Air Force Places Fifth at USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Backed by its best vault score in over two years, the Air Force men's gymnastics team placed fifth at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships this afternoon (April 15) in Ithaca, N.Y. The Falcons tallied a team score of 195.625, which was bolstered by a 36.150 on the vault -- the second-best vault score of the day.
William and Mary continued its title streak with a meet-winning score of 211.475. Navy finished second (208.250), while Arizona State rounded out the top-three with a 203.150. With a score of 202.075, Springfield edged out the Falcons for fourth, while James Madison (194.150), Washington (193.025), MIT (181.175) and Vermont (177.500) completed the nine-team rotation.
In addition to their impressive showing on the vault -- where every gymnast placed within the top-half of the rankings -- Air Force also tied for the fourth-best score on the floor (34.800) and tallied the fifth-best marks on the parallel bars (32.825).
Two Falcons qualified for tomorrow's event finals, by placing within the top eight on an individual event. Senior Kent Reichle (Cambridge, Minn.) claimed third in the vault, behind a career-best mark of 9.200. Sophomore Ryan Stromstad (Corona, Calif.) also advanced with a sixth-place score of 8.950 on the floor exercise. By placing in the top-eight of their respective events, the duo will earn USAG All-America status.
Sophomore Kurt Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) finished 16th in the all-around finals with a score of 47.450, while junior Eric Peele (Bethel, N.C.) placed 19th with a mark of 46.700.
Stromstad also led the team on the high bar with a 21st-place tally of 8.100, while Reichle collected the Falcons' best score on the parallel bars at 8.425 to finish 10th -- just missing a spot in the event finals on that. Antonio garnered an 8.150 (23rd place) on the still rings to lead Air Force on that event, while freshman Brian Boardman (Naperville, Ill.) scored a 7.750 on the pommel horse to top the team and finish 19th overall.
Reichle and Stromstad return to action tomorrow (April 16) in the event finals of the vault and floor, respectively. Competition, which will run in conjunction with the women's event finals, is slated to begin at 2 p.m., at Newman Arena on the campus of Cornell University.