Air Force Takes Second at All-Academy Championships

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. Senior Jonah Urlaub captured the event title on the vault, as the 13th-ranked Air Force men’s gymnastics earned a runner-up finish at the All-Academy Championships this afternoon (Feb. 9) in Annapolis. The Falcons tallied a season-high 402.900 – the ninth-highest team total in program history – to split the annual meet with 10th-ranked Navy (408.500) and 12th-ranked Army West Point (396.400)

Urlaub registered a career-best mark of 14.500 – the sixth-best score in program history – to win the vault by 0.150 points. The senior team captain also paced the Falcons on the pommel horse (second, 13.800), still rings (second, 13.900) and parallel bars (seventh, 13.700).

Classmate Ryan Girouard was the Falcons’ top finisher on the floor exercise, as he matched his career-high – and the sixth-best score in Academy history – to finish sixth, and the high bar duo of senior Christian Kalustian and sophomore Frankie Valentin recorded matching marks of 13.600 to lead the Falcons in a tie for third on that event and round out the squad’s event leaders.

Urlaub’s runner-up finish on the pommel horse paced Air Force to four of the top-eight scores on that event. Valentin finished fifth with a tally of 13.250, while classmates Scott McMurray and Zach Polen tied for seventh with matching scores of 13.100. Valentin added a fourth-place score of 14.100, while Polen also finished among the top half of the field on the parallel bars with an eighth-place score of 13.850.

Fellow sophomore Ethan Esval tied for sixth on the still rings (13.450), while Kalustian and freshman Nathan Reed finished among the top-half of the 18-gymnast fields on the floor exercise (eighth, 13.900) and parallel bars (ninth, 13.300), respectively.

The Falcons are off from competition until Saturday, Feb. 23, when the return to the East Coast for a rematch with Navy and a meeting with Penn State in State College.