Navy Named as NCAA Gymnastics Championship Qualifier
INDIANAPOLIS – The 2017 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championship qualifying selections were announced on Tuesday and Navy was one of 12 teams to garner a bid and a chance to compete for the national title in 10 days. The championship qualifying meet will take place Friday, April 21 at Army’s Christl Arena. Navy has now earned a spot in the NCAA Championship Qualifying Meet in each of the last two years. Prior to 2016, the last and only prior appearance by a Midshipmen team in the national meet was in 2009.
“Qualifying the team to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row is another big step in moving Navy Gymnastics into the top 10 nationally,” remarked head coach Kip Simons. “I’m really proud of this group of guys because we graduated over half of the team last year. On paper this could have been a rebuilding year but the tenacity of these young men allowed us to pick up where we left off last year.”
April 21’s competition consists of two six-team groups where the top three teams in each qualifying session will advance into Saturday’s team finals. Also the top three all-around competitors and top three individuals from each event not on one of the six qualifying teams that advance will be able to compete in the finals on the 22nd.
Navy will compete in the second session on April 21 alongside No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Illinois, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 8 Iowa and No. 9 California. The second session is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start time.
Navy finished sixth in its qualifying session and 12th overall with 410.1 points. Then-seniors Eric Poletti and Connor Gonzales advanced to the event finals on the rings, while Jonny Tang pointed his way into the finals of the all-around competition.
Oklahoma won the 2016 title with a team score of 443.400, while Stanford and Ohio State came in second and third place, respectively with totals of 434.050 and 433.050.
2017 NCAA Championship Field
Oklahoma – 432.850 qualifying score
Stanford – 423.288
Ohio State – 418.050
Illinois – 416.300
Minnesota – 414.438
Penn State – 412.725
Nebraska – 411.938
Iowa – 409.488
California – 405.825
Air Force – 404.988
Michigan – 404.700
Navy – 402.838