Navy Gymnastics Earns Pair of Victories on Saturday
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In the final tune-up before the 2018 Star Meet, the Navy gymnastics team showed strongly on Saturday in a home tri-meet versus William & Mary and Temple at Macdonough Hall. A fast start with four team event wins over the first four rotations bolstered the Mids’ effort and led to an eventual 7.1-point victory. Navy (2-0) finished Saturday with 396.4 points, while William & Mary (1-1) recorded 389.3 points. A short-handed Temple (0-2) club squad notched 242.05 points.
Individual leaders for the Mids in the meet included, Andy Jones (Sr., Reading, Mass.), who posted the highest score on the floor exercise, Tanner West (So., Cypress, Texas), the high-scorer on rings and Ben Provost (So., South Hadley, Mass.), who paced the field on the high bar.
“We started off right where we left off last weekend and that was really impressive,” remarked head coach Kip Simons. “We used a little bit of different personnel throughout the first four events and we didn’t skip a beat. Those plebes and youngsters stepped right in. Our team captain was down today so we were missing that leadership piece on the floor, but we kept on pressing. We did let up a little bit on the last two events and that is concerning so that’s definitely an area that we will address this week as we prepare for the Star Meet versus Army on Saturday. Our plan is to get a few more guys healthy so we should have about 10 routines out there next Saturday that we didn’t see today.”
Navy’s floor exercise lineup posted the second-most points on Saturday with 68.25 points. Jones spearheaded the Mids’ effort with a score of 14.15, that cleared the field of 16 participants by 0.35 points. Frank Bradley (So., McLean, Va.), Provost and Trevor North (So., Johnstown, Ohio) gave Navy four of the top six finishers on the floor as Bradley placed second at 13.8 and Provost and North went back-to-back in fifth and sixth at 13.55 and 13.5, respectively.
On the second rotation, the pommel horse, four Midshipmen gymnasts finished consecutively in positions two through five. David Toussaint (Fr., Warren, Ohio) led the quartet of high achievers with a second-place result of 13.15. Jake Carlson (Fr., Lakeville, Mass.) took third at 12.85 before Ryan Orce (So., Gainesville, Fla.) and Ryan McVay (Fr., Roseville, Calif.) came in fourth and fifth with respective totals of 12.4 and 12.35.
Navy continued adding to its lead on the team’s third rotation, the rings, as the Mids swept the top three spots led by West’s 13.55. McVay and Christian Correale (Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.) filed in behind West with routines netting scores of 13.45 and 13.35, respectively.
The Mids’ vault lineup matched the floor exercise crew’s output with four gymnasts in the top six. Navy trio of Bradley, Jones and Travis Keller (Fr., Centreville, Va.) all recorded identical 14.25 scores to tie for second place. West was the next highest finishing Mid in sixth with a 14.05-point result.
William & Mary cut into Navy’s lead on the parallel bars with a 1.6-point advantage for the Tribe. The reigning ECAC league champions placed four gymnasts in the top five with West being the only Midshipmen to break up the run of Tribe athletes. The sophomore placed second with a score of 13.25.
Finishing on the high bar, Navy got back in stride a bit more with three gymnasts in the top four and five in the top seven. Provost paced the 15 participants with a score of 13.5. Competing in the all-around for the first time in his young collegiate career, McVay concluded his day with a second-place result at 13.45. Will Longwe (So., Stoughton, Mass.) ranked fourth overall with a 13.15. Correale and Orce rounded out Navy’s counting lineup with matching scores of 13.05 that tied for sixth place.
In the all-around competition, McVay held off William & Mary’s Jack Hasenkopf and Temple’s Toby Warren and Nicolino DiBattista with a meet-high score of 77.8. Outside of his previously mentioned scores on the pommel horse, rings and high bar, the freshman netted a 13.25 on the floor exercise, a 13.5 on the vault and an 11.8 on the parallel bars.
As a team, Navy posted a 68.25 on the floor exercise, a 62.8 on the pommel horse, a 66.1 on the rings, a 70.55 on the vault, a 62.5 on the parallel bars and a 66.2 on the high bar.
“Overall, I’m happy with where we’re at and I’m pleased that the guys did not let down even though we had to rely on a few more reserves than we normally would,” said Simons. “Ultimately, we walked away with a quality win against a conference rival that won the league championship last year so that’s a good day. The team knows that come Monday there is work to be done before we face Army.”
Navy will look to keep up its fast start to 2018 next Saturday, February 3 at 2:00 p.m. in Macdonough Hall with the 2018 edition of the Star Meet versus Army.