April 12, 2013
SHREVEPORT, La. - The Air Force women's gymnastics team tallied a 190.750 to finish third in the opening qualifying session at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships on Friday, April 12, in Shreveport, La., narrowly missing a spot in the team finals.
Junior Linnaea Hance recorded the Falcons' top finish, as she took first on the uneven bars with a career-best matching score of 9.850. Hance, who posted the highest score on the bars in either qualifying session, paced Air Force to three of the top four scores, as the Falcons matched the Academy-record team score of 48.925 (first set on March 11 of this year).
Classmate Jessica Hanner scored a personal-best 9.825 to finish second, while fell junior Katie Hawthorne placed fourth with a career-best matching tally of 9.800. In addition, sophomore Alexandra Stych and junior Jen Larsen tied for 10th on the uneven bars with matching scores of 9.725.
Air Force also scored three within the top-10 on the floor exercise, as Hawthorne and Stych paced the squad with sixth-place scores of 9.725. Larsen added a ninth-place tally of 9.700, while sophomore Jessica Wallander finished within the top half of the 32-gymnast field with a score of 9.650 (16th).
Wallander paced the Falcons on the vault, as she tallied a 9.750 to finish fourth. Larsen, who finished 11th on the vault (9.675) and was the only Air Force gymnast to finish within the top half of the field on the balance beam (9.450, 13th), was the Falcons' top all-arounder, scoring a 38.550 to take third.
Texas Woman's University won the first of two preliminary meets with a score of 194.100, while Brown earned the other qualifying spot behind second-place score of 190.825. The Falcons, who broke the 190-point plateau for the 16th consecutive meet (dating back to last season), finished third by a mere 0.075 points, while Cornell rounded out the first qualifying sessions with a fourth-place score of 189.250.
The Falcons' 2013 campaign concludes on Sunday (April 14), when select Falcons return to Centenary College's Gold Dome for the USAG individual event finals at 1 p.m. Competing in the event finals will be Hanner (uneven bars), Hance (uneven bars), Hawthorne (uneven bars, floor exercise), Stych (floor exercise) and Wallander (vault).