March 1, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Coming off a 414.00-407.05 defeat of Navy in the annual "Star" Match over the weekend, Army's gymnastics team faces another stern test hosting William & Mary in an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) match Saturday, 3 p.m., at Gross Sports Center.
The Black Knights are ranked third in the ECAC with a 413.567 average, just 0.443 behind the Tribe, who are listed second with a 414.000 average. Army's goal is to win the ECAC title and automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, and a strong showing this weekend will aid its cause. Temple is currently in first place with a 415.817 average.
This is the second time that Army and William & Mary will be meeting as both were part of the field at the West Point Open that also included conference rivals Temple, Navy and Springfield. The Black Knights finished runner-up posting a season-high 416.100 in trailing the Owls (417.4) for the team title and ahead of third-place William & Mary (411.4).
Army is coming off of its first dual win over Navy since 2010 and the Tribe, idle last week, turned in a season-high 417.75 competing at a triangular hosted by Temple two weekends ago.
It will be a close meet the second time around based on the recent standings that show the six team events split down the middle. Army ranks ahead of William & Mary on floor exercise (71.083-69.40), still rings (69.817-68.350) and vault (71.167-70.90), and the Tribe is the leader on pommel horse (69.65-69.00), parallel bars (70.15-68.65) and high bar (67.60-65.15).
Army has the top pommel horse specialist in the conference in senior Garrek Hojan-Clark, who lists third nationally with a 15.283 average. William & Mary's Daniel Potemski and Keaton Ackerman rank third and fourth in the conference with 14.3 and 14.267 averages, respectively.
Black Knight freshman Jesse Glenn, coming off a first-place showing on floor exercise (14.75) against Navy, along with winning all-around for the fourth time this season, ranks first in the ECAC and fifth nationally with an 84.117 all-around average. He has ranked among Army's leaders in all six events this season.
Fellow freshman Chris Short, who earned ECAC Gymnast of the Week honors following his winning performance behind a career-high 14.7 on parallel bars in the Navy victory, is ranked in the top 50 nationally with a 14.067 average. Glenn lists tied for 37th (14.217) nationally and joins with Short ranking among the conference's leaders after each turned in a season-best 14.7
Glenn lists fourth (14.217 average) in the conference and Short is sixth (14.067). The Tribe's Landon Funiciello is first in the league with a 14.633 average and high of 14.95, and is one of three members of his team ranked in the top nine in the conference with Army's next gymnast, junior Kip Webber (13.883), listed 10th.
Joining Glenn on floor exercise, where he lists second (14.75 average) in the conference, are Webber (14.4), sophomore Jeremy Cahill, junior Ian Howard and seniors Jared Breeden and Ikaika Jakub. All have posted season highs in the 14-point range with Glenn and Weber leading the way with 14.9 and 14.65 scores, respectively.
Webber is Army's leader on still rings, ranking third in the conference with a 14.65 average and season-high 14.7. Glenn, sophomore Alex Ganz, along with Jakub and Short, provide depth and are listed among the top point producers in that even. The Tribe's Funiciello is ranked second (15.333), but is one of just two members of his team listed among the top 20 in the conference.
Army has also shined on vault this year where Glenn is tied for second in the conference with William & Mary's Neal Courter as both show identical 14.7 averages. Webber (14.48), Jakub (14.317), Cahill (14.133) and Breeden (13.983) list among the top 17.
Glenn has been Army's top scorer on high bar this season, ranking second in the conference with a 14.417 average keyed by his season-high 14.65, but William & Mary has three ranked among the top 10.
Army, in the midst of a four-match home slate, closes out the home portion of its season next weekend, March 9, on Senior Day taking on Springfield and No. 5 ranked Stanford.