Feb. 2, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Freshman Jesse Glenn captured the all-around title, and senior Garrek Hojan-Clark was first on pommel horse in leading Army to runner-up honors at the West Point Gymnastics Open Saturday evening at Christl Arena. The Black Knights' performance tied their highest placing set in 2006.
Though posting a season high, No. 14 Army was nipped by No. 13 Temple for the 2013 team title, 417.4-416.1. No. 11 William & Mary finished a distant third (411.4) followed by No. 17 Springfield (401.4) and No. 15 Navy (398.15) in the collegiate competition. Club teams Arizona State (395.5) and Brockport (173.35) rounded out the seven-team field.
Glenn is the first Black Knight to capture the all-around title in the 22-year history of the meet. The freshman sensation, ranked No. 8 nationally in all-around, turned in a season-best 85.95 and is unbeaten this season.
Glenn is among eight Black Knights who met the standard in 16 events for the individual finals (top eight) Saturday evening. Three qualified on floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault and parallel bars and one on high bar. Glenn will compete in five events - floor exercise, still rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar - and junior Kip Webber qualified in four events - floor exercise, still rings, vault and parallel bars.
Sophomore Alex Ganz advanced to the finals on still rings and parallel bars with Hojan-Clark making the grade on pommel horse for the second straight year. Ranked No. 1 in the country on pommel horse, Hojan-Clark stretched his unbeaten streak to three straight meets after posting a 14.800 in outpointing runner-up Michael Bittner of Temple (14.45). Rounding out the rest of Army's contingent are Jeremy Cahill, floor exercise, Connor Venrick and Gregory Fearnley on pommel horse and Ikaika Jakub on vault.
Glenn and Webber combined to finish among the leaders in six events. Glenn was first on high bar (14.65), runner-up on floor exercise (14.9,) and parallel bars (14.7) followed by a third on vault (14.4). Webber was second on vault (14.6) and third on still rings (14.7).
Army turned in team highs on floor exercise (71.6), pommel horse (69.1), still rings (69.8), parallel bars (68.4) and high bar (66.2).
In the first 21 years of the Open, Army has crowned two champions on floor exercise, the last in 2001; three on pommel horse, the last in 2011; one on still rings (2003); two on vault and has never had a champion on parallel bars or high bar.
"We did a good job tonight," said a beaming Army coach Doug Van Everen. "Everyone hit their routines well, but we still made some mistakes on pommel horse and parallel bars, however, our hit percentage was very good. We did get very close to what we wanted to do, which was to win this event.
"The other goal was to have Jesse Glenn win all-around and to have the team well represented in the individual finals. We met both and have a number advancing in the finals, so Saturday night should be very exciting for us."