Penn State (406.85) took care of business this weekend at the West Point Open. As a team they won five of the six events to go along with four individual champions during day two's event finals.
"They were prepared," said head coach Randy Jepson on his team's performance. "They did a really nice job this weekend, showed a lot of confidence. Some of the question marks we had — guys that haven’t competed a lot — they did a great job. Our veterans were very poised and that’s what we were looking for going in, so very happy with that.”
One of those in the category of "haven't competed a lot" was freshman Brennan Pantazis (co-B1G Freshman of the Week). He showed that he can do more than contribute with an all-around performance (78.8) good enough to place him second behind teammate Sam Zakutney (81.35). Jepson explained that the team will be looking to rest Zakutney this coming weekend as he will be competing at the Elite Canada competition shortly.
Sam Zakutney (photo: Jess Frankl)
To nobody's surprise, 2017 NCAA pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik hasn't skipped a beat coming into 2018 as he posted a pair of 14.8+ scores on the event.
The Navy Midshipmen's 395.05 team score was good enough for a second place finish, though more importantly (for their sake), it helped them top their arch-rival, Army (380.35).
It seems that Navy has a group of freshmen & sophomores who are ready to contribute heavily towards the team's success. In fact, 25 of the 36 routines competed on Friday night were by underclassmen. "Our boys became men tonight," said head coach Kip Simons via navysports.com. "I’m so proud of their resilience and cohesion."
David Toussaint, a freshman, had a great weekend on pommel horse finishing third during the team competition and second during event finals. His classmate, Ryan McVay, also grabbed a second-place event final finish on high bar.
Sophomore Tanner West should pace this team all year, he posted three scores of 13.05+ and won the vault title on Saturday night.
Tanner West (photo: Jess Frankl)
It was a tough weekend for Army (380.35) who was bitten by four sub-63 event scores. Specifically, pommel horse presented a bit of a problem as the the Black Knights were only able to record two scores of 12+.
On a positive note, they were able to secure two top-three event final finishes with Elliott Herman (13.35) on still rings and Nick McAfee on parallel bars (13.35).
Fourth place belonged to defending-ECAC champion, William & Mary (378.3). Most of the Tribe's trouble came on floor where they posted a 61.65.
2017 NCAA All-American, Jacopo Gliozzi, was able to qualify for two event finals, PH & SR, while senior Jeremiah McReynolds (ECAC Specialist of the Week) secured a still rings title during event finals with a score of 13.5.
(photo: @WMTribeMGYM on Twitter)
Fifth and sixth place at the West Point Open belonged to Springfield (369.25) and Temple (223.05). Leading the way for the Pride was Josh Dieker who finished third in the all-around with a 74.05.
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