Feb. 5, 2004
After traveling just up the expressway for its last competition, the Air Force women's gymnastics team will now travel over 1500 miles away from the Academy for its next one. The Falcons will travel to Kingston, R.I., on Sunday, Feb. 8, for the first of two dual meets this season with the University of Rhode Island. The first flip is scheduled for 1 p.m., at Mackal Field House.
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CHECKING OUT THE COMPETITION
Rhode Island is a young squad with just two seniors on the 16-gymnast roster...Most recently, the Rams finished third at the Penn State Invitational with a score of 189.125...In its last home dual-meet, Rhode Island defeated Cornell, 191.975-190.475...RI is currently ranked No. 66 with a season-average of 186.037...that average also ranks them as the 10th team in the North East Region...
HEAD COACH: Chelle Kassabian (Virginia, 1990) - fourth season
ASSISTANT COACH: Mike Comeau (Springfield College, 1997), fourth season
ASSISTANT COACH: Kelly Labowitz (Rhode Island, 2002) - second season
WE'LL BE SEEING YOU
Sunday marks the first of two meetings this season with Rhode Island. The Rams will travel to the Academy on Tuesday, March 9, for the Falcons' final home meet of the season.
CRACKING THE TOP-TEN
Air Force is currently ranked No. 9 in the North Central Region, with a team average of 188.937. The Falcons are the only team in the MPSF that are in that region.
FROM THE TOP
Two Air Force gymnasts continue to lead the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with their stellar performances. Erin Maguire registered the season's highest balance beam score, posting a 9.875 at the Texas Woman's University quadrangular. Scoring a 9.950 at the Rocky Mountain Open, Jessa Liegl has the league's highest score on the floor exercise.
Liegl also has the second-highest event score on the vault (9.825), the third-best mark on the balance beam (9.800) and the fourth-highest all-around score (38.750). Maguire is also mentioned on the floor exercise's top performers, holding a 9.900, which is tied for second.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN WINS AND LOSSES DON'T MATTER?
Unlike most sports, gymnastics is one that is based on the overall team score and not the win-loss record. Qualification for the NCAA Regional Championships (April 3), is based on the team's RQS, or Regional Qualifying Score. The RQS is determined by using the team's six highest regular season scores, providing that three of those come from away meets. Then, the highest score is eliminated and the remaining five are averaged. That average is the team's Regional Qualifying Score. RQS standings will go into effect beginning February 23.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
Air Force traveled north on I-25 last weekend to Denver. The Falcons fell to the Pioneers 196.500-188.175. UD won each event - including the vault, which Heather Huffacker won with a perfect-10. Sophomore Lauren Robison finished third in the all-around with a 38.025 and was the top Falcon scorer on the uneven bars with a 9.200. Junior Jessa Liegl posted the team's highest score on the vault and floor, with matching scores of 9.825, while freshman Sashonna Iwaniec nabbed the best score on the beam at 9.700.
HOME SWEET HOME?
There's an old saying that home is where the heart is...but home is NOT where the Air Force gymnastics team has been lately. After opening the season at Cadet West Gym, hosting the Rocky Mountain Open, the Falcons have competed on the road for their last four meets, with stops in Oklahoma, Texas and Rhode Island. In fact, for the season, the Falcons will be home for just three meets, while competing away from the friendly confines of the Academy for 10.