Feb. 13, 2014
The ninth-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics heads east this weekend for a pair of back-to-back road matches. The Falcons will face service academy rival and 13th-ranked Army on Friday, Feb. 14, in West Point, N.Y., before traveling to Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, Feb. 15, for a triangular meet with 16th-ranked Temple and 17th-ranked Illinois-Chicago.
Friday's meet at Army is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m., while Saturday's contest at Temple is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m., start. Both meets are slated to be streamed on the program's respective websites (goarmysports.com, owlsports.com).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
With a three-score average of 414.483, Army holds the highest GymInfo Ranking of Air Force's weekend opponents. The Black Knights, in their third straight meet against service academy opponents, is coming off of a 422.300-420.100 loss at Navy last weekend. Jesse Glenn currently holds a top-five national ranking on the high bar, behind an average of 15.033. As a team, Temple and Illinois-Chicago are ranked 16th (399.433) and 17th (396.767), respectively, in the national standings. Last weekend, the Owls dropped a 431.550-401.600 contest at Penn State, while the Flames finished second at SUNY-Brockport Triangular.
FALCONS MAINTAIN #9 RANKING
With a three-score average of 427.350, Air Force is currently ranked ninth in the national standings. That average, bolstered by two of the three highest scores in Academy history during the last two meets, has propelled the Falcons ahead of two Big Ten programs (#10 Iowa, #11 Nebraska) and just 0.250 behind conference opponent (#8) Cal.
A LOOK AT THE RANKINGS
As a team, the Falcons are ranked seventh in the national standings on four of the six events, including the floor exercise (three-score average of 72.233), pommel horse (70.817), still rings (73.200) and parallel bars (71.600). Individually, Tim Wang is ranked third in the all-around (85.783) and ninth on the pommel horse (14.850). In addition, Tyler Huebner and Gared Chapman are ranked 14th (14.983) and 17th (14.883), respectively, on the still rings, while Josh Ramos is ranked 19th on the parallel bars (14.633).
THREE RECORDS FALL IN RETURN TO ACADEMY
Highlighted by an Academy-record team score of 431.550, Air Force improved three program records during its return to the Academy on Feb. 8. In addition to the overall team score, the Falcons also broke the individual and team marks on the pommel horse. With a record 15.100, Tim Wang became the first Air Force gymnast to surpass the 15-point mark on the pommel horse, while three additional top-10 marks assisted the Falcons to a new team score of 72.350.
A COMMANDING PERFORMANCE
The Falcons claimed four of the top-five finishes on the pommel horse against Minnesota on Feb. 8, as the squad improved the one-week-old Academy standard on that event by nearly two points. In addition to Tim Wang's winning score of 15.100, Jon Spiro finished third (career-high 14.700) and Nick Owen and Greg Chaput finished fourth (14.600) and fifth (14.350), respectively.
HUEBNER LEADS A STRONG RING PERFORMANCE AGAINST MINNESOTA
Tyler Huebner added a second event title to the Falcons' night with Minnesota, winning the still rings with a season-best 15.300. He paced the Falcons to four of the top-five finishes, as Denis Aurelius took second (14.95) and Gared Chapman and Jon Spiro finished fourth (14.850) and fifth (14.800), respectively.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force will be off from team competition next week, as Nick Gaudlip and Tim Wang travel to Las Vegas for the annual Winter Cup Challenge. The two-day event, which will be held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino's Royale Pavilion, will begin with preliminary competition on Feb. 20.