April 15, 2009
Six members of the Air Force men's gymnastics team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for the 2009 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships this weekend (April 16-18). Action begins on Thursday, April 16, with a pair of national qualifying sessions. The top teams and individuals advance to the team finals (Friday, April 17) and individual event finals (Saturday, April 18).
2009 Post-Season Guide (with updated bios)
Thursday's first qualifying session begins at 1 p.m. (CST), while the second is slated for a 7 p.m. start. The top three teams and top three all-arounders not on an advancing team from each session will move on to Friday's team and all-around finals at 7 p.m. The individual event finals will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Air Force will be represented by freshman Jacob Houder (pommel horse), senior Josiah Loeser (still rings), freshman Devin Menefee (vault), sophomore Nash Mills (all-around), senior Jake Schonig (still rings) and sophomore Aaron Zaiser (floor exercise, vault). Updated bios of each competitor can be found on pages 4-9 of this release.
Nash Mills will compete in the all-around during the 1 p.m. session, along with event specialists Jacob Houder (pommel horse) and Jake Schonig (still rings). Aaron Zaiser will compete on the floor exercise and vault in the 7 p.m. session, along with Josiah Loeser (still rings) and Devine Menefee (vault).
DID YOU KNOW?
It is the third consecutive year that Jake Schonig has competed on the still rings at the national championship meet. In 2007, he finished 11th on the rings, marking what had been the best event finish for an Air Force gymnast in the past 10 years.
MORE DID YOU KNOW?
It is the second straight season that Aaron Zaiser has earned multiple invitations to the national meet. Last year, as a freshman, Zaiser competed on the floor exercise and on the parallel bars.
In the 53-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. Last season, Greg Stine became the first multiple All-American, when he claimed top-eight finishes in the all-around and on the still rings. (A complete list of Air Force's All-Americans is located on page 15 of this release.)
GOING BY RANK
Entering the national championship meet, senior Jake Schonig is ranked third in the nation with a national qualifying score of 15.320. Sophomore Nash Mills is ranked 16th, nationally, in the all-around with a NQS of 81.430.
LOOK OUT BELOW!
Freshman Devin Menefee upped his Academy record on the vault at the MPSF Championships on April 4. Posting a score of 15.850, Menefee finished seventh to mark the Falcons' best individual finish of the night. The score was a .050 improvement over the previous program standard that Menefee originally set at the Southwest Cup.
A TOP-10 TRIO
In addition to Devin Menefee's seventh-place finish on the vault at the conference championships, Air Force earned an additional pair of top-10 finishes. Senior Jake Schonig placed eighth on the still rings, while sophomore Nash Mills earned the same placement in the all-around.
FALCONS TAKE FIFTH AT MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Air Force tallied a team score of 330.100 to place fifth at the MPSF Championships. Host Stanford won the conference title with a score of 363.750, upsetting four-time defending champion Oklahoma, who finished second with a total of 358.350. California finished third (352.500), while Nebraska placed fourth (341.850).