Navy Dominates Three-Team Meet at Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Navy gymnastics team had a convincing response to tough result from Friday night with a 401.9-point showing and two victories in a three-team road meet at Springfield College on Sunday. After falling on the road at William & Mary on Friday, the Mids (8-8) came out on Sunday and lead wire-to-wire with a dominant performance at Blake Arena versus Springfield and Army. The Mids' 401.9 points were 10.5 points better than the Black Knight's 391.4 and 21.4 points more than the Pride's 380.5.
"Today was big day for Navy Gymnastics," exclaimed head coach Kip Simons. "We completed a tough road trip where we competed on at William & Mary on Friday night and again today at Springfield. We showed our resiliency with a dominant performance over Army and Springfield after 13 hours on a bus over Friday and Saturday. We've been waiting all season to meet Army on neutral grounds. We were disappointed with the conference loss Friday night and rebounded with two conference wins on the road today."
Navy recorded team-high scores in five of the six events and had individual event winners on the floor exercise with Lucas Beltran's (Fr., Corpus Christi, Texas) 14.15 score, the rings with Jonny Tang's (Sr., Malvern, Pa.) 13.7 and on the parallel bar courtesy of Tang's 13.85.
As a team, Navy posted a 65.2 on the floor exercise, 66.95 on the pommel horse, 66.8 on the rings, 69.9 on the vault, 65.35 on the parallel bars and 67.7 on the high bar.
The Mids started off with wins on two of their first three events to build up a 198.95 to 195.2 lead over the Black Knights. The Pride were off the pace at 191.8 after three rotations.
Navy's floor exercise lineup showed well off the bat with three of the top-four scoring performances. Beltran's 14.15 was a clear winner of the event as he paced the field by 0.45 points. Frank Bradley (Fr., McLean, Va.) and Tang went back-to-back for Navy in third and fourth place with respective scores of 13.65 and 13.35.
Multiple Mids finished top-four on the pommel horse as Ryan Orce (Fr., Gainesville, Fla.) and Noah Beeman (Jr., Dayton, Ohio) finished second and fourth, respectively. Orce turned in a 14.05-point score, while Beeman posted a 13.6-point result.
A dominant showing on the rings helped Navy start pulling away during the middle portion of the meet. The Mids had gymnasts finish first, second, third and fifth on their way to 66.8 points. Tang ranked first with a 13.7 to edge classmate Wyatt LaPointe's (Sr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.) 13.65. Freshmen Tanner West (Cypress, Texas) and Bradley were the next two Mids to place as West scored a 13.45 and Bradley a 13.15.
Navy and Army performed well on the vault and were within 0.3 points of each other in the team results and it showed in the individual standings as the Mids and Black Knights occupied eight of the top-nine positions. Bradley was the highest ranked Mid as he tied for second place with 14.3 points. Beltran was sixth at 14.1.
Up 4.05 points after four rotations, stout efforts on the parallel bars and high bar helped Navy earn the 10.5-point win down the stretch. Midshipmen gymnasts took three of the top-five individual rankings on both apparatuses.
On the parallel bars, Tang's 13.85 was followed up by Beeman's third-place result of 13.45. West tied for fourth place at 13.2 before Vadim Ivanov (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) made if four Mids amongst the seven-best scorers as he ranked seventh with a 13.05.
In high bar action, Navy's lineup controlled the standings with all five members finishing in the top-seven. Tang and West went back-to-back in second and third with respective scores of 13.8 and 13.7. Will Longwe (Fr., Stoughton, Mass.) was next in the standings as the plebe tied for fourth with a 13.5-point effort. Orce and Beeman finished consecutively in sixth and seventh with scores of 13.4 and 13.3, respectively.
Tang finished first amongst five all-around competitors as he posted a cumulative score of 81.8.
"We're starting to solidify our lineup for postseason action," remarked Simons. "We are a little thin this year, but these 11 guys expect to win."
Navy wraps up its home schedule next Friday, March 10 when the Mids welcome the Air Force Falcons and William & Mary Tribe to Macdonough Hall for a primetime tri-meet. The three teams will face off beginning at 6 p.m. The meet will serve as the final home competitions for Navy seniors Wyatt LaPointe and Jonny Tang.