April 6, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Nine members of the Air Force men's gymnastics team were selected to compete at the 2010 NCAA National Men's Gymnastics Championships, the NCAA selection committee announced this afternoon (April 5) from the national office in Indianapolis, Ind. The nine selections to the national qualifier are the most-ever for an Air Force squad.
Junior Nash Mills qualified in the all-around, while eight Falcons qualified as event specialists in 11 routines. Mills, ranked 11th in the national rankings, holds a national qualifying average of 84.250.
The Falcons dominate the individual event participants on the still rings, as Air Force accounts for four of the six spots. Sophomore Devin Menefee leads the field with a national qualifying average of 14.610 - ranked 21st in the nation. Junior Dan Klimkowski (14.400), sophomore Joel Uptmor (14.180) and freshman Travis Langham (13.940) will join him on the still rings.
Uptmor also qualified on the vault and high bar. Uptmor leads the event specialists on the vault with a NQS of 15.700, which is tied for 18th in the country. In addition, Uptmor will compete on the high bar, after posting a national qualifying score of 13.500. Like Uptmor, Menefee and Langham will compete in multiple events. Menefee was also selected to compete on the vault (15.570), while Langham will compete on the high bar (13.530).
Senior Garrett Canter will make his first trip to the national championship meet, as he qualified on the high bar with a national qualifying average of 13.560. Junior Matthew Thorne will compete on the parallel bars (13.710), while freshman James Okamoto (14.000) and sophomore Chase Nobles (13.930) will participate on the pommel horse.
As a squad, the Falcons amassed a national qualifying average of 337.050. Ranked 13th in the GymInfo Rankings, Air Force narrowly missed a spot in the national team lineup, as Temple (338.350) edged out the Falcons for the final spot in the 12-team field.
The national qualifier, which consists of two pre-qualifying sessions, will be held Thursday, April 15, at West Point, N.Y. The top three teams, the top three all-around competitors not on an advancing team and the top three individuals from each event that are not on an advancing team or as a qualifying all-around competitor, will advance from each session to the national championships. Team competitions will take place on Friday, April 16, at Army's Holleder Center, while the event finals will be held Saturday, April 17.