Air Force Heads to USAG Championships

    Mac Ritchie

    Mac Ritchie

    March 26, 2013

    The 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team heads to Williamsburg, Va., this weekend (March 29-30) to defend its title at the 2013 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. The two-day event, which will feature four varsity teams and three club teams, will be held at Kaplan Arena on the campus of William & Mary.

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    MEET INFORMATION
    The 2013 USAG Championships will feature four varsity teams (Air Force, Navy, Springfield, William & Mary) and three club programs (Arizona State, SUNY Brockport, Washington). Friday's competition, which begins at 6 p.m. (EST), will feature the team and all-around finals, as well as the event preliminaries, while Saturday's meet, which is slated for 2 p.m., will be the event finals. Tickets ($10 for adults and $5 for youth aged 2-17) can be purchased through the William & Mary Ticket Office or at 757-221-3340.

    A LOOK AT THE FIELD
    Air Force currently leads the USAG field, ranked 11th nationally with a four-score average of424.783. Among varsity teams, William & Mary is ranked 12th with a 415.883 average, while Navy and Springfield are ranked 16th (406.367) and 17th (403.533), respectively. Ranked 18th in the national standings, Arizona State leads the club programs with a four-score average of 403.283, while Washington (19th, 351.700) and Brockport (20th, 199.067) round out the field.

    HISTORY 101
    Air Force has won the last three USAG national team titles. Since 1994, the Falcons have accounted for 26 individual USAG championship titles and over 135 USAG All-America distinctions. Current Falcons Tory Brown (2011 vault), James Okamoto (2011 pommel horse), Josh Ramos (2012 parallel bars), Mac Ritchie (2012 high bar) and Ben Zaiser (2012 vault) have captured USAG individual titles during the past two seasons. In addition, Brown (2011), Gared Chapman (2012), Greg Chaput (2012), Nick Gaudlip (2012), Okamoto (2010, 2011, 2012), Corbin Palmer (2012), Ramos (2012), Ritchie (2012) and Zaiser (2012) have accounted for 15 USAG All-America certificates.

    A LOOK BACK AT THE 2012 USAG CHAMPIONSHIPS
    Backed by a season-high score of 341.050, Air Force claimed its third straight USAG national team title at the 2012 championship meet. Josh Ramos (parallel bars), Mac Ritchie (high bar) and Ben Zaiser (vault) claimed individual national titles, while a program-best nine Falcons earned USAG All-America status (11 total certificates).

    YOU LOOK FAMILIAR
    Air Force holds a 5-0 record against the teams it will be facing this weekend. The Falcons defeated Navy at the All-Academy Championships and hold matching 2-0 records against both Arizona State and Washington this season.

    RANK YOU VERY MUCH
    Air Force is currently ranked 11th in the GymInfo National Rankings, holding a four-score average of 424.783. As a team, the Falcons are ranked among the nation's top 10 in three of the six events. Air Force is ranked seventh on the still rings (73.233), eighth on the vault (72.917) and ninth on the parallel bars (71.133). Individually, two Falcons are listed among the top 12 on the vault, as Gared Chapman is tied for eighth (14.933) and Tory Brown is ranked 12th (14.833). In addition, Greg Chaput is ranked 11th on the parallel bars (14.722) and Tyler Huebner is ranked 19th on the still rings (15.000).

    GAUDLIP SWEEPS WEEKLY AWARDS
    Following a stellar weekend of competition, Nick Gaudlip was named the Air Force Athlete of the Week award on March 18, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week on March 19 and the College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week on March 20. The sophomore improved his scores on every event, captured four event titles and set a new Academy record on the high bar (15.050), while helping the Falcons to a 2-0 weekend against No. 13 Temple and No. 19 Washington.

    DETAILS, PLEASE
    En route to his weekly awards, Nick Gaudlip collected first-place finishes on the pommel horse (career-best 14.000), parallel bars (career-best 14.750) and high bar (14.150) against Temple on March 14 and used an Academy-record performance of 15.050 to win the high bar against Washington on March 16. In addition, he finished second on the floor exercise during both meets (14.700, career-best 15.150) and helped the Falcons to event records on the floor exercise, high bar and total against the Huskies.

    DID YOU KNOW?
    Nick Gaudlip is the second Falcon this season to earn the weekly trifecta of awards, joining Tory Brown, who swept those accolades on March 4-6.

    CHAPMAN SHATTERS ACADEMY VAULT RECORD
    With a vault score of 15.350, Gared Chapman easily broke the program standard of 15.050 that he had previously shared with Tory Brown. Chapman has reset the program's vault standard four times this season. Prior to his latest record-setting performance, Chapman matched the mark of 14.750 in the season-opening Rocky Mountain Open on Jan. 12, improved it to 15.000 at the All-Academy Championships on Feb. 16 and reset it again (15.050) at Oklahoma on Feb. 23.

    FALCONS TALLY PROGRAM-BEST 431.250 IN WIN OVER WASHINGTON
    Air Force became just the eighth team in the nation to break the 430-point mark, as it closed out the regular season with an Academy-record performance of 431.250 in a win over Washington (343.500) on March 16. Two individual records and four team marks fell during the meet, highlighted by a 4.2-point improvement to the overall team score.

    DIGGING A LITTLE DEEPER
    Nick Gaudlip set an Academy record on the high bar (15.050), while Gared Chapman broke his own standard on the vault (15.350), while the Falcons set team records on the floor exercise (75.100), vault (73.400), high bar (71.000) and team score (431.250).

    CAUTION, FALLING RECORDS!
    Four Academy records have been set or matched so far this season. In addition to the record-setting performances of Gared Chapman (vault, 15.350) and Nick Gaudlip (high bar, 15.050) against Washington on March 16, Greg Chaput set the program's parallel bars mark (15.250) against Arizona State on March 8 and Nick Owen matched the Academy standard of 14.900 on Feb. 23 at Oklahoma.

    SWEEP IT UP
    Air Force claimed event titles in all 12 events over the March 14-16 homestand. Nick Gaudlip (pommel horse, parallel bars, high bar) and Tory Brown (floor exercise, vault) combined for five event titles against Temple, while Gared Chapman won the still rings. Brown and Gaudlip repeated as champions of the floor exercise and high bar, respectively, against Washington, while Chapman (vault), Greg Chaput (parallel bars), Tyler Huebner (still rings) and Nick Owen (pommel horse) completed the Air Force sweep of event titles.

    FALCONS ROUT TEMPLE IN ACADEMY RETURN
    After competing on the road since a dual meet with Army on Jan. 19, Air Force returned to the Academy on March 14 for a dominating 425.450-398.500 victory over Temple. The Falcons captured a share of every event title, en route to the 27-point team victory.

    WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
    Air Force returns to the Academy on Saturday, April 6, to host the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. The Falcons, who are hosting the conference meet for the third straight year, will welcome California, Oklahoma and Stanford to the Cadet West Gym for a 5 p.m., competition.

     

     

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