March 14, 2014
DURHAM, N.H. - The Air Force women's gymnastics team posted its highest overall total of the last decade this evening (March 14), as it surpassed the 195-point mark for the first time since the 2004 season. In their final road meet of the regular season, the Falcons combined for a score of 195.075 during a dual meet loss to host New Hampshire (196.100).
The Falcons, who easily surpassed their previous season-high mark of 193.900, nearly matched the Academy record on the balance beam, as they totaled a 49.125 (a mark just 0.025 shy of the program standard) to outpoint the host Wildcats on that apparatus.
Highlighted by an event title from senior Linnaea Hance, five members of Air Force's beam lineup scored a 9.800 or higher. Hance surpassed her own career high, as she recorded a new personal-best score of 9.875 to share first-place on that event. Sophomore Sarah Neumann and freshman Kara Witgen both set new career highs, as they tied for fourth with matching marks of 9.825 (a personal improvement of 0.625 for Witgen). Air Force also tied for seventh on that event, as junior Lindsay Ebel and sophomore Shannen Kelly both accounted for career-best scores of 9.800.
Hance, the night's lone all-arounder with a season-best matching score of 39.025, also picked up a first-place finish on the uneven bars. Scoring a career-high mark of 9.875, Hance tied for the event lead on the bars, while leading the Falcons to three finishes among the top half of the field. Ebel matched her career-high of 9.775 to take fifth, while junior Alexandra Stych scored a 9.750 to tie for sixth.
In addition to the first-place ties from Hance on the uneven bars and beam, Air Force earned a share of the meet's vault title, as junior Jessica Wallander notched a season-high score of 9.850 to tie for first on the vault. Hance also placed within the top six on that event, scoring a season-high 9.775 to finish in a tie for fourth. Wallander also added a top-three finish on the floor exercise, as she scored a career-best 9.825 to tie for third with senior Katie Hawthorne, who equaled her personal-best score on that event.
The Falcons close out the 2014 regular season on Monday (March 17), when they return to the Academy to host 20th-ranked Arizona at 6:00 p.m.