March 3, 2004
The Air Force women's gymnastics gets a little closer to the Academy on Saturday, March 6, when they travel to Denver for its third meeting of the season with the Pioneers. The two squads face off at 6 p.m., at the Hamilton Gymnasium.
LIEGL EARNS SECOND MPSF HONOR
After two school-record tying performances in Texas, junior Jessa Liegl was named Gymnast of the Week by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the league office announced March 2. This is the second time that Liegl has been honored by the MPSF this season. She tied the Academy's highest vault score of 9.900, en route to matching the school's best all-around total of 39.400, in a tri-meet with Texas Woman's University and BYU last Saturday (Feb. 29). The junior now holds a share of three school records. Aside from the vault and all-around scores, she matched the school record on the floor exercise at the Rocky Mountain Open.
IT'S ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK
As a team, the Falcons are ranked second on the vault and third on the floor exercise among teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation according to the latest GymInfo conference rankings. Air Force posted a RQS of 48.305 on the vault, trailing only Sacramento State, who has registered a 48.500. The Falcons regional qualifying score of 48.515 on the floor exercise moved them into third-place for that event, trailing Sacramento State (48.630) and San Jose State (48.570).
FROM THE TOP
Two Falcons top the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation individual rankings in three events. Junior Jessa Liegl tops the conference on both the vault (RQS of 9.790) and floor exercise (RQS of 9.855). Senior Erin Maguire is the top-ranked gymnasts on the balance beam, with a regional qualifying score of 9.775. Maguire is ranked second behind Liegl on the floor with a 9.835. Liegl is ranked second in the all-around with a RQS of 38.645 - just 0.125 out of first. San Jose State's Shirla Choy is the only other gymnast to top an event, claiming the top scores on the balance beam and in the all-around.
LAST TIME OUT
The Air Force women's gymnastics team registered a season-best team score of 193.675, but fell to BYU and Texas Woman's University on Saturday, Feb. 28, in Denton, Texas. The Cougars won the tri-meet with a team score of 197.550, while the Pioneers recorded a 194.600 to finish second. The Falcons' team score shattered the previous season-best score of 191.650, which Air Force set in the season-opener.
SETTING NEW HEIGHTS
The Falcons also crushed the previous season-best score on the uneven bars. After not scoring higher than a 46.500 all season, the Falcons exploded to a team score of 48.275. Air Force also notched the second-best scores of the season on the vault (48.500) and balance beam (48.275).
Jessa Liegl registered an all-around score of 39.400 - matching the school record that Laura Frank set last year - to finish second; just .100 off of the meet's first-place mark. It is the second school mark that Liegl has matched this season, as she tied the record on the floor exercise at the Rocky Mountain Open. The junior led the team in every event. Contributing to Liegl's record-setting score was a fourth-place finish on the vault (9.900) which also tied a school record.
Senior captain Rebecca Lewis had the Falcons' second-best score on the uneven bars with a 12th-place mark of 9.700. Classmate Erin Maguire had the second-highest mark on the balance beam, placing 12th with a score of 9.725. Sophomore Lauren Robison had the Falcons' second-best score on the floor exercise, recording a 9.825, to finish ninth.
LIEGL TOPS THE CHARTS
Junior Jessa Liegl now holds a share of three school records. Aside from the vault and all-around scores, she matched the school record on the floor exercise at the Rocky Mountain Open.
The Falcons won the vault event at the dual-meet with Rhode Island on Feb. 8, 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. Jessa Liegl won the event with a score of 9.825, while Erin Maguire and Laura Frank finished tied for second with a 9.800. Lauren Robison and Becky Lewis tied for fourth with matching scores of 9.625, while Sashonna Iwaniec placed fifth with a 9.525.
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 been home just once. With four of the last five meets on the road for their last four meets, Air Force has made 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.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Senior Rebecca Lewis was chosen as the captain for the 2004 Air Force women's gymnastics team.
The Falcons return to the Cadet West Gymnasium for the final time on Tuesday, March 9, when they host Rhode Island. It is the Falcons' second meeting with the Rams this season. Tuesday is also Senior Night, so join the Air Force women's gymnastics team in thanking Laura Frank, Rebecca Lewis, Erin Maguire and Tammy Ritchey for four years of dedication and hard work.