No. 9 Navy Surpasses 400-Point Mark on Saturday Night at No. 1 Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. – Faced with the daunting task of walking into and competing in the gym of the three-time defending NCAA National Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Navy gymnastics team was game to the challenge and scored its second highest score of the 2018 season with 401.3 points. On the strength of the highest team score in the entire NCAA for 2018, the Sooners took the team victory in the meet at McCasland Field House with a 429.55-401.3 final.
Individually, the Mids were led by strong top five results from freshmen Ryan McVay (Roseville, Calif.) and Travis Keller (Centreville, Va.). McVay left his mark on Saturday’s meet with a fourth place score of 13.95 on the high bar and fifth place effort on the rings at 13.5. Keller broke into the top five on the vault with a 14.45-point score.
Navy was led by season-best performances by its pommel horse and high bar lineups. In the team’s first “five-up, five-count” meet of 2018, the Mids’ pommel horse squad posted a score of 67.8 that was 1.3 points better than its previous high. Likewise, Navy’s high bar corps completed their five routines with a total of 68.25. Before Saturday, a 67.35 was the best score for the Mids on the apparatus.
Freshman David Toussaint (Warren, Ohio) highlighted Navy’s effort in pommel horse action with a 13.85 score. That tied his career-best score from two meets ago versus Army on Feb. 3. Ryan Orce (So., Gainesville, Fla.) and Jake Carlson (Fr., Lakeville, Mass.) were the second and third scorers for Navy on the horse with respective marks of 13.6 and 12.7.
McVay’s fourth place result on the high bar tied with Oklahoma’s Hunter Justus at 13.95. Tanner West (So., Cypress, Texas) came in 0.10 points behind his teammate with a 13.85 on the high bar to place sixth overall. Team captain Noah Beeman (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) posted the Mids’ third counting score with a 13.6. Both McVay and West’s results were personal season-highs with McVay’s previous best being a 13.5 (Jan. 20 and Feb. 3) and West’s also a 13.5 (Jan. 20).
In addition to the pommel horse and high bar, Navy registered a score of 67.8 on the floor exercise, 65.9 on the rings, 70.25 on the vault and 64.8 on the parallel bars.
McVay and Bradley were atop the Mids’ scoring column on the rings at 13.5 and 13.3, while Keller and West were the frontrunners for Navy on vault at 14.4 and 14.25, respectively. Keller’s effort was a season-best and was just 0.05 points shy of Tanner Justus’ fourth-place score.
On the parallel bars, Orce and Vadim Ivanov (Sr., Las Vegas, Nev.) both tallied scores above 13.0 as Orce notched a 13.7 and Ivanov a 13.1. Orce’s individual score was the best by a Midshipmen gymnast on the parallel bars in 2018.
“This was the best performance by the team this year,” exclaimed head coach Kip Simons. “We only had two falls competing in the first five-up, five-count format of the season. This team refuses to let up even when competing against the number one team in the country.
“We had a bit of a watered down lineup due to some injuries, but the next man up mentality that we prepare with was in full effect tonight. This meet was the beginning of our preparations into the postseason and we are exactly where we need to be at this time. We will get back to work on Monday and continue our pursuit of perfection.”
Navy will continue action in the second half of its schedule next weekend with a pair of road ECAC competitions. The Mids will go one-on-one with the William & Mary Tribe on Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m. before closing the weekend on Sunday, March 4 at 1 p.m. versus the Springfield Pride.