Gymnastics Cruises to 2018 Navy Open Crown
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy gymnastics team once again found early season success as the Mids improved on last week's 395.05-point output with 398.20 points on Saturday at the 2018 Navy Open hosted in Macdonough Hall. That strong showing helped Navy defend the team title for the fourth straight season as the hosts held off Springfield College (384.25), William & Mary (383.50) and Temple (150.30).
Navy's depth spearheaded the victory as 10 different gymnasts turned in top-seven results, including event victories by four individuals: David Toussaint (Fr., Warren, Ohio) on the pommel horse, Tanner West (So., Cypress, Texas) on the rings, Trevor North (So., Johnstown, Ohio) on the parallel bars and Ben Provost (So., South Hadley, Mass.) on the high bar.
"I'm really excited about the potential of this group of athletes," remarked head coach Kip Simons. "We shuffled around our lineup a little bit and tested our depth. We saw the results of that today. We were without Lucas Beltran, who's our top vaulter and top floor gymnast; the same with Will Longwe. We saw that next man up mentality firsthand today. The plebes and youngsters did a great job. I'm really proud of Trevor North, who had a breakout performance. He's a youngster that we have been waiting to come out of his shell and that happened today. I'm really proud of him and the work that he's done; this is just the beginning."
Navy put on a dominant performance for the standing room only crowd at Macdonough Hall and led wire-to-wire over the four-team field on Saturday. The host Midshipmen squad started the day on the floor exercise and posted four of the top-seven scores. Starting with a fourth-place result by Toussaint at 14.0, Navy gymnasts took positions four through seven as the freshman was followed by Provost in fifth at 13.9, Frank Bradley (So., McLean, Va.) in sixth at 13.8 and North in seventh at 13.75. As a lineup, all six Navy gymnasts recorded results of 13.0 or better to lead the team to a meet-high 68.6-point score on the apparatus.
Toussaint, the reigning ECAC Rookie of the Week, made a strong case to repeat even stronger on the pommel horse as he edged William & Mary's Jacopo Gliozzi for first place at 13.35 to 13.3. Ryan Orce (So., Gainesville, Fla.) and Noah Beeman (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) finished in fifth and seventh, respectively on the pommel horse with scores of 12.6 and 12.5.
The third rotation saw the Mids move onto the rings. Led by West's event-high 13.4 score, Navy posted three of the top-four scores on rings. Bradley and Christian Correale (Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.) went back-to-back in third and fourth place with scores of 13.0 and 12.85, respectively. Ryan McVay (Fr., Roseville, Calif.) made it four Mids in the top-six with the sixth-best score of 12.65.
Navy's depth was illustrated again on the fourth apparatus, the vault. While not notching a top-four individual score, the Mids responded with four gymnasts putting down routines of 13.6 or better. West finished in fifth with a 13.9, while the trio of Travis Keller (Fr., Centreville, Va.), Bradley and Beeman all tied for sixth with identical 13.6 scores.
In the final two rotations, Navy really pulled away from the field with a 6.55-point advantage over second-place Springfield College. On the parallel bars, North highlighted Navy's effort with a 13.6 score that tied Springfield's Jannik Haas for first place. In a tight pack behind the sophomore, West, Correale and Orce finished with scores of 13.45, 13.4 and 13.35 to finish third, tied for fourth and tied for sixth.
On the high bar, Provost continued his strong individual start to 2018 with an outright win courtesy of a 13.65 score. McVay and West were right behind Provost in a tie for second as both athletes were awarded 13.5 scores. Beeman netted Navy its fourth top-five result with a 13.15 effort to place fifth.
As a team, Navy posted a 68.6 on the floor exercise, a 63.05 on the pommel horse, a 64.4 on the rings, a 68.2 on the vault, a 67.05 on the parallel bars and a 66.9 on the high bar.
"We have two weeks to prepare for Army," said Simons. "We've been getting better each week this season and the guys know it's about what we do Monday through Friday in the gym. We're going to enjoy this victory tonight and tomorrow and then it's back to the grind on Monday."
Navy's preparation for the 2018 Star Meet will continue next Saturday, January 27 with a 2:00 p.m. home tri-meet versus William & Mary and Temple at Macdonough Hall.