Feb. 12, 2004
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Air Force returns home for just the second time this season, when they host Denver on Monday, Feb. 16, at the Cadet West Gymnasium. It is the second time this season that the Falcons have faced the Pioneers, as the two teams met in January up in Denver.
CHECKING OUT THE COMPETITION
The Pioneers will host Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 14, before traveling to the Academy for Monday's meet...after dropping a 196.350-195.475 meet to No. 5 Iowa State last weekend, the Pioneers dropped out of the GymInfo Top-25, but currently stand at No. 26, with a season-average of 194.845...with that average, they are also ranked sixth in the North Central Region...
HEAD COACH: Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart (Florida, 1993)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Carl Leland, John Figueroa
Denver has dominated Air Force in recent years, having won 32 consecutive head-to-head competitions. The last victory by the Falcons came on March 11, 1994...In the most recent meeting between the two programs; the Pioneers defeated Air Force 196.500-188.175 at Hamilton Gymnasium in Denver...Jessa Liegl recorded the Falcons' highest finish of the night - a third-place vault finish of 9.825...Denver's Heather Huffacker scored a perfect 10.000 on the vault to win the event...
WE'LL BE SEEING YOU
Air Force and Denver still have one more engagement this season, when the Falcons travel back to Denver on Saturday, March 6.
FROM THE TOP
Senior Laura Frank is the top-ranked gymnast in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on the vault, according to the most recent GymInfo rankings. With an average score of 9.800, Frank is one of two Falcons to crack the top-three on that event. Junior Jessa Liegl is ranked third with a 9.725 average. Senior Erin Maguire is listed among the top four in a pair of events. Maguire's average of 9.710 on the balance beam is the third-best average of the season, while she is ranked third on the floor exercise with a 9.810 average.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite posting its highest road score of the season, the Falcons fell to Rhode Island last weekend, 191.050-190.225. A member of the Air Force squad posted the top individual score on every event. Jessa Liegl won three events, en route to posting the top score in the all-around. Liegl registered top marks on the vault (9.825), bars (9.850), floor (9.825) and all-around (39.350). Laura Frank won the remaining event with a 9.875 on the balance beam.
The Falcons won the vault event at the dual-meet with Rhode Island, posting a team total of 48.675. That mark is just .025 off of the school record (48.700). In fact, every member of the Air Force vault team finished within the top-five. Sophomore Lauren Robison and senior Rebecca Lewis tied for fourth with matching scores of 9.625, while Sashonna Iwaniec finished fifth with a 9.525.
Jessa Liegl's all-around score of 39.350 is just .050 off of the school record of 39.400 that Laura Frank set last year.
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.
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.
MY NAME GOES THERE
Junior Jessa Liegl tied the school record on the floor exercise at the Rocky Mountain Open on Jan. 18, scoring a 9.950. Liegl tied former Falcon Allison Todd for the best mark on that event in school history.
THE ROAD WARRIORS
The Falcons take to the road once again next weekend for a tri-meet with Arizona State and Utah in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Feb. 20.