March 22, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army's gymnastics team closes out its regular-season schedule Saturday against Temple and Navy in a triangular at 1 p.m. hosted by the Owls at McGonigle Hall in what could prove to be a gauge for the upcoming Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships (April 5-6).
Temple, ranked 14th nationally, and Navy (16th) are members of the ECAC along with the Black Knights, who moved up to No. 13th in the latest poll. The Owls are the defending ECAC champions, but William & Mary (415.883 average) is currently in first place in the standings with the Black Knights second (413.067), Temple (411.267) third and Navy (405.2) fifth. The Black Knights (3-4) were edged by the Tribe, 411.35-409.94, in the final rotation earlier this month, while their conference wins are over Navy and Springfield.
Army is coming off a 414.6-413.1 road edging of Springfield last week keyed by senior Nicholas Fettinger and junior Kip Webber's one-two finish on parallel bars in overcoming a deficit en route to outpointing the Pride, 69.1-68.1, in that event to pull out the decision.
Webber captured the all-around title (84.0) and earned medalist honors on floor exercise (15.0) and still rings (15.1), setting a career-high in the latter. He led a sweep of the top three places on floor exercise as the Black Knights set a season-best 71.9.
Among the individual leaders in the conference is Nissen-Emery Award finalist Garrek Hojan-Clark. The Army senior ranks No. 1 in the country in pommel horse with a 15.317 average. In the conference standings, Weber lists third on floor exercise (14.60) and still rings (14.833), fifth on parallel bars (14.133) and seventh on vault (14.833).
Also listing among the ECAC leaders are sophomore Jeremy Cahill on floor exercise (14.383) and vault (14.267), senior Ikaika Jakub on vault (14.367) and still rings (13.95), and sophomore Alex Ganz on still rings (13.983) and parallel bars (13.733). Junior Ian Howard (14.1) and senior Jared Breeden (14.083) list 11th and 13th on floor exercise, respectively, sophomore Connor Venrick is 10th on pommel horse (14.017), with freshman Chris Short (13.8) and Fettinger (13.75) 11th and 12th, respectively, on parallel bars.
Army is ranked first in the ECAC on floor exercise (71.3) and is second in four events - pommel horse (68.467), still rings (69.967), vault (70.967) and parallel bars (68.833). Temple is first on still rings (70.183), second on floor exercise (70.51) and third on parallel bars (68.35) with Navy (66.633) listing fourth in that event.
Temple (10-6) defeated William & Mary 421.3-417.75 last month, but faces a tough opponent in Army as the Black Knights boast one of their finest teams in several years. An Army sweep would provide the Black Knights their first winning season since 2007, snap an eight-match losing streak to Temple that dates back to 2005, along with posting their second win this season over Navy. It would also enhance Army's bid as a top contender for the ECAC title.
Fans unable to make the trip to Philadelphia can follow the meet on live streaming through the Owls all-access pass by logging onto http://owlsports.cstv.com/allaccess/.
Army will be idle next week as it prepares for its post-season run starting with the ECAC Championships being hosted by Springfield (April 5-6).