Feb. 5, 2013
Air Force sophomore Gared Chapman will represent the Academy's 14th-ranked men's gymnastics team at the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 7-9. Chapman, who will be competing on the floor exercise, still rings and vault, will participate in the 1 p.m. (PST) session of the annual event that helps determine the U.S. Senior National Team.
The 2013 Winter Cup Challenge, which features an invited group of the nation's top gymnasts, is designed to determine who will comprise the U.S. Men's Senior National Team through the 2013 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in August. Included in the field are four members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and one Olympic alternate.
The preliminary round of competition will be divided into two sessions. Gared Chapman is scheduled for the 1 p.m. session, with warm-ups beginning at 11 a.m. Chapman's rotation will begin on the still rings. He will also compete on the vault and floor exercise at the Winter Cup Challenge. The top gymnasts, according to the Men's Program Committee points-ranking-system, will advance to Saturday's final, which is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Junior Mac Ritchie was invited to his first Winter Cup Challenge, but will not compete.
IT'S A SIGN OF THE TIMES
From 1990-2009, Air Force qualified just three gymnasts to the Winter Cup Challenge (Joel Miller-1992, Jeff Andersen-2004, Greg Stine-2007). In the past four years, six gymnasts - Tory Brown (2010, 2011, 2012), Gared Chapman (2013), Nash Mills (2010, 2011), James Okamoto (2011, 2012), Mac Ritchie (2013) and Joel Uptmor (2010) - have combined for 10 total selections.
IN THE RANKINGS
Air Force is currently ranked 14th in the GymInfo National Rankings with an average score of 406.975. As a team, the Falcons are ranked among the nation's top-10 on the vault, holding a ninth-place average of 71.500. Individually, Tory Brown is ranked 15th on the vault with a 14.687 average.
FALCONS SWEEP TITLES IN WIN AT WASHINGTON
Backed by a sweep of all six event titles, the Falcons defeated Washington 402.600-353.900 in Seattle on Feb. 1. Tory Brown won the vault (14.700) and parallel bars (13.800), while Nick Gaudlip (floor exercise, 14.600), Nick Owen (pommel horse, 14.200), Tyler Huebner (still rings, 14.650) and Skyler Awisus (high bar, 13.600) claimed titles on their respective events.
IT'S A LITTLE BLUE AT THE TOP
Air Force claimed at least four of the top scores in all six events during the dual meet at Washington, including a sweep of the top five scores on the pommel horse, still rings, vault and high bar.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
The full Air Force squad returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 16, when it travels to Atlanta, Ga., for the annual All-Academy Championships. The Falcons will look to defend their title against Army and Navy at the Sports Arena on the campus of Georgia State University.