claimed one more event title at the annual Navy Open. Freshman Jacob Houder finished first on the parallel bars with a career-best matching score of 13.800.
HIGH FLYIN' HIGH BAR
All six Air Force high bar competitors entered the program's record book, as the Falcons posted the second-best team total in Academy history. Jacob Houder's score of 14.100 is ranked fifth in the record book, while Nash Mills matched the eighth-best total at 13.800. Brennan Wolford (13.650) and Daniel Klimkowski (13.400) are currently ranked 10th and 14th, respectively, while Devin Menefee (13.200, 17th) and Joel Uptmor (13.150, 18th) also made the list.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 14, when they travel to Portland, Ore., for the annual All-Academy Championships against Army and Navy.