By Valerie Perkin
The Air Force women’s gymnastics team closed out the regular season in stellar fashion Monday at the Academy’s Cadet West Gym, posting a combined score of 193.300 – its highest team total since 2004 – with 12 career-best scores and an additional pair of season-high marks.
In addition to the individual personal-best scores, the Falcons tallied season-high team high marks in three of the four events.
The Falcons dropped a narrow 195.700-193.300 decision to local opponent Denver, which entered the meet ranked 20th in the nation. However, it marked the second time in as many dual meets between the two schools that the point differential was less than 2.5 points.
The 193.300 points broke the previous season-high of 191.725 that Air Force set against the Pioneers in late February. The score, just 2.375 off of the Academy record, became the best team score since first setting the program standard in 2004. The Falcons have now crossed the 190-point mark in two of their last four meets, while missing that mark by just .025 in a third.
Junior Brittany Dutton and senior Michelle Denise tied for second on the floor exercise, while senior Aftan Boudreaux tied for the runner-up spot on the uneven bars. All three gymnasts tallied matching scores of 9.750 on their respective events. Denise’s score on the floor exercise was a personal best, while Boudreaux tallied a season-best score.
Sophomore Jenna Dudley, who accounted for career-best marks on the vault (9.800), balance beam (9.750) and all-around (38.850), tied for fourth on the vault and earned third outright in the all-around. Britany Calley also accounted for a trio of personal-best scores, including marks that led to fourth-place finishes on the floor exercise (9.725) and all-around (38.600). In addition, the freshman scored a season-high mark of 9.600 on the uneven bars.
Junior Lisa Wong matched her personal-best scores on two of her three events, as she scored a 9.550 on the vault and 9.675 on the floor exercise. Freshman Erin Brown matched her career high on the floor exercise at 9.350, while classmate Tara Harris increased her score on the balance beam to 9.750.
The Falcons crossed the 48-point mark in all four events, highlighted by matching marks of 48.600 on the balance beam and floor exercise. In fact, the Falcons did not have to count a single score lower than 9.500 on any event.
Air Force begins post-season action this weekend when it travels to Seattle for the 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships Saturday. The Falcons will face Alaska-Anchorage, Seattle-Pacific and UC-Davis.