Jan. 8, 2011
DENVER, Colo. - The Air Force women's gymnastics team opened the 2011 season with a fourth-place finish at the Denver Quadrangular on Saturday, Jan. 8, against three teams ranked among the nation's elite. Competing at Magness Arena in Denver, Colo., the Falcons posted a season-opening score of 186.600 against Georgia, BYU and the host Pioneers.
Georgia, ranked seventh in the preseason coaches' poll, won the four-team meet with a score of 195.575. BYU, which is receiving votes in the coaches' poll, scored a 193.225 to take second, while 16th-ranked Denver finished third with 192.925 and Air Force (186.600) took fourth.
The Falcons started the meet on the floor exercise, with freshman Linnaea Hance officially opening the season. Hance scored a 9.000, before classmate Jen Larsen recorded a mark of 8.650. Sophomore Tara Harris scored an 8.100, before Lisa Wong added a tally of 9.175. Junior Sammi Jones returned to the lineup after missing a year with injury, and recorded score of 9.300. Senior Brittany Dutton closed out the rotation with a team-leading 9.700.
Air Force moved onto the vault, where Hance opened the scoring with a 9.325. Fellow freshman Jessica Hanner followed up with a 9.375, while Jones added a 9.475. Wong added a mark of 9.400, while Harris and senior Holland Davis closed out the rotation with respective marks of 9.350 and 9.375.
The Falcons next event was the uneven bars, where Larsen started with a 9.450. Hanner tallied an 8.500, while Hance added a score of 9.525. Jones recorded a mark of 9.200 and Davis added an average of 9.275. As the Falcons' final scoring gymnast, Dutton posted a team-leading tally of 9.550.
Air Force closed out the night on the balance beam, where Larson recorded the team's best score of 9.525. Harris followed with a mark of 8.725, while Dutton and Hance added matching marks of 9.325. Hanner added a score of 9.475 and Wong recorded a 9.150.
Hance, the Falcons' lone all-arounder, picked up a fifth-place finish in the combined events with a score of 37.175. Air Force also earned top-10 finishes from Dutton (floor exercise, 9.700) and Larsen (balance beam, 9.525), who tied for 10th in their respective events.
Air Force remains on the road next weekend (Jan. 15), when they travel to College Park, Md., for a triangular meet with Maryland and New Hampshire at 4 p.m. (EST).