Falcons Head to Eagle Invitational

    Michigan native Kara Witgen
    Michigan native Kara Witgen

    March 6, 2014

    The Air Force women's gymnastics team heads back out on the road this weekend, heading to Ypsilanti, Mich., for the Eagle Invitational on Saturday, March 15. In addition to facing Eastern Michigan for the third time in as many meets, the Falcons will also compete against Northern Illinois and Temple during the meet at Bowen Field House.

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    MEET INFORMATION
    Saturday's quadrangular, which features Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois and Temple, is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. (EST), at Bowen Field House on the EMU's main campus. Live stats will be available via emueagles.com at the start of the meet, but there will be no live video.

    YOU LOOK FAMILIAR
    Air Force and Eastern Michigan spent the past week training and competing together at the Academy. The Falcons claimed a pair of victories over the Eagles in Colorado, edging them 193-.675-193.225 on Feb. 26 and by a 193.875-193.575 margin on March 1.

    SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
    Eastern Michigan is the highest-ranked team of the four squads competing at the Eagle Invitational, holding a Regional Qualifying Average of 193.730. Northern Illinois and Air Force are ranked 50th (193.285) and 51st (192.925), respectively, while Temple rounds out the quartet with a 191.005 average to rank 61st. While the Falcons and Eagles competed against each other last weekend, NIU is coming off of a 194.675-194.050 conference loss to Central Michigan and Temple set a season-high 192.325 to defeat Ursinus (187.425) last weekend.

    LOOKING AROUND THE LEAGUE
    Linnaea Hance is ranked among the top-six of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in two events, including a No. 3 placement on the balance beam. Hance, who currently holds a Regional Qualifying Average of 9.790 on the beam, is also ranked fifth in the all-around with an RQS of 38.410.

    FALCONS TALLY SEASON-BEST 193.825 TO SWEEP EASTERN MICHIGAN
    Air Force used a season-best score of 193.825, to complete its weekend sweep of Eastern Michigan on March 1. Improving their overall team score for the seventh-straight competition, the Falcons equaled the second-highest score of Doug Day's coaching tenure at the Academy (since 2007). The Falcons used a season-high score of 48.375 on the vault to break the 193-point plateau for the fourth straight meet and edge the visiting Eagles by 0.25-points.

    WHAT A DEBUT!
    Kara Witgen had a strong competitive debut on the floor exercise during the Falcons' March 1 meet with Eastern Michigan, tying for first with a score of 9.800. Witgen, who made her collegiate debut with a beam routine on Feb. 26, matched the program's second-highest individual score of the season on that event.

    PICKING UP THE WINS
    The Falcons claimed at least a share of three of the four event titles on March 1, as Linnaea Hance and Katie Hawthorne tied for first on the uneven bars (9.725), Shannen Kelly tied for first on the balance beam (career-best 9.775) and Kara Witgen tied for first on the floor exercise (career-debut 9.800). That lineup came one meet after Hance and Jessica Wallander combined for a share of all four event titles on Feb. 26. Hance won the uneven bars (career-best 9.850) and balance beam (9.825) outright, while Wallander tied for first on the vault (season-best 9.775) and floor exercise (career-best 9.800).

    FALCONS CLAIM VICTORY OVER EASTERN MICHIGAN
    Backed by at least a share of all four event titles, the Falcons improved their season total to 193.675 during a win over Eastern Michigan (193.225) on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

    WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
    Air Force closes out the regular season next week, with a road contest at New Hampshire (March 14) and a home meet with Arizona (March 17). During the Falcons' meet with the Wildcats, who are currently ranked 18th in the national standings, Air Force will honor its six outstanding seniors.

     

     

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