SEATTLE, Wash. – Highlighted by a first-place finish on the vault from senior Kara Witgen, the Air Force women’s gymnastics team concluded the team portion of its season this afternoon (April 7) in Seattle, during the first qualifying session of the 2017 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships.
Witgen, who scored a career-best 9.850 to finish first out of 30 qualifiers on the vault, was one of three Falcons to register top-five finishes in the meet. Freshman Anna Salamone tallied a 9.775 to finish second out of 32 gymnasts on the uneven bars and matched that score (a career-high) to finish fourth on the vault, while junior Casey Bell tied with Witgen for third on the floor exercise (9.850).
Bell and Witgen’s matching floor scores of 9.850 were career-bests for both and paced the Falcons to four finishes within the top-half of the 32-gymnast field. Junior Jamie Lewis matched her personal-high of 9.825 to tie for ninth, while senior Darby Germain posted a score of 9.750 to tie for 14th.
Backed by Salamone’s runner-up finish, Air Force earned three top-10 finishes on the uneven bars, as Witgen, who finished the night with a 37.950 in the all-around (sixth), and sophomore Annalise Howard, who was competing in her first competition since January, tied for 10th with matching marks of 9.700.
Sophomore Emily Luers registered the team’s best finish on the balance beam, as she garnered a career-best score of 9.750 to tie for 10th in the 32-gymnast field.
The Falcons tallied a 192.800 to finish fourth in the afternoon qualifier at Brougham Pavilion. Bridgeport (195.575) and Cornell (194.200) finished first and second, respectively, to advance to tomorrow’s team finals, while West Chester (193.525) and Air Force rounded out the team standings.
A list of qualifiers for Sunday’s individual event finals will be announced after the evening session.