Garrek Hojan-Clark Is First On Pommel Horse

Senior Garrek Hojan-Clark

Senior Garrek Hojan-Clark

Jan. 12, 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Garrek Hojan-Clark, who has ranked among the nation's leaders on pommel horse since his freshman year, took medalist honors in his signature event against No. 4 Penn State in the season opener for both Saturday evening at Rec Building on the campus of the Nittany Lions.

Penn State, coming off a third-place finish at the 2012 NCAAs along with sending a large contingent to last year's summer Olympics, outscored Army in all six teams events along with claiming the individual champion in five en route to posting a 446.85-404.15 decision.

Hojan-Clark, a three-time NCAA Qualifier who headed into last year's meet ranked eighth nationally, equaled his own school mark of 15.4 he set twice last year. The Army senior from Brookfield, Wis., edged Penn State's Felix Aronovich for first place by just .05 as the Black Knights denied the Nittany Lions from claiming medalist honors in all six events.

Army freshman Jesse Glenn, one of the top recruits in the country, was first in the all-around scoring with an 82.55. A six-time Junior National Team member, Glenn turned in his highest score of 14.75 on vault, which was just .45 off the winning mark scored by Nittany Lion Trevor Howard. Glenn also posted Army's top scores on still rings (13.95) and high bar (13.3).

Sophomores Alex Ganz broke his career mark on vault with a personal best 14.2, Connor Venrick's 14.3 on pommel horse was a career high as he shattered his former 13.9, and Jeremy Cahill's 13.4 on vault was just 5/10s off his career mark. Cahill also turned in Army's highest score on floor exercise (13.95), and senior team captain Ikaika Jakub was Army's top scorer on parallel bars (13.8).

"We did well on some events, but not all," said Army mentor Doug Van Everen. "Jesse (Glenn) posted a solid all-around score. That was encouraging for the first meet of his career.

"We did a decent job on floor exercise, and Garrek (Hojan-Clark) did such a great routine on pommel horse. We did not do as well on still rings or high bar, but overall the team did well on vault and parallel bars.

"I was happy about the performance of our freshman," added the Army mentor, who is in his 23rd year at the helm. "They were intimidated, but they did a good job."

Army heads to Air Force next week followed by the West Point Open (Feb. 1-2).

QUICK FACTS: It is the 10th straight year that Army has opened against Penn State ... the Nittany Lions will host the 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships ... it is the first time since 2011 that Army claimed an individual winner in its dual opener against Penn State ... there is a change in the scoring system this year with six competing (as in the past) but instead of four counting, five will count resulting in higher team scores.

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