Falcons Play Host To No. 8 Stanford
WHAT'S COMING UPAfter three straight weeks on the road, the Air Force men's gymnastics team returns to the Academy this weekend (Feb. 19), when it hosts Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival Stanford at the Cadet West Gym.
CHECKING OUT THE CARDINALStanford is currently ranked No. 8 in the national polls, coming off of a third-place finish at the Nakamori Invitational last weekend. Scoring a 213.950, the Cardinal finished behind top-ranked Ohio State and seventh-ranked Cal. Jason Shen tied for first on the vault in the tri-meet with a score of 9.500
YOU LOOK FAMILIARThe Falcons and Cardinal have already met once this season, when Air Force traveled to Palo Alto for the Cardinal Invitational. The Falcons scored a then-season-best 185.600 to finish third, behind meet winner Cal and second-place Stanford (213.525).
LAST TIME OUTAir Force finished third at the All-Academy Championships on Feb. 12, in Annapolis, Md. Army picked up its fifth straight title with 210.400 points, while Navy (206.400) and Air Force (186.400) finished second and third, respectively.
LEADING THE WAYAir Force senior Kent Reichle and junior Brian Moore were selected as the captains for the 2005 competitive season. It is the fourth time in the past 10 years that a pair of Falcons has shared the honor of captain.
FIRST TIME'S THE CHARMRyan Stromstad made his season-debut on the floor and vault and set or matched the team's best scores of the season on both. With an 8.800 on the floor, Stromstad matched his career-best score while crushing the team's season-high and placing third in the event. The sophomore, who posted an 8.650 in his season vault debut, also set a career-best parallel bars score of 7.900.
RANK YOU VERY MUCHThe19th-ranked Falcons have a challenging road ahead of them, as seven of the top-15 teams in the country are slated to be their opponents in the coming weeks. In addition, several of Air Force's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation counterparts - Oklahoma (4), California (7) and Stanford (8) - are ranked near the top of the national rankings, as well as service academy rivals Navy (10) and Army (11).
NEW FACES IN THE CROWDSix freshmen join the Air Force gymnastics team in the form of Brian Boardman, Nathan Glandon, Kevin Murphy, Jon Roberts, Tyler Sickles and Chris Wood.
HOME, SWEET HOMECalifornia and Texas are responsible for eight of the 14 members of the team. Edwin Berry, Jon Roberts, Ryan Stromstad and Chris Wood all call California home, while Nathan Glandon, Josh Loeser, Brian Moore and Kevin Murphy all hail from the Lone Star state. The remaining six gymnasts are from six different states in various parts of the country. They include Kurt Antonio (New Mexico), Brian Boardman (Illinois), Randy Doyle (Georgia), Eric Peele (North Carolina), Kent Reichle (Minnesota) and Tyler Sickles (Arizona).
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CONNECTIONSOf the four California gymnasts, Jon Roberts, Ryan Stromstad and Chris Wood all trained at Gymnastics Pacifica. In Texas, Brian Moore and Kevin Murphy both trained at Houston North Gymnastics.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONSThe Falcons wrap up the home portion of the season hosting a pair of meets against service academy rival, Army on Feb. 25 (7:30 p.m.) and Feb. 27 (1:00 p.m.).