Navy Earns Dual Meet Victory over William & Mary
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy gymnastics team used a strong start on Saturday to lead wire-to-wire over William & Mary in an ECAC conference meet at Macdonough Hall. The No. 13 Mids (6-4) jumped out to a 6.45-point lead over the No. 15 Tribe (2-2) after the floor exercise and pommel horse rotations to build themselves up an advantage that they would hold over the entire contest for a final of 409.4-401.3. Navy's floor exercise, pommel horse, rings and high bar lineups all out-pointed William & Mary and Midshipmen gymnasts finished first in four of the six events.
In the all-around competition, Jonny Tang (Sr., Malvern, Pa.) edged teammate Tanner West (Fr., Cypress, Texas) for top honors by an 83.05 to 82.25 final score. The senior closed strong with a combined 28.3 points over the parallel bars and high bar versus 27.4 points for West.
Individual event winners on Saturday started with Tang on the floor exercise before Wyatt LaPointe (Sr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.) was the high-scorer on the rings. Tang placed first on the parallel bars and Noah Beeman (Jr., Dayton, Ohio) closed the meet with a first-place routine on the high bar.
"Today was a big day for Navy Gymnastics," exclaimed head coach Kip Simons. "Jonny and Tanner were on fire in the all-around with strong support from the entire team. We are hitting full stride at the perfect time as we head into Army next week. This was an important conference win for us today."
As a team on Saturday, Navy posted a 69.4 on the floor exercise, 66.2 on the pommel horse, 68.2 on the rings, 69.4 on the vault, 68.15 on the parallel bars and 68.05 on the high bar. All six scores were highs for the 2017 season
For the second straight week, the duo of Tang and Lucas Beltran (Fr., Corpus Christi, Texas) gave Navy strong turns on the floor exercise as they went one-two respectively with scores of 14.6 and 14.25. Andy Jones (Jr., Reading, Mass.) and LaPointe gave the host Midshipmen four of the top five floor exercise scores with individual 13.65 and 13.6-point efforts.
The pommel horse team had a big breakthrough on Saturday with all five of its counters earning 13.0 or better scores from the judges. Trevor North (Fr., Johnstown, Ohio) led the way with a 13.4 score to tie for second overall. West and Beeman tied for fourth with identical scores of 13.3.
The next two rotations were practically even between the teams with Navy posting just 0.15 more points on the rings, while it was a dead heat on the vault. LaPointe spearheaded the rings lineup with a career-best 14.35 score. West was right behind him in second with a 14.15. Tang rounded out the top-five with a 13.9 result.
On the vault, West was part of a three-way tie for first with a 14.1 score that equaled William & Mary's Tim O'Neill and Nick Van Dyke. LaPointe and Beltran followed the trio with identical 13.9 results that tied for fourth overall.
Down 6.6 points with two rotations to go, William & Mary was able to cut into Navy's lead with a 0.85-point advantage on the parallel bars. Tang came in first place by 0.25 points with a 14.6 to earn the individual victory. West was the second Mids to finish in the top five as the freshman was fourth at 13.9.
Navy locked up the conference win with a top-notch effort that saw all six of its starters finish within the top-eight overall and post scores of 13.2 or better. Coming into Saturday, just four of Navy's first 12 routines over the West Point and Navy Opens had met that threshold. For the second straight week, Beeman was the top gymnast on the high bar as he turned in 13.9. Tang's 13.7 score had him tied for second, while Ryan Orce (Fr., Gainesville, Fla.) rounded out the top-five with a 13.55. West, Will Longwe (Fr., Stoughton, Mass.) and Vadim Ivanov (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) were the other three Midshipmen to compete on the high bar on the day.
Navy will next be in action in one week on Saturday, Feb. 4 in a road matchup at West Point. The Mids and Black Knights of Army will be facing off in the 2017 edition of the Star Meet beginning at 1 p.m.