Jan. 5, 2011
The Air Force women's gymnastics team opens the 2011 season on Saturday, Jan. 8, when it travels up Interstate-25 to Denver for a meet against three of the nation's elite teams. The Falcons will face seventh-ranked Georgia, 16th-ranked Denver and BYU (receiving votes in the preseason coaches' poll), at Magness Arena, beginning at 6 p.m. (MST).
Tickets are $9 for adults and $3 for children under the age of three. They can be purchased at any Ticketmaster location or at the Ritchie Center box office. Alicia Sacramone, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, will be signing autographs before the meet and assisting in the award presentation at the conclusion of the event.
IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO DENVER...
The season-opening meet will be featured live on PioneerVision, a pay-per-view service offered by the University of Denver. More information can be found www.DenverPioneers.com.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
The Falcons Air Force will face three teams listed among the GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll at Denver on Jan. 8. Georgia enters the season ranked seventh in the preseason poll, while host Denver is 16th and BYU is receiving votes.
WE'LL BE SEEING YOU
Air Force will face Denver once more this season, when it hosts the Pioneers on Monday, March 14, in the regular-season finale at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. The Falcons also hope to return to Magness Arena in several months, when the Pioneers host the 2010 NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday, April 2.
STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Never let it be said that Air Force head coach Doug Day doesn't like a challenge. The Falcons will face a program-record seven teams that received a nod in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll, including five during the first two weeks of the season. Denver was ranked 16th, while Washington and Minnesota are ranked 21st and 23rd, respectively, and Maryland, New Hampshire and BYU all received votes.
THE FALCON FRESHMEN
Air Force welcomed nine talented freshmen to the 2011 roster, including Maddie Bannon, Emily Bucher, Laura Fauss, Linnaea Hance, Jessica Hanner, Katie Hawthorne, Janie Kovacs, Jen Larsen and Melanie Ortiz. The nine newcomers are the most in program history.
YOUTH IS SERVED
The Falcons have the third largest freshmen class in all of NCAA gymnastics (83 total) and the largest among Division I teams (63 total). Overall, only Hamline (11) and Wisconsin-Stout (10) - both Division III programs - have more freshmen on their opening-day roster.
LEADING THE WAY
With just five upperclassmen on the 14-gymnast roster, the backbone of the Falcons' squad will be the senior trio of Holland Davis, Brittany Dutton and Lisa Wong. Dutton, a 2008 USAG All-American on the floor exercise and all-around, will serve as the team's captain this season.
ON THE SIDELINES
Doug Day returns to the gym for his fifth season as the Falcons' head coach. The 2010 MPSF Coach of the Year, Day led last season's squad to some of its highest totals in over six years. Day will be joined on the sideline this year by first-year assistant coach Lumi Garcy, a former member of the Romanian National Team who trained under famed coach Bela Karolyi.
MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
The 2011 Air Force women's gymnastics media guide is now available at GoAirForceFalcons.com. The guide includes coaching and player profiles, as well as a history of the Falcons' program. Click the link to access the guide: http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/sports/w-gym/archive/010411aaa.html
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
This season, fans will have an opportunity to get to know Air Force's gymnasts outside of the gym with special features on GoAirForceFalcons.com. Beginning next week, tune in to the Academy's website for a "Gymnast Spotlight".
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force will head to College Park, Md., for a triangular meet with Maryland and New Hampshire (both receiving votes in the GymInfo Preseason Poll) on Saturday, Jan. 15.