Falcons Team Up for USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships
The Air Force men's and women's gymnastics teams will join forces as they compete at the 2005 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships on April 14-16 in Ithaca, N.Y. The three-day event, hosted by Cornell University, will feature teams from around the country.
The men's rotation will have Air Force matching up with James Madison, MIT, Springfield, Vermont and William and Mary, as well as frequent competitors Navy, Arizona State and Washington.
The women's lineup will feature the host Big Red, Rutgers, Centenary and Texas Woman's University, as well as the Falcons' fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foes from Alaska-Anchorage, UC-Davis and Seattle-Pacific.
The championships begin on Thursday (April 14) with the women's preliminary team competition at 4 p.m. The men's team competition is slated for Friday (April 15) at 1 p.m., while the top four women's teams will meet for the team finals at 7 p.m. The men's and women's teams will combine for the individual event finals on Saturday (April 16) at 2 p.m.
The Air Force men will begin their competition on the high bar followed with schedule of a bye and then two events (high bar, bye, floor exercise, pommel horse, bye, still rings, vault, bye, parallel bars) before ending the night on the parallel bars. The women open with a bye before following Olympic order of vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise with a bye between each rotation.
All events will take place at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall on the campus of Cornell.
Since 1994, seven members of the Air Force men's team have been named USA Gymnastics national champions. Jerry Michael Cline and Brian Rizzoli claimed national titles in 1994, winning the all-around and floor exercise, respectively. In 1999, Erin Montague won the high bar, while Levi Torkelson won the parallel bars. Torkelson became the team's only repeat champion, claimed the parallel bars title in 2000, as Javin Peterson won the still rings that same year. Aaron Jackson joined the group with his vault national title in 2003, while Greg Stine won the all-around and pommel horse last year.
The Air Force women won the USA Gymnastics national championship in 2001 and 2002. Five former Falcons have claimed a total of eight individual national titles since 2000. Kimberly Broughton won the all-around in 2000 and 2002, while Jennifer Dougherty captured the vault and all-around in the 2002. Bethany Stott won the beam in 2001 and Allison Todd claimed back-to-back beam titles in 2002 and 2003. Jessa Liegl continued the Falcons' streak of balance beam titles last year, claiming the team's fourth consecutive national beam title.