Falcons Ranked 14th in Pre-Season Poll
Oct. 22, 2009
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The GymInfo Men's Pre-Season Coaches Poll was announced earlier this week and for the second straight year the Air Force men's gymnastics team was mentioned. The Falcons were picked 14th in the annual poll, voted on by the NCAA coaches. Air Force is first among its service academy counterparts and fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
The 14th-place ranking is the second-highest preseason ranking ever for the Falcons, falling only one spot shy of last year's 13th-place nod. Prior to last year's 13th-place ranking, Air Force had entered a season ranked 15th (2001, 2003), 17th (2002) and 19th (1998, 1999).
Air Force, which is led by fifth-year head coach Kip Simons, will feature an impressive lineup of impressive veterans and talented newcomers. Including in the Falcons' returning lineup are USAG All-Americans Jacob Houder (2009 MVP), Devin Menefee and Joel Uptmor.
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foes Stanford, California and Oklahoma are ranked first, second and third, respectively. Stanford, the defending national champions, received eight of the 16 first-place votes, while Cal (four), OU (three) and Michigan (one) also earned a first-place pick.
For the second straight year, the Falcons have the highest preseason ranking of the three service academies. Air Force leads 15th-ranked Navy and Army, which was not ranked. The Falcons will face both programs at the annual All-Academy Championships in February and travel to West Point for a dual meet in March.
Air Force officially opens the season on Saturday, Jan. 16, when they host the annual Rocky Mountain Open at the Academy's Cadet West Gym.