May 7, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force junior Linnaea Hance was named the MVP of the 2013 women's gymnastics team, the coaching staff announced over the weekend at the team's annual post-season awards banquet. It is the second straight year that Hance has been awarded the program's top honor.
Hance became just the fourth Academy gymnast to earn the team's MVP honor in consecutive years, joining Michelle Roxburgh (1995-96-97), Jessa Leigl (2004-05) and Abbey Rogers (2008-09).
A three-time all-conference selection (uneven bars, balance beam, all-around), Hance also claimed first-team USAG All-America status on the bars, following a fifth-place finish during the individual event finals. She became the first Academy gymnast since 2004 to break the 39-point mark in the all-around competition, en route to a Gymnast of the Week citation from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Hance, a NCAA Regional participant in the all-around for the second straight year, also accounted for six first-place finishes on the year and paced the Falcons on the uneven bars (9.850) and all-around (39.050), while ranking second on the vault (9.825) and floor exercise (9.800).
Kelly, one of three first-year gymnasts to compete for Air Force in 2013, tied for the team lead on the floor exercise after amassing a score of 9.825 in a winning effort on March 2. In addition, the freshman was ranked fourth on the balance beam (9.725) and recorded a season-best vault score of 9.625.
An Academy-record and a MPSF title on the vault highlighted a strong sophomore campaign for Wallander, who also claimed USAG All-American first-team honors on that event and all-conference honors on the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. With a vault of 9.925 during her winning performance at the conference meet, Wallander broke an Academy record that had stood for nine years. A two-time MPSF Gymnast of the Week and four-time first-place finisher, Wallander earned a spot in the NCAA Regional on the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. In addition to her team-leading mark on the vault, Wallander also posted the second-highest score of the season (9.800) on the floor exercise.
As a team, the Falcons had a remarkable campaign, recording seven of the 10-highest scores since Doug Day became head coach in 2007. Highlighting the schedule was a 194.700 and four scores over 193 points. Air Force earned 11 all-MPSF honors and seven USAG All-America citations. The Falcons also broke the program's 12-year-old record on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.925 twice during the season (against Denver, at USAG Team Qualifier).
In addition to the team awards for their performances during the past season, Day also announced that Hance would serve as the team captain for the Falcons' 2014 campaign.