Mar 21, 2014 11:02 PM by Jordan Mason
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The 10th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics captured its fifth consecutive USAG national team title during the opening night of competition (March 21) at the 2014 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships in Annapolis, Md.
The Falcons used a score of 426.700 to win its fifth straight USAG Varsity Team title ... and the fifth such title in program history. William and Mary, ranked 12th in the national standings, finished second with a score of 422.750, while service academy rivals Army (13th) and Navy (14th) finished third (414.600) and fourth (413.650), respectively. No. 17 Springfield rounded out the varsity field with 403.100. In the Club Division, 15th-ranked Arizona State won its 16th title in 17 years with a 405.850, while No. 19 Washington finished second with a 383.850.
Air Force's score is nearly six points higher than its winning score last season.
Freshman Tim Wang, who finished third in the all-around with an 84.600, was one of three Falcons to earn meet-high scores during the team finals. Wang scored a 14.950 to pace Ari Force to a one-two finish, as senior Nick Owen placed second with a 14.900. All five members of the Air Force rotation earned top-10 scores, as junior Greg Chaput and freshman Chase Cannon finished ninth (14.000) and 10th (13.850), respectively.
Juniors Josh Ramos and Nick Gaudlip also accounted for first-place marks for the Falcons during team competition, as Ramos scored a 14.750 on the parallel bars and Gaudlip earned a 14.750 on the high bar. Ramos was one of four Falcons to place among the top-seven on the parallel bars, as Gaudlip and Chaput finished third (14.100) and fourth (14.000), respectively, and Wang placed seventh with a 13.950. Ramos and Wang added top-10 marks behind Gaudlip on the high bar, finishing fifth (14.350) and seventh (14.250), respectively. Senior Mac Ritchie added a top-10 finish to the Falcons' high bar lineup, as he finished ninth with a score of 14.150.
Sophomore Denis Aurelius scored a career-best 15.000 to take second on the floor exercise during the event preliminaries, while adding a fourth-place score of 14.700 on the still rings. Gaudlip added a top-10 finish on the floor (14.300, 10th), while three other Falcons joined Aurelius on the still rings' top 10. Junior Gared Chapman recorded the third-highest score in Academy history (15.650) to finish second, while classmate Jon Spiro and senior Tyler Huebner finished ninth (14.350) and 10th (14.300), respectively.
Air Force added two top-10 finishes on the vault, as senior Ben Zaiser finished sixth (14.550) and Cannon placed ninth with a 14.450.
The Falcons return to Navy's Macdonough Hall tomorrow (March 22) for the individual event finals of the USAG Collegiate National Championships. The top eight finishers from each event (with no more than two from each school) will begin competition at 2:00 p.m. (EST).