April 3, 2013
The 11th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team closes out the 2013 home schedule this weekend, when it hosts the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at the Academy's Cadet West Gym on Saturday, April 6. The meet, which will feature four of the nation's top 11 teams, is slated to begin at 5 p.m.
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men's Gymnastics Championships will feature four teams - second-ranked Oklahoma, fourth-ranked Stanford, ninth-ranked California and 11th-ranked Air Force. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth and students with a valid ID. Tickets will only be available at the door to West Gym on Saturday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Falcons will also have a live web stream available of the competition at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com.
LOOKING AT THE FIELD
All four conference opponents are ranked within the top 11 of the national standings. Oklahoma is currently ranked second with a four-score average of 439.767, while Stanford is ranked fourth with a mark of 434.317. California is ranked ninth with a four-score average of 426.450 and Air Force rounds out the league with a mark of 424.783 to rank 11th. Stanford's Eddie Penev is the only conference gymnast to lead the nation in an individual event, as he is ranked first on the floor exercise with a four-score average of 15.767.
IN THE RANKINGS
The Falcons are currently ranked 11th in the GymInfo National Rankings, holding a four-score average of 424.783. As a team, Air Force is ranked among the nation's top 10 in four of the six events, including the still rings (seventh), vault (eighth), parallel bars (ninth) and high bar (10th). Individually, two Falcons - Gared Chapman (ninth, vault) and Nick Gaudlip (10th, high bar) - are ranked among the nation's top 10, while Greg Chaput (11th, parallel bars), Tory Brown (14th, vault), Nick Owen (19th, pommel horse), Chapman (19th, still rings) and Tyler Huebner (20th, still rings) are listed among the top 20 of the national rankings.
OWEN EARNS WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONOR
Nick Owen was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week on April 2, after capturing his first USAG national title on the pommel horse (14.400) over the March 29-30 weekend. The win came one day after he posted the top qualifying score (14.550) on that event to help the Falcons to their fourth straight team title.
DID YOU KNOW?
Four Falcons (Gared Chapman, Feb. 26; Tory Brown, Mar. 5; Nick Gaudlip, Mar. 19; Nick Owen, Apr. 2) have claimed MPSF Gymnast of the Week honors in 2013 ... accounting for one-third of the 12 total awards given this season. Air Force and Oklahoma have each had four different gymnasts receive the weekly MPSF honor, while Stanford's Eddie Penev has accounted for the remaining four.
COACHING STAFF EARNS USAG AWARDS
Kip Simons was selected as the USAG Varsity Head Coach of the Year, while Josh Loeser and Jeff Robinson shared the USAG Varsity Assistant Coach of the Year award. It is the fourth such award for Simons, who also claimed the honor in 2009, 2010, and 2012. The Falcons' assistant coaches have earned the top USAG honor during each of the last four seasons.
EIGHT FALCONS CLAIM USAG ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Eight Falcons combined for nine USAG All-America accolades, based on their top-six finishes in the individual event finals of the USAG Championships. Denis Aurelius (floor exercise), Tory Brown (vault), Gared Chapman (floor exercise, still rings), Greg Chaput (parallel bars), Nick Gaudlip (high bar), Nick Owen (pommel horse), Mac Ritchie (high bar) and Jon Sprio (still rings) earned USAG All-America distinction.
OWEN AND GAUDLIP EARN USAG TITLES
A pair of Falcons claimed USAG national titles during the event finals on March 30, as Nick Owen (pommel horse) and Nick Gaudlip (high bar) claimed their first career title. With a score of 14.400, Owen became the third Air Force gymnast to earn the national title on the pommel horse, while Gaudlip posted the second-highest score of his career (15.000) to become the seconds straight Falcon to capture the USAG title on the high bar.
AIR FORCE WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT USAG TEAM TITLE
Backed by a score of 420.850, Air Force successfully defended its USAG national team title on March 29. It is the third straight year that the Falcons have claimed the USAG championship, defeating William & Mary (419.100), Navy (404.600) and Springfield (401.850).
RITCHIE BREAKS ACADEMY HIGH BAR RECORD
Mac Ritchie tallied an Academy-record 15.100 on the high bar during the team finals of the USAG Championships on March 29. Adding 0.200 to his previous best mark and 0.050 to the two-week-old program standard, the junior paced the Falcons to four of the top-six scores and a program-best team mark of 72.550.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
The Falcons are off from competition until April 19-21, when they travel to State College, Pa., for the 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics National Championships. The three-day meet begins with the National Qualifier on Friday, April 19, at Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State.