April 3, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Nine members of Army's gymnastic team had their tickets punched for the NCAA Qualifying Meet being hosted by the University of Michigan (April 10) at Crisler Center. Six of the Black Knights' qualifiers are underclassmen with senior Kip Webber the veteran among the group as he is making his fourth appearance.
Army's contingent is its largest since nine met the standard in 2012. Among the upperclassmen joining Webber (floor exercise and vault) are juniors Connor Venrick (pommel horse) and Jeremy Cahill (vault and high bar). Leading the way for the underclassmen are sophomores Jesse Glenn (all-around) and Chris Short (parallel bars) along with freshmen Sam Kusnitz (floor exercise, vault and high bar), Jacob Davies (parallel bars), Joe Pritts (floor exercise) and Leo Genders (high bar). Cahill qualified for the NCAAs in 2012 on high bar.
Webber advanced to the second qualifying session last year as an all-arounder and in floor exercise and vault in 2011. A finalist for the Nissen-Emerry award, Webber is ranked 13th nationally on vault with a 15.012 average. His school mark of 15.45, set this year, is tied for the fourth highest score in that event, He heads into the meet ranked first among the individual qualifiers on vault and third on floor exercise (14.388 with a high of 15.25).
At the recent ECAC Championships, Glenn was first in the all-around scoring and claimed the title on high bar (15.3). He heads into the meet ranked fifth nationally as an all-arounder with an 86.775 average (highest score of season was an 88.45) and first among the all-around qualifiers.
The native of Porter Ranch, Calif., ranks among the top 50 nationally in all six events with his highest showing on high bar where he stands second nationally with a 15.288 average (season-best score is 15.35). He is tied for 21st on vault (14.863 average) and 18th on pommel horse (14.4 average).
Kusnitz, named the ECAC Rookie of the Meet, is ranked among the leaders on vault (tied for 36th with 14.67 average), high bar (38th -14.237) and floor exercise (44th -14.5). He is ranked first among the individual qualifiers on high bar and lists second in floor exercise and vault.
Cahill, making his second trip to the NCAAs in two years, shows a 14.013 mark on high bar and 14.5 average on vault, and is among three Black Knights competing in both events.
Venrick heads to the NCAAs as Army's lone qualifier on pommel horse where he is third among the individuals with a 14.175 average (season high is 14.65). Short and Davies met the standard on parallel bars where they are ranked second (13.95 average) and fourth (13.837) among the individual qualifiers, respectively. Short's season high is a 14.5 and Davies shows a 13.9.
Genders is one of three Black Knights to qualify individually on high bar and ranks second with a 14.113 average (season high is 14.6). Pritts heads to the meet with the highest average among the qualifiers in floor exercise with a 14.663 average (14.75 season high) leading an Army sweep of the top three places. Pritts is also an alternate on vault (14.375).
Three other Black Knights are alternates in senior Ian Howard, floor exercise (14.225), junior Alex Ganz, parallel bars (13.763) and sophomore Michael York, high bar (13.8).
The National Qualifier will be comprised of 12 teams, five all-around competitors (not from a selected team) and five individual event specialists (not from a selected team or have not already been selection in the all-around).
There will be two competition sessions at the National Qualifier on Thursday, April 10, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Teams and individuals will compete for a position to advance to the championships Friday, April 11, and the individual finals on Saturday, April 12.