March 28, 2012
Air Force senior gymnast Devin Menefee sat down to talk with C3C Michael DePauw of the Air Force media relations office about the season, hosting the USAG National Championships and his plans for the future.
In your opinion, are you happy with the season so far?
We started off strong. The team has hit some rough spots along the way, but I feel like with such a young team, we will just have to take our struggles and learn from them. This team is capable of great things, we just have to come together and do it.
The Air Force Men's Gymnastics team has won the USAG National Championship two years in a row. Is there any pressure is there to win a third straight?
There is definite pressure. In the past three years the Air Force Men's Gymnastics team has accomplished more than anyone thought possible. It has been great to be a part of our climb, and I know we are nowhere near the summit. Saying that, we know that the other teams in USAG are hungry and want to see us fall. It will be a fight, but we are preparing and working our hardest to make USAG Champions become a USAFA tradition.
Since this is your last season, did you approach this season any different from previous seasons?
This year we lost five seniors and gained eight freshmen. Having only 20 people on the team, such a significant change in characters requires some adjustments. And as the Team Captain, I had to not only make personal adjustments, but try to find the best way to develop the team. The biggest thing is that everything I do as an individual not only effects my performance, but the outcome of the team.
Since the USAG National Championship will be held at the Academy on March 30-31, how do you think competing at home will affect the team?
What are your plans for after graduation?
It is always better to compete in your own house. The equipment is ours, the environment is ours, the altitude is ours. Familiarity boosts confidence, especially with our young team.
After graduation, I will be moving to Ohio to be based at Wright Patterson AFB. I will be working in the Aero Systems department as a Developmental Engineer. Also, I am excited to buy a house and get a dog.
Who is your favorite gymnast and why?
Though he was not an Olympian or well known to the masses, my favorite gymnast is Bryant Hadden. He was a high school teammate of mine and went on to be a key player for Stanford Gymnastics throughout his four years on the team. Though he had many accomplishments on the NCAA level, he was just as great, if not a greater man outside the gym. Dedicated to his beliefs and strong in his convictions, Bryant has always been a role model for everyone in his life. Though I have not spent time with him recently, he is a man that I will always respect and revere.