Nov. 9, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force men's gymnastics team was selected 11th in the annual GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was recently released. The ranking, which marked the sixth straight season that the Falcons have earned a spot in the preseason standings, matched the highest placement ever for the Falcons in the coaches' poll.
The No. 11 ranking equals the preseason ranking of the 2012 and 2013 squads.
The 2014 Air Force team features an impressive lineup of talent, including a returning roster that has claimed the last four USAG team titles and competed as a full squad at the last three NCAA National Qualifiers. Individually, the Falcons return five individual USAG champions in Josh Ramos (2012 parallel bars), Mac Ritchie (2012 high bar), Ben Zaiser (2012 vault), Nick Gaudlip (2013 high bar) and Nick Own (2013 pommel horse), as well as five additional USAG All-Americans.
For the sixth straight year, Air Force has the highest preseason ranking of the three service academy programs, leading both Navy (14th) and Army (15th). The Falcons will face the two programs on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the All-Academy Championships, before traveling to West Point for a dual meet with the Black Knights on Friday, Feb. 14.
Michigan, the reigning national champion, received the top spot in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll with all 11 first-place votes. Oklahoma, the defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion, is ranked second, while fellow conference opponent Stanford is ranked third. Ohio State, Penn State and Illinois round out the top five, as the Nittany Lions and Illini are tied for fifth.
GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Michigan (11 first-place votes, 165 points) | 2. Oklahoma (147 pts) | 3. Stanford (128 pts) | 4. Ohio State (118 pts) | 5T. Penn State (117 pts) | 5T. Illinois (117 pts) | 7. California (97 pts) | 8. Iowa (91 pts) | 9. Minnesota (84 pts) | 10. Nebraska (70 pts) | 11. Air Force (61 pts) | 12. Temple (38 pts) | 13. William & Mary (31 pts) | 14. Navy (20 pts) | 15. Army (19 pts) | Also receiving votes: Illinois-Chicago, Arizona State, Springfield
Air Force opens the season on Saturday, Jan. 11, when it hosts the annual Rocky Mountain Open at the Academy's Cadet West Gym.