Jan. 7, 2010
The Air Force women's gymnastics team opens the 2010 season this weekend, as it travels to Corvallis, Ore., for the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational on Friday, Jan. 8. The Falcons will face a pair of nationally-ranked teams, as well as a conference foe, in their season debut. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (PST) at Gill Coliseum on the campus of Oregon State.
Meet Notes 01: at Salbasgeon Suites Invitational
The Salbasgeon Suites Invitational will be streamed live with audio commentary. Fans can access the pay-per-view event on www.osubeavers.com. Live scoring will also be available for the meet.
LET'S MEET THE OPPONENTS
Air Force will face Alaska-Anchorage, Illinois and Oregon State at the season-opening Salbasgeon Suites Invitational. Oregon State is currently ranked 10th in the preseason coaches' poll, while Illinois is ranked 13th. Although not ranked, Alaska-Anchorage is the defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion. Air Force has never faced Oregon State or Illinois.
WE'LL BE SEEING YOU...
Air Force will become very familiar with Alaska-Anchorage, as the two squads compete against each other five times in 2010. Following the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational, the Falcons will host the Seawolves in their home opener on Jan. 27, before traveling to Alaska for a pair of meets in March. The two programs will face each other once more at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships.
A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
Never say head coach Doug Day doesn't like a challenge. Air Force will face a program-record five teams that received a preseason nod in the GymInfo Coaches Poll, including three programs ranked with the top 13. Oregon State is ranked 10th, while Penn State is ranked 11th. Illinois and Denver are ranked 13th and 17th, respectively, while Western Michigan is receiving votes.
LEADING THE WAY
The backbone of the Falcons' squad will be the senior duo of Aftan Boudreaux and Michelle Denise. Boudreaux was a USAG All-American on the uneven bars in 2009, while Denise captured honors on that event in 2008. Boudreaux, the runner-up at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on the bars, will serve as the team's captain.
THE FALCON FRESHMEN
The Falcons added three talented freshmen to their roster, including Tara Harris, a three-time California state champion. Harris, the 2009 Western National champion on the vault, led her gymnastics club to a state title in 2008. Also joining the lineup for Air Force are Erin Brown and Britany Calley. Calley, a national qualifier, was a member of state and regional championship teams, while Brown was also competitor at the regional and national meets.
ON THE SIDELINES
On the coaching front, Doug Day returns to the sidelines for his fourth year as the Falcons' mentor. He is joined by Holly Tedeschi, a 10-year veteran of the Falcons' coaching staff, and Nelle Barriteau, a former Academy gymnast and military assistant, who returns to the staff as a full-time civilian assistant coach.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force will get a little closer to the Academy next weekend, as it travels to Colorado's capital for the Denver Winterfest Classic on Saturday, Jan. 16. The Falcons will face No. 13 Denver and No. 17 Penn State at the Pioneers' home opener.