Gymnastics travels for Saturday competition

The men’s gymnastics team starts its season Saturday in Annapolis, Md. at the Navy Open at 2 p.m. Temple will compete against Springfield, Penn State, William & Mary and hosting Navy.

Temple looks to continue off of last season’s success in which the squad finished first in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference and 10th in the NCAA national rankings, as well as sending five gymnasts to the NCAA Nationals, including returning seniors Allan Malone and Alex Tighe.

This Saturday marks the 37th season that Philadelphia native, and American gymnastics legend Fred Turoff, will be the head coach of the men’s program. The Temple and USA Gymnastics Hall of Famer will look to lead the Owls to repeat as ECAC champions, making it Turoff’s 18th conference title in his tenure.

The women’s gymnastics team will journey to Pittsburgh Saturday for a tri-meet against Maryland, New Hampshire and hosting Pittsburgh, starting at 7 p.m.

Sophomore Taylor Rakus looks to stay in good form after an impressive display at George Washington last week. Rakus, competing for the first time since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament during her senior year of high school, aced her beam routine gathering a score of 9.600 in her first collegiate event, earning her the week’s Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Coaches’ Choice Award.

“We took this past week to work on our problem areas from the first meet at George Washington and are looking to go into this competition and be as confident and consistent as possible,” coach Aaron Murphy said about the upcoming meet. “The goal is to not count any falls to the team score at the end of the day.”

Sam Matthews