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Air Force gymnasts make win look easy

Falcons sweep to a third straight All-Academy title

USMA/USAFA Sports Information

Published: 01:37PM February 21st, 2013
Air Force inspections ‘right thing to do’

Air Force Academy Sports Information

Sophomore Gared Chapman helped lead the Air Force men’s gymnastics team to its third straight All-Academy title.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Backed by an Academy-best 427.050, the 14th-ranked Air Force men’s gymnastics team easily won its third straight All-Academy Championships title Saturday in Atlanta, Ga. The Falcons, who improved their overall team score by nearly 13 points, easily defeated No. 13 Army (410.600) and No. 15 Navy (407.300).

The Falcons swept all six event titles, en route to their third consecutive team title.

Sophomore Gared Chapman picked up a pair of event titles for the Falcons, highlighted by an Academy-record performance on the vault. Chapman scored a career-best 15.000 to break the program record he already shared by 0.250. He also won the still rings with a season-high tally of 14.950 — a 0.800 seasonal improvement.

Junior Ben Zaiser won the floor exercise with a career-best 14.900, while classmates Nick Owen and Mac Ritchie won the pommel horse (14.750) and parallel bars (14.350), respectively. Sophomore Nick Gaudlip rounded out the Falcons’ event winners with a career-best 14.450 performance on the high bar.

The Falcons also accounted for the runner-up spots in five of the six events against their service academy opponents, while sweeping the top-three places in two.

Junior Tyler Huebner and Zaiser finished second (career-best matching 14.900) and third (career-best 14.750), respectively, on the still rings, while senior Tory Brown (career-best 14.950) and Zaiser (season-best 14.700) earned those same two placements on the vault. Freshman Zach Owen was the runner-up on the floor exercise (personal-best 14.650), while sophomore Greg Chaput took second on the pommel horse (season-best 14.150).

In addition to his win on the parallel bars, Ritchie finished second on the high bar with a season-best score of 14.250. Sophomore Skyler Awisus added a third-place, career-best score of 13.950 on the parallel bars to the Falcons’ record-setting day.

Junior Nicholas Fettinger and freshman Chris Short tied for runner-up honors on parallel bars (14.0), freshman Jesse Glenn took third on vault (14.65) and high bar (14.15), and junior Kip Webber tied for third on floor exercise and parallel bars, and was fourth on still rings (14.7) to set the pace for the Black Knights. Fettinger, Webber and Short posted season-best scores in their events.

Ikaika Jakub and Jared Breeden ranked among Army’s leaders on floor exercise and vault posting identical 14.05s in the former and 13.9s in the latter. Jakub also registered the Black Knights’ second highest score on still rings (14.2) followed by Short`s 13.95, and Webber added a 14.2 on vault in ranking among Army’s leaders in that event as well. Garrek Hojan-Clark and Connor Venrick each posted a 14.0 as Army’s top scorers on pommel horse.