March 21, 2012
The Air Force women's gymnastics team starts the championship season this weekend, when it travels to Davis, Calif., for the 2012 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women's Gymnastics Championships. The Falcons will face off with Alaska-Anchorage, Seattle Pacific and UC Davis at 6 p.m. (PST) on Saturday, March 24.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
UC Davis currently leads the MPSF standings with a Regional Qualifying Score of 192.800, while Air Force is ranked second with a RQS of 191.650. Seattle Pacific just trails Air Force with a 191.615 RQS, while Alaska-Anchorage rounds out the field with a Regional Qualifying Score of 189.280. The Aggies lead the league on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise, while Air Force is the conference-leader on the uneven bars.
LAST TIME WE MET
Air Force has faced all three MPSF opponents at least once this year. The Falcons split the season with league-leader UC Davis, falling to the Aggies (185.750-191.450) at The Pavilion on Jan. 22, before defeating them at the Academy (191.625-190.925) on Feb. 18 - the Falcons' first victory over the Aggies since 2003. Air Force also defeated Alaska-Anchorage (190.875-189.300) on the road on Feb. 12, while falling to Seattle Pacific on Feb. 3 (188.925-192.575, away) and on Mar. 2 (191.100-192.475, home).
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Jessica Hanner currently leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation on the balance beam with a regional qualifying score of 9.730, while Jessica Wallander and Linnaea Hance are ranked second on the vault (9.785 RQS) and uneven bars (9.745), respectively. Hance is also ranked second in the all-around (38.160) and fifth on the balance beam (9.700), while Katie Hawthorne is ranked third on the uneven bars (9.730) and fourth in the all-around (38.005). Jen Larsen is also ranked among the league's top five with a fifth-place ranking of 37.970 in the all-around. As a team, the Falcons are ranked first on the uneven bars with a Regional Qualifying Score of 48.300.
A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
Five different teams have won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship title since 2002. Former members Sacramento State (2002, 2003, 2005) and San Jose State (2004) won the first four titles. Seattle Pacific claimed back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, while UC Davis has won three of the last four (2008, 2010, 2011). Alaska-Anchorage won the league's other title in 2009, when only 1.775 points separated all four teams.
ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY
Air Force has claimed four conference champions since 2009. Abbey Rogers became the Academy's first conference champion in 2009, winning the balance beam, floor exercise and all-around. Jenna Dudley won the vault title in 2010, while Brittany Dutton and Lisa Wong shared the balance beam title in 2011.
FALCONS FINISH FOURTH IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
Air Force surpassed the 192-point mark for the second straight road competition (192.175) to finish fourth at the Arizona Quad Meet on March 16. Jessica Wallander collected the Falcons' best finish of the night, tying for fifth on the vault with a score of 9.775. She also used that same score to pace the Falcons on the floor behind a 10th-place finish.
OH, WHAT A NIGHT
Kim McRobbie tallied a pair of career-best marks at Arizona's quad meet. The freshman scored a career-best 9.725 to tie with Jessica Hanner for the team lead on the balance beam (10th overall), while adding a career-best 9.625 to tie for 12th on the vault with Jen Larsen. In addition, two Falcons tallied career-best marks on the uneven bars. Sammi Jones matched her career-best score of 9.750, while Alexandra Stych scored a personal best 9.700.
DID YOU KNOW?
Air Force has surpassed the 190-point mark in seven straight meets and broken the 192-point mark in the last three. In fact, five of the last six meets have seen Air Force break the 191-point plateau, while the sixth score was just 0.050 off of that mark at 190.950. So far this season, Air Force has recorded five of the top 14 scores in Doug Day's tenure.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force is off from competition until the NCAA Regional Championships. The field of competitors for the regional meet, which will be held on Saturday, April 7, in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be released sometime next week.