Jan. 13, 2011
The Air Force women's gymnastics team continues action on the road this weekend, when it travels to College Park, Md., to face host Maryland and 13th-ranked New Hampshire on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. (EST). The triangular meet, the first home meet of the season for the Terps, will take place at the Comcast Center on Maryland's campus.
Meet Notes 02: at Maryland, with New Hampshire
DID YOU KNOW?
It is the second straight week that the Falcons have faced a nationally ranked team in competition, as they take on No. 13 New Hampshire at the Maryland Triangular. The host Terps are just two spots out of the Top-25, ranked 27th after the first week of competition. Air Force faced seventh-ranked Georgia and No. 16 Denver in the season-opener.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
New Hampshire enters the second week of competition ranked 13th in the GymInfo national poll, thanks to a 194.500-191.875 win over Rutgers last week. Maryland, who accumulated a score of 193.125 during a loss to Kent State in its season-opener, currently holds the 27th-highest score of the year.
Air Force has several gymnasts ranked among the top six on their respective events after the first week of MPSF action. Linnaea Hance is ranked second in the all-around with an average of 37.175, while Samantha Jones (vault-9.475) and Jen Larsen (balance beam-9.535) are ranked fourth on their respective events. Brittany Dutton is ranked fifth on the floor exercise (9.700) and tied for sixth on the uneven bars (9.550), while Jessica Hanner is ranked fifth on the balance beam (9.475) behind Larsen.
GETTING STARTED ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Air Force opened the 2011 season with a team score of 186.600 at the Denver quad meet that featured two nationally ranked squads. That score is more than two points higher than the Falcons' first total of the 2010 season (184.475).
RECAPPING THE SEASON OPENER
The Falcons finished fourth with a score of 186.600 at the season-opening meet against No. 7 Georgia (195.575), BYU (193.225) and No. 16 Denver (192.925) in Colorado's capital city on Jan. 8. Brittany Dutton posted the squad's best tally of the night, accounting for a 10th-place score of 9.700 on the floor exercise. Jen Larsen earned a top-10 finish on the balance beam (9.525), while Linnaea Hance placed fifth in the all-around at 37.175.
ODDS AND ENDS
Maddie Bannon is the first Air Force gymnast to hail from Colorado Springs since 1996 graduate Meghan McCann. She is the eighth gymnast from the state of Colorado since the Academy's women's teams moved to NCAA Division I. Also having a hometown in Colorado were Kayla Kincade (Lakewood), Kim Broughton (Loveland), Malia Dolfinger (Lakewood), Shawna Wartner (Lakewood), Harmony Andrews (Alamosa) and Ann Zionic (Castle Rock).
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.
LARGEST DIVISION I FRESHMEN CLASSES
1. Air Force ... 9
2. Alabama, Ball State, LSU, Michigan State ... 8
3. Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Temple, Utah ... 7
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.
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 sidebar link to access the guide.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force will open its home season on Saturday, Jan. 22, against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival Seattle Pacific at 1 p.m. The meet will run simultaneously with the men's dual against service academy foe Army, for the program's first-ever double-dual meet.