Feb. 7, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army's gymnastics team will be looking to post its second straight "Star" win over Navy when the teams meet Saturday at 1 p.m. in the annual match hosted by the Midshipmen in Macdonough Hall.
Army and Navy, along with Air Force, competed last week at the All-Academy Championships at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. The Falcons outdistanced the field defending their All-Academy title (427.7) with Navy (410.15) edging Army (409.35) for runner-up honors.
It was the second time this season that Army and Navy met in a tournament format. In January, the Black Knights finished ahead of the Midshipmen at the annual West Point Open with Army placing third (413.05) and Navy taking fourth (400.8).
Last year Army defeated Navy (414.0-407.05) in the "Star" match at West Point for its first home win over its counterparts since 2007, and this year the Black Knights will be looking to notch their first win over the Midshipmen in Annapolis since 2010.
Saturday's matchup is expected to go down to the final events as No. 11 Army heads into the meet with a 410.9 team average to No. 12 Navy's 406.35 mark.
Army is ranked higher than Navy in four of the six team events -
floor exercise (No. 10, 70.817 - No. 12, 70.533)
vault (No. 9, 71.40 - No. 12, 69.733)
parallel bars (No. 11, 67.033 - No. 12, 66.633)
high bar (No. 11, 67.167 - No. 12, 64.317)
Navy is eleventh on pommel horse (66.983)and still rings (69.8) with Army right behind with averages of 66.33 and 68.15, respectively.
Individually, Army sophomore Jesse Glenn lists among the nation's leaders on high bar (third - 14.867 average), vault (12th - 14.73) and all-around (fourth - 83.267). Sophomore Connor Venrick is 21st on pommel horse (14.417) and senior Kip Webber is ranked 22nd on vault (14.617) and still rings (14.633).
Three Black Knights are among the top 40 in floor exercise with freshmen Joe Pritts and Sam Kusnitz graded 24th (14.533) and 32nd (14.35), respectively, with senior Ian Howard 40th (14.00).
Last year Army came up on the short end a few times on its final event, high bar, but this year it has proven to be among its strongest with four Black Knights listed among the nation's leaders. In addition to Glenn, Kusnitz ranks 28th (13.783), junior Jeremy Cahill is 36th (13.5) and sophomore Chris Short 45th (13.167). Short is also 37th on parallel bars (13.817) with Glenn listed 41st (13.683).
Navy will look to all-arounders Jonny Tang and Chris Junghans, who are ranked seventh (79.517) and eighth (79.133), respectively, with Mitchell Larios and Joshua Stevens listed 20th and 21st on vault (14.633) and still rings (14.683), respectively.
Following Saturday's meet, Army continues its service academy stretch hosting Air Force at Gross Sports Center on Friday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m.