Feb. 12, 2009
Following a one-week hiatus from competition, the 16th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team will travel to Portland, Ore., for the annual All-Academy Championships against Army and Navy on Saturday, Feb. 14. The meet, which will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club, will be held in conjunction with the 2009 MAC Open and is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (PST).
Meet Notes 04: at All-Academy Championships
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Army and Navy are ranked 18th and 11th, respectively, in the most recent GymInfo Rankings. The two service academy squads faced off against one another last weekend in the annual Star Meet, with Navy earning the 330.050-318.300 decision over Army.
The Falcons are 1-1 on the season against their service academy counterparts. The Falcons and Midshipmen met on Jan. 24 at the Navy Open in Annapolis. Navy won the meet, while Air Force finished fifth. One week later, Air Force dominated a dual meet over Army to even its record against the other service academies.
THE ALL-ACADEMY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Army had won seven straight All-Academy Championship meet titles, until Navy claimed its first such award last year. Air Force last won the team title (formerly called the Service Academy Classic) in 2000.
MILLS NAMED MPSF ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Nash Mills became the Falcons' first gymnast to earn the MPSF Gymnast of the Week award this season, after leading Air Force to victory on Jan. 31. Mills tallied career-best marks to win the parallel bars and all-around, while finishing within the top five on the other four events.
AIR FORCE DOMINATES ARMY
Air Force snapped a four-match home losing streak to Army in impressive fashion, easily taking a 329.100-309.600 victory on Jan. 31. Air Force claimed titles on five of the six individual events, as well as the all-around. Five different Falcons won events, as Air Force posted the seventh-best team score in Academy history.
VAULTING TO NEW HEIGHTS
With a combined team score of 60.950, the Falcons set a new program record on the vault against Army. That score bested the previous mark of 60.950, which was set twice last year. This comes one week after freshman Joel Uptmor set an Academy record for the best individual score on that event.
SWEEP IT UP
With a personal-best score of 13.950, sophomore Nash Mills paced the Falcons to a top-four sweep on the parallel bars against Army. Classmate Aaron Zaiser finished second (13.850), while freshman Jacob Houder placed third at 13.800. Senior Josiah Loeser and sophomore Matthew Thorne rounded out the top scorers for Air Force, tying for fourth with matching marks of 13.400.
FALCONS TAKE FIVE OF SIX
In addition to Nash Mills' victories on the parallel bars and all-around, Air Force earned first-place finishes on the floor exercise (Aaron Zaiser), pommel horse (Chase Nobles), still rings (Jake Schonig) and vault (Joel Uptmor).
ANOTHER SUPERB SHOWING
Highlighted by Jake Schonig's season-best 14.800 on the still rings, Air Force claimed the five of the top six finishers on that event. Josiah Loeser and Devin Menefee placed second and third, respectively, while Nash Mills (fifth-place) and Joel Uptmor (sixth-place) rounded out the scoring.
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 14.400 on the rings, while Houder averages 13.812 on the bars.
GETTING OUT ON TOP
The Falcons have accounted for 16 top-10 placements in the national USAG rankings. Freshman Jacob Houder, sophomore Aaron Zaiser and senior Josiah Loeser are each listed in three different categories. Houder's best finish is a division-leading spot on the parallel bars, while Zaiser and Loeser are tied for second on in the USAG on the vault.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
The Falcons remain on the West Coast, as they travel to Oakland, Calif., for the prestigious Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday, Feb. 21. This elite meet will feature five of the top seven teams in the country. Action begins at 7:30 p.m. (PST) inside the Oakland Convention Center.