Tyler Sickles Wins High Bar Event with Career-Best Score
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -- Freshman Tyler Sickles (Mesa, Ariz.) set a career-high score of 8.500 to tie for first on the high bar, as the Air Force men's gymnastics team hosted service academy rival, Army, on Sunday (Feb. 27) at the Cadet West Gym.
Overcoming a performance on Friday against the Black Knights, where Sickles smacked both shins on the bar during a release, the freshman bounded back this afternoon. Not only did he post a new personal-high mark, he also set the best score of the season by any member of the Blue and Silver.
The Falcons dropped a 206.050-195.000 decision to the visiting Black Knights to close out the home portion of the 2005 competitive season. Backed by Sickle's victory on the high bar, Air Force took that event from Army with a 33.325-33.250 margin.
Air Force placed four gymnasts within the top-six on the floor exercise. Sophomore Ryan Stromstad (Corona, Calif.) posted an 8.600 on the event to finish fourth, while senior Kent Reichle (Cambridge, Minn.) finished fifth with an 8.575. Freshman Brian Boardman (Naperville, Ill.) tied with junior Eric Peele (Bethel, N.C.) for sixth on the floor with matching scores of 8.500.
Boardman also led the squad on the pommel horse with a third-place score of 7.950. Sophomore Kurt Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) finished sixth (7.250) on the pommel horse, while leading the team with a fourth-place finish on the still rings and a score of 7.950. Junior Brian Moore (Cypress, Texas) finish sixth with a 7.600.
Reichle led the team once more on the vault, posting a season-best score of 8.950 to finish in a tie for fourth, while Peele was close behind with an 8.900 to tie for the sixth spot. In addition, Peele, who placed second in the all-around with a 47.975, led the team on the parallel bars with a fifth-place finish of 8.550.
Air Force placed three gymnasts in the top-six of the high bar, behind Sickle's event-winning score of 8.500. Stromstad tied for fourth with an 8.350, while Peele finished sixth with a score of 8.325.
Prior to the meet, the Falcons honored its two seniors, Randy Doyle and Kent Reichle, who were competing in the final home meet of their careers. Both Doyle and Reichle will be attending pilot training at Moody AFB, Ga. The Falcons also honored head coach Lou Burkel, who will be retiring after 30 years with the Air Force Academy's athletic department.