March 23, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - With an Academy-record score of 9.925, Air Force sophomore Jessica Wallander won the vault title at the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, March 23. Wallander paced the Falcons to a third-place finish in the team standings.
Wallander became the Falcons' second conference champion on the vault (Jenna Dudley, 2010) and the program's first on any apparatus since 2011. With her winning score of 9.925, Wallander also became the first Air Force gymnast to impact the Academy's all-time scores since 2004, as she added 0.025 points to the vault record that had stood since that year. She is just the third Academy vaulter to record a 9.900 or higher, joining Jessa Leigl (2004) and Kelly Roxburgh (1996), who shared the previous record of 9.900.
Four Falcons finished within the top half of the 24-gymnast field on the vault, as the program combined for an event score of 48.875 - a mark that stands just 0.025 just of the program standard. In addition to Wallander's win, junior Linnaea Hance finished fourth (career-best 9.825), while classmates Jen Larsen and Katie Hawthorne finished sixth (9.775) and 11th (9.725), respectively, with scores that matched their career highs.
Wallander also paced the Falcons on the uneven bars, as she scored a 9.725 to take fourth. Hance, who also earned a finish among the top-12 on the uneven bars (9.650, 11th) and took third in the all-around (38.825), was the only Falcon to score within the half of the field on the balance beam, as she scored a 9.750 to finish third. Sophomore Alexandra Stych led the Falcons on the floor exercise, placing fifth with a 9.775, while Larsen finished within the top-12, following a 10th-place score of 9.675.
UC Davis won its fourth straight MPSF title with a score of 194.950, while host Seattle Pacific placed second with a total of 193.200. Air Force collected score of 191.925 to narrowly edge Alaska-Anchorage (191.850) for third in the final team standings.
The Falcons are off from competition until the NCAA Regional Championships, which will be held on Saturday, April 6, in Columbus, Ohio.