April 13, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Nine members of Army's gymnastics team are among the list of individual qualifiers selected for the 2012 NCAA Championships that begin Thursday, April 19, and continues through Saturday, April 21. The three-day event will be held at the Lloyd Noble Center on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.
Senior captain Jonathan Hoey and junior Garrek Hojan-Clark are making their third straight appearance, while heading to their second NCAA meet are senior Chase Brown and juniors Jared Breeden and Ikaika Jakub. Meeting the standard for the first time are junior Nicholas Fettinger and freshmen Alex Ganz, Jeremy Cahill and Mike Tserkovnyuk. This group is Army's largest individual contingent since 12 qualified in 2003.
Hojan-Clark has ranked among the nation's elite on pommel horse since his freshman year. The Army junior lists eighth in the country with a 14.675 average and second among the six qualifiers. Hojan-Clark's career-high 15.4 broke his own school mark on the horse this year. He is among a handful of gymnasts to score in the 15-point range. The highest score of 15.9 was recorded this year by Ohio State's Ty Echard, who is tied for fourth with a 14.95 average.
Hoey joins Hojan-Clark on pommel horse for the second straight year after qualifying on high bar his sophomore year. Hoey, who turned in a 14.9 season high, is tied for 44th on the horse with a 13.875 average.
Brown met the standard in two events, floor exercise and high bar, for the second straight year in the former and first time in the latter. The Army senior is ranked 43rd (14.35) on floor exercise and 69th on high bar (13.475). Breeden and Jakub met the standard on still rings and list fifth and sixth, respectively, among the individual qualifiers.
Breeden qualified for the second year on still rings where the junior lists 42nd (14.4) and is joined by Jakub with a 14.15 average that ranks 53rd. Jakub, who competed as an all-arounder last year, shows a season best 14.6 to Breeden's 15.0.
Fettinger has shined all season on parallel bars to head into the meet second among the individual qualifiers and ranked 34th with a 14.125 average and season-high 14.5. Joining him in that event is Ganz, listed fourth among the qualifiers and 63rd nationally with a 13.625 average and 14.4 season best.
Cahill will join Brown on high bar and Tserkovnyuk rounds out Army's pommel horse contingent where three Back Knights qualified. Cahill turned in a season high 13.8 compiling a 13.15 average on high bar with Tserkovnyuk, whose season high is a 14.4 on the horse, list 57th with a 13.675 average.
The 12 participating teams in the order of their rankings and qualifying scores are Oklahoma (354.525), Penn State (354.200), Stanford (352.512), Illinois (352.337), Minnesota (346.900), Michigan (345.512), Ohio State (345.012), California (344.762), Temple (342.425), Nebraska (341.587), Iowa (338.3250 and Air Force (336.312). Stanford is the defending NCAA champion with Oklahoma runner-up and Illinois third in 2011.
The two pre-qualifying sessions of the national qualifier will be conducted April 19 at 1 and 7 p.m. (CT), respectively. Each session features six of the 12 qualifying teams, six all-arounders and six of 12 event specialists.
The top three teams from each session, along with the top three individuals in each of the six team events not part of a qualifying team, or as an all-arounder, advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals session Friday, April 20, which serves as the team championship and all-around champions. Also among competitors Friday are the top-six event specialists from Thursday that were not members of a qualifying team or an all-arounder.
The top 10 gymnasts in each of the six team events Friday advance to Saturday's (April 21) NCAA Championship individual event finals.