April 14, 2010
Nine members of the 13th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team will travel to West Point, N.Y., for the 2010 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships this weekend (April 15-17). Action begins on Thursday, April 15, with a pair of national qualifying sessions. The top teams and individuals advance to the team finals (Friday, April 16) and individual event finals (Saturday, April 17).
Meet Notes 12: at NCAA Championships
The Falcons will be represented by one all-around competitor and eight event specialists. Competing in multiple events at the national qualifier will be Nash Mills (all-around), Joel Uptmor (still rings, vault, high bar), Devin Menefee (still rings, vault) and Travis Langham (still rings, high bar). James Okamoto (pommel horse), Chase Nobles (pommel horse), Dan Klimkowski (still rings), Matthew Thorne (parallel bars) and Garrett Canter (high bar) round out the Academy selections.
The national qualifier, which consists of two sessions, will be held Thursday, April 15. 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, while the event finals will be held Saturday, April 17.
Thursday, April 15
7 a.m.: Session 1 open gym
8:20 a.m.: Session I timed warm-up
10 a.m.: Session I team qualifier
1 p.m.: Session II open gym
2:30 p.m.: Session II timed warm-up
4 p.m.: Session II team qualifier
Friday, April 16
5-7 a.m.: Open gym
1 p.m.: Open gym
2:20 p.m.: Time warm-up
4 p.m.: Team championships
Saturday, April 17
2:30 p.m.: Open warm-up
4 p.m.: Individual championships
A REPEAT PERFORMANCE
Two Falcons are making their second trip to the national meet in as many years. Nash Mills was an all-around competitor last year, while Devin Menefee competed on the vault.
RING IT UP...
The Falcons dominate the individual event participants on the still rings, as Air Force gymnasts account for four of the six spots. Devin Menefee leads the field with a national qualifying average of 14.610. Dan Klimkowski (14.400), Joel Uptmor (14.180) and Travis Langham (13.940) will join him as still rings specialists. In addition, Nash Mills will compete on that event (14.560) as an all-around competitor.
In the 54-year history of the men's program, eight Falcons have earned NCAA All-America certificates. Jim Weaver was the program's first-ever All-American, earning the honor on the trampoline in 1962. In 2008, Greg Stine became the first multiple All-American, when he claimed top-eight finishes in the all-around and one the still rings.
GOING BY RANK
Entering the national championship meet, Nash Mills is ranked 11th in the all-around, with a qualifying average of 84.260. Joel Uptmor is tied for 18th on the vault (15.700), while James Okamoto is ranked 20th on the pommel horse (14.000).
FALCONS PLACE FIFTH AT MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hitting over 80-percent of their routines, the Falcons scored a 329.500 to place fifth at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on April 3. Nash Mills posted the Falcons' top scores on the floor exercise (14.150), still rings (14.300), parallel bars (13.800) and high bar (13.400).
Nash Mills posted a score of 14.150 on the floor exercise - a mark that was just .050 off of his career high. Joel Uptmor also neared his personal-best score on the vault, pacing the team with a total of 15.650. That score was just .100 shy of his top career score.