Feb. 1, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas -
Army's hopes of turning in a strong showing at the All-Academy Championships fell short of that goal as the Black Knights placed third among the service-academy field that competed Saturday afternoon at the Houston Gymnastics Center.
Air Force outdistanced the field in defending its title (427.7) with Navy (410.15) edging Army (409.35) for runner-up honors.
Freshman Joe Pritts, senior Kip Webber and sophomore Jesse Glenn led the way finishing among the top three in a trio of events. Pritts set a career-high 14.75 tying for second-place honors on floor exercise with Air Force's Ben Zaleer as the Falcons claimed two of the top three spots.
Webber posted a pair of third-place finishes on still rings and vault The three-time NCAA Qualifier was third on still rings with a season-high 14.9 and shared third-place honors on vault with teammate Glenn as both turned in 14.9s with Webber's a season high and Glenn's a career best. In both instances, Army was nipped for runner-up honors by five hundreds of a point.
Air Force bested the field in five events with Army denying the Falcons capturing all six after edging them for honors on vault (73.25-73.00). The Black Knights headed into the meet ranked 11th on vault, two spots ahead of the Falcons. Air Force claimed five of the six individual winners with Navy's Joshua Steve's 15.2 on still rings denying the Falcons from a sweep.
Sophomore Chris Short turned in Army's top marks on pommel horse (13.35) and parallel bars (13.75), freshman Sam Kusnitz led the way on high bar (13.25) and senior Ian Howard posted the Black Knights' second highest score on floor exercise behind a season-high 14.25.
Newcomer Leo Genders recorded a career best 14.8 on vault to rank among Army's leaders in that event in helping the Black Knights author a season high 73.25 in shattering the former mark of 70.5 set in the season opener against Penn State.
"We have to put this meet behind us, learn from it, and now prepare for Navy next week," said Army head coach Doug Van Everen, who was disappointed at the outcome.
The Black Knights, ranked No. 13 in the country, head to Annapolis, Md., to take on No. 14 Navy in the "Star" match on Saturday, Feb. 8. Army and Navy have each finished ahead of the other in tournament formats this season. The Black Knights bested Navy 413.05-400.8 for third-place honors at the West Point Open with the Mids nipping Army today.