Jan. 31, 2013
The Air Force women's gymnastics team returns to the state capitol this Saturday (Feb. 2) for the annual Burnsley Invitational at the University of Denver's Hamilton Gymnasium. The Falcons will face two top-25 teams, including 13th-ranked Denver and No. 24 North Carolina State, as well as San Jose State, during the four-team meet that is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE MEET
Denver will have live video streaming (Pioneer Vision) and live stats at DenverPioneers.com.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Ranked 13th with an average of 195.569, Denver currently leads the four-team Burnsley Invitational field in the national GymInfo Rankings. North Carolina State is also ranked among the top-25, averaging 194.675 to currently stand at 24t, while San Jose State (45th, 192.881) and Air Force (56th, 191.450) round out the field of competing teams. Individually, Denver's Moriah Martin is ranked 19th on the uneven bars (9.863) and tied for 25th in the all-around (39.175).
AROUND THE LEAGUE
As a team, the Falcons are currently ranked second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with an average of 191.450. Individually, Emily Bucher is ranked third on the balance beam (9.675), while Jen Larsen holds the same placement on the floor exercise (9.733). Ali Ables and Alexandra Stych are also ranked among the league's top six, holding fourth-place standings on the vault (9.775) and floor (9.725), respectively.
FALCONS TALLY BEST TEAM SCORE IN TWO YEARS
Air Force combined for its highest total in two years - 193.225 - during the team's home-opener on Jan. 26. That score is the second-highest team total of the Doug Day era, falling just 0.075 shy of the 193.300 the Falcons accounted for during two meets against Denver (2010, 2011).
HANCE WINS FLOOR TITLE
Linnaea Hance matched her career-best score of 9.800 to tie for first on the floor exercise during the Air Force Quadrangular. Equaling the mark she set last year at the USAG Championships, Hance picked up her second event title of the season (uneven bars, Jan. 18).
AIR FORCE DOMINATES FLOOR STANDINGS
Highlighted by the event title from Linnaea Hance, Air Force recorded three of the top four scores on the floor exercise on Jan. 26. Helping the Falcons to a season-high team score of 48.525 was Hance's winning mark of 9.800, Jessica Wallander's 9.775 and Alexandra Stych and Jen Larsen's matching scores of 9.725.
JUNIORS TALLY CAREER-BEST MARKS
All five competing members of the junior class accounted for career-best scores on Jan. 26. Emily Bucher (balance beam) and Linnaea Hance (floor exercise) tallied marks of 9.800 on their respective events, while Katie Hawthorne (9.725) and Jen Larsen (9.775) both improved their personal-best marks on the vault. Jessica Hanner improved her career marks on the uneven bars (9.675), floor exercise (9.425) and all-around (38.350).
THE CLOSE CALL
Less than one point separated the top three teams at the Falcons' home-opening quad meet on Jan. 26. UC Davis won the meet with a score of 193.725, while Air Force (193.225) edged Missouri (193.000) for second.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force travels to Logan, Utah, for a dual meet with Utah State on Friday, Feb. 8.