Jan. 28, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Penn State captured its fourth straight title and 15th overall in outpointing the seven-team field at the 21st West Point Gymnastics Open with host Army finishing third for the second straight year and the fifth time overall. Five Black Knights were among the gymnasts from each of the six team events to advance to Saturday's individual finals, set to get under way at 7:15 p.m.
Senior team captain Jonathan Hoey and junior Nicholas Fettinger set career highs posting runner-up finishes on pommel horse (14.9) and parallel bars (14.5), respectively. Hoey, who trailed Penn State's Tony Beck's winning mark of 15.3 on the horse in tonight's preliminaries, is the defending champion in that event. Fettinger was edged for first-place honors on parallel bars by Penn State's Matthew Felleman's 14.6. It is the second straight year that Hoey and Fettinger advanced to the finals in those respective events.
Also making the grade for Saturday's individual finals were freshman Jeremy Cahill with a 14.4 on floor exercise (tied for ninth), junior Garrek Hojan-Clark tying for eighth on pommel horse (14.5), along with freshman Alex Ganz with a seventh on parallel bars (13.9). Ganz placed fourth in the all-around scoring with a 79.2, and just missed advancing on still rings after tying for 10th with a 14.0. He also placed 20th on pommel horse (13.5).
The Black Knights set season highs on floor exercise (55.1) and pommel horse (57.3), and equaled their mark on parallel bars (54.2) in third placing showings in all three team events. Army's 326.2 composite is its highest point total at this meet since the new scoring system was introduced in 2009. The Black Knights posted a 320.0 in last year's third-place showing and a 321.85 in a fourth-place finish in 2010
Junior Jared Breeden turned in Army's second highest scores on floor exercise (13.9) and still rings (13.5) in placing
16th and 19th, respectively. Senior Chase Brown recorded Army's top mark on vault (14.2) placing 15th among a field of 44 competitors, finished 18th on high bar (12.9) and tied for 20th on floor exercise (13.6). Freshman Mike Tserkovnyuk just missed advancing on pommel horse after tying for 10th place with a 14.4.
"The team did a good job, and our hit percentage was a little better than what we did at Penn State two weeks ago," commented Army head coach Doug Van Everen. "The events we struggled on, we did so again with rings a little rough for us tonight. It was a good team total for us as well as getting members of the squad into the finals. So hopefully tomorrow we will come away with a few medals."
Penn State, capturing all six team events, posted a season-high 352.00 in besting a field of five collegiate teams and two club teams. Temple was a distant runner-up (342.3) followed by Army in rounding out the top three teams. Navy took fourth (324.0) and Springfield was fifth (322.2) followed by club teams Arizona State (318.9) and Brockport State (247.3)
Penn State's Parker Raque, who took honors on floor exercise, along with a pair of thirds on rings and vault, edged Navy's Andrew Faulk for the all-around title with an 85.5. The Nittany Lions captured five of the six individual events with Temple's Alex Tighe denying Penn State the sweep by capturing high bar.