Air Force Hosts 2013 MPSF Championship Meet

USAG Pommel Horse Champion, Nick Owen

USAG Pommel Horse Champion, Nick Owen

April 2, 2013

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#11 AIR FORCE is the site of Saturday's (Apr. 6) 21st annual MPSF Championship at 5:00 pm (MT), held in Cadet Gym for the third consecutive year. The Falcons captured their fourth consecutive USAG national team title during the opening night (March 29) at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships in Williamsburg, Va. The Falcons scored a 420.850 to defeat host William & Mary (419.100), Navy (404.600), and Springfield (401.850). Mac Ritchie put forth an Academy-record 15.100 on high bar, leading a program-best 72.550 team total on the apparatus. Nick Owen took first on pommel horse (14.550), while Gared Chapman claimed the top score on vault (14.750). Owen added a first-place horse finish in the individual finals the next day (March 30) with a 14.400. He is the third Air Force gymnast to claim the USAG horse title.

#4 STANFORD looks for a fifth MPSF Championship this week ('93, '95, '09, '11). The Cardinal was a spring break trip to Norway, where it had plenty of success. In team competition, Stanford finished with a 415.950 total, second to Italy and ahead of Norway. Eddie Penev was a three-time winner in the all-around (85.050), floor (15.150), and vault (15.000). James Fosco was the still rings runner-up (14.350), as was Dennis Zaremski on parallel bars (13.900). Sean Senters was third on horse (13.900) and vault (14.850), while Zaremski on rings (14.100) and John Martin on high bar (14.450) were also bronze placements. In the regular season finale at Army on March 9, Stanford tallied a season-high 438.600, backed by Penev's season-high and fourth winning all-around (89.100).

#2 OKLAHOMA vies for a 13th out of a possible 21 MPSF Championships held ('96, '99-'03, '05-'08, '10, '12). The Sooners defeated No. 5 Ohio State comfortably on senior night in Norman on March 23, 441.250-426.750, the third highest OU score of the year. A total of eight season or career-high marks were set, while each event was won by a different Sooner. Michael Reid posted the fourth-highest pommel horse score in the nation with a first-place and career-high (15.400), to lead the OU horse squad to its season-high (71.350).

#9 CALIFORNIA won its lone MPSF title in 1998, the same year it defended an NCAA Championship. The Bears took down defending national champion and No. 6 Illinois to end the regular season on Mar. 16, 427.000-425.650. Takahiro Kawada posted the winning pommel horse (15.150). The Cal still rings team set a season-high of 72.150, led by Steven Lacombe's first-place 15.150. Lacombe and Kyle Zemeir shared the vault title (15.050), while John Liu claimed the parallel bars and Kevin Wolting the top all-around (84.200).

NICK OWEN MPSF GYMNAST OF THE WEEK

Air Force junior Nick Owen (Grayson, GA) won the individual pommel horse title, helping the Falcons to a fourth straight USAG team title during the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. Owen placed first in the individual event finals with a score of 14.400. He is the third Air Force gymnast to claim the USAG horse title. The event win came one day after he posted the top qualifying score, 14.550 (0.200 ahead).