Jan. 18, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Sophomore Jesse Glenn successfully defended his all-around title, along with wining high bar, and junior Connor Venrick was third on pommel horse in leading Army to third-place honors at the West Point Gymnastics Open Friday evening at Christl Arena.
Penn State, ranked fifth in the preseason poll, dominated the meet capturing all one of the six team events in compiling a score of 428.1 in outdistancing the six-team field en route to claiming its 16th title. William & Mary edged Army for runner-up honors compiling a 416.7 to the Black Knights' 413.05 in rounding out the top three teams.
Navy (400.8), Temple (398.65) and Springfield (388.95) claimed the fourth through sixth spots, respectively. The Nittany Lions are in the Big 10, while the rest of the field competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Glenn finished among the top eight in all but one of the six events. He was first on high bar (14.8), sixth on vault (14.6), and seventh on floor exercise (14.8), still rings (8.7) and parallel bars en route to posting an all-around score of 85.85 (which was just 0.1 shy of his career high). Glenn outpointed Penn State's Trevor Howard (83.65) to claim the title after finishing runner-up to him last week in a dual match hosted by the Nittany Lions.
Glenn and Howard have a friendly rivalry that dates back to their time as members of the USA Team that competed against the Chinese Junior National Team in December of 2012.
"I knew it would be tough competition because Penn State is one of the best teams and Trevor is very good," said Glenn. "But I am happy to be home and win the competition against them. I felt we competed very well as a general rule throughout the meet, We have a very good team and I think our performance was one of Army's best in several years."
Glenn is among four Black Knights who meet the standard in 10 events for Saturday's individual finals. Glenn met the standard in five events (floor exercise, still rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar), senior Kip Webber and freshman Sam Kusnitz each qualified in two.
Webber turned in Army's top scores on vault (14.75) and still rings (14.5) in finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, in the preliminary round where he tied with Glenn in the latter. Kusnitz was Army's top scorer in floor exercise (14.9), placing sixth, and recorded the team's second best score on high bar (13.7) after taking fifth in that event. Also qualifying for the finals was Venrick on pommel horse with a 14.6.
The Black Knights had five gymnasts finish among the top 11 on high bar to capture the title with a score of 68.1. Also contributing to the team scoring was Jeremy Cahill (13.4), Leo Genders (13.15) and Chris Short (13.05). Army posted the second highest scores on floor exercise (72.6) and vault (70.45) along with placing third on parallel bars (68.4).
"I knew going into the meet that pommel horse was going to be a rough and trying event," said Van Everen as Army's lowest score was in that event. ." Otherwise, everyone did a good job. We gave about as good as we can be. We have little areas on every event that we can improve, but that is easy to fix and we will have to improve on the pommel horse.
"We have a bunch in Saturday's finals, and all-in-all that is what we wanted to do. I am upset that we didn't beat William & Mary, but they are a tough team. Pommel horse was the difference for us and a better score would have allowed us to finish higher."
The two-day West Point Open concludes Saturday evening at 7 p.m. with the individual finals (top eight)in the six events