March 8, 2014
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Junior Lindsay Ebel and senior Linnaea Hance tied for first on the uneven bars, as the Air Force women's gymnastics team improved its season-high team score for the eighth straight meet, amassing a 193.900 to finish third at the Eagle Invitational in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Saturday, March 8.
Ebel and Hance collected matching scores of 9.775 to tie for first on the bars (career-high for Ebel), while senior Katie Hawthorne and junior Jessica Wallander added top-three finishes to the Falcons' final output. Hawthorne tied for second on the floor exercise with a 9.750, while Wallander scored a season-high 9.800 to take third on the vault.
Senior Jessica Hanner joined Ebel and Hance among the top-half of the field on the uneven bars, as she matched her season-high of 9.725 to finish in a tie for fifth. Hance added a matching placement on the vault, as she and teammate Jen Larsen tied for fifth with scores of 9.750 (season-high marks for both).
While sophomore Ali Ables was Air Force's lone top-12 finisher on the balance beam (career-high 9.775 to tie for eighth), the Falcons placed four in the top-12 of the floor exercise. Wallander and freshman Kara Witgen were part of a six-way tie for sixth behind matching scores of 9.725, while junior Alexandra Stych tied for 12th with a 9.700.
Northern Illinois used a strong final rotation to edge Mid-American Conference opponent and host Eastern Michigan by a narrow 195.100-194.900 margin. Air Force finished third with its second-highest score of the Doug Day-era (193.900), while Temple rounded out the invitational with a score of 191.575.
The Falcons close out the regular season next weekend, with a trip to New Hampshire on Friday (March 14) and a home competition with Arizona on Monday (March 17).