April 15, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Following the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships on April 11-13 in Providence, R.I., Air Force senior Linnaea Hance was named the USAG Outstanding Senior Gymnast and junior Lindsay Ebel was honored with the Mari-Rae Sopper Spirit Award.
Hance, who capped off a stellar four-year career with her first USAG title (uneven bars) on Sunday, April 13, is the third Falcon to earn the Outstanding Senior Gymnast Award, joining Erin Maguire (2004) and Brittany Dutton (2011). As Air Force's team captain, Hance helped the squad improve its overall team score during all 11 regular-season meets. Individually, she posted career-best marks of 9.875 on the uneven bars and balance beam, as well as career-best 9.850 on the floor exercise and a 39.175 in the all-around. Hance, who earned three USAG All-America accolades in 2014, helped the Falcons to a new program standard of 49.300 on the uneven bars during the team finals on Saturday, April 12.
Ebel became the first Falcon to be honored with the Mari-Rae Sopper Spirit Award, an annual award named after the UCSB head coach who was onboard American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The award recognizes a gymnast for their passion, dedication and devotion to the sport of gymnastics. The Falcons' junior returned to the lineup this year after missing the 2013 season while recovering from an illness, set career-high marks on the uneven bars (9.875) and balance beam (9.800), while helping Air Force to a new Academy record on the bars during Saturday's team finals.