March 1, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force women's gymnastics team claimed a share of three event titles during a narrow 193.825-193.575 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday, March 1, at the Academy's Cadet Center Gym. The Falcons' score - a mark tied for the second-best team score of head coach Doug Day's eight-year tenure - helped Air Force defeat the Eagles for the second straight meet.
Seniors Linnaea Hance and Katie Hawthorne tied for first on the uneven bars with matching scores of 9.725, while Shannen Kelly tied for first on the balance beam (career-best 9.775) and freshman Kara Witgen tied for the top spot on the floor exercise with a 9.800 in her event debut.
Hance, the meet's only all-arounder (37.950), and Hawthorne paced the Falcons to the top-three finishes on the uneven bars, as junior Lindsay Ebel finished third with a career-best matching score of 9.700. Air Force earned three of the top-six finishes on the beam, as sophomores Sarah Neumann and Ali Ables finished third (9.750) and tied for fifth (season-high 9.650), respectively. While junior Alexandra Stych tied for third on the floor exercise (season-high 9.775), Neumann also earned a finish among the top-half of the field, scoring a 9.750 to tie for fifth.
Backed by a pair of second-place marks on the vault from Hance and junior Jessica Wallander, the Falcons claimed three of the top-six scores on that event. Freshman Cara Curran rounded out Air Force's finishers within the top half of the competing field, scoring a 9.700 to finish sixth.
Air Force and Eastern Michigan will face off again next Saturday (March 8), when the Falcons travel to the Eagles' home in Ypsilanti, Mich., for a quad meet with Northern Illinois and Temple.