After retaining its Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference title for the second time in consecutive years, the No.12 men’s gymnastics (17-6) will head to Penn State University tomorrow for the NCAA national championships. Competition is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
This season has seen the Owls win a long list of accolades, including coach Fred Turoff winning ECAC Coach of the Year, assistant coach Patrick McLaughlin winning ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year, senior Alex Tighe winning the Senior Athlete of the Year Award, and ultimately ended with the ECAC title once again in the hands of Temple men’s gymnastics. It marked the 18th time in Turoff’s 37 years at the helm of the team that the Owls captured the ECAC title.
The gymnast to watch will continue to be Alex Tighe. Tighe has performed well all season and has arguably been Temple’s most consistent gymnast. After winning Senior Athlete of the Year, Tighe was honored with another accolade. The Philadelphia Inquirer named Tighe to their Men’s At-Large Academic All-Area Team, which recognizes the athlete’s performance not just in sport, but in the classroom as well. Tighe will look to keep his momentum going forward into the NCAA’s tomorrow.
On preparing for the national championships, Turoff said, “We look to having a clean meet with fewer errors than the past several meets. Since we’re going in as No.12, with the closest team having a score average over 5 points higher, climbing up will be a task, but it has happened before.”
No. 13 nationally ranked men’s gymnastics (12-6) will head to Springfield University for tomorrow’s Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, competition begins at 7 p.m. As last year’s conference champions, the Owls will look to retain their ECAC crown.
The main competition standing in the way of back to back ECAC titles will be conference rival William and Mary. In three meets against the tribe this year, Temple went 2-1, but the past month showed some disappointing performances by the Owls and their expectations going into the ECAC’s are in suspect.
We’ve been in this situation before,” men’s coach Fred Turoff said. “The guys know they can defeat William and Mary this Friday as they have twice after an initial-meet loss to them this season. However, William and Mary has outscored us in recent meets, so they have been hitting better than we have.”
Even though William and Mary has been outscoring Temple recently, Turoff still said he believes his team will win based on how the team has looked in practice.
He said, “Since practice has been going well, I have to have a positive outlook and expect us to prevail.”
Men’s gymnastics will host its senior day today in the main gym of McGonigle Hall, in a tri-meet against Army and Navy. Competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Following a disappointing spring trip in which the Owls went 0-3, Temple will look to end their three game losing skid tomorrow.
“Since we haven’t performed well recently,” men’s coach Fred Turoff said. “This meet could be close between Army and us, but Navy is weaker so far. Army has improved greatly from last year and currently is ranked just ahead of us in 13th position.”
He added, “We have to get back on track if we are to have a chance of repeating as conference champs.”
Senior Alex Tighe commented on his last home meet ever wearing the cherry and white.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Tighe said. “My time at Temple is almost done; it will be the last time I compete at Mcgonigle Hall with my team. These are my brothers and my friends, and it will be pretty special to compete at home with them one last time.”
The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference continues to award Temple gymnasts as being on their weekly honor roll. The most recent recipient is freshman Reagan Oliveri. Oliveri has been awarded this week’s women’s gymnastics ECAC Coaches Choice Award for her performance last Sunday at William and Mary.
Oliveri’s freshman season was delayed because of an injured anklebone that she sustained while doing a routine on floor exercise. A bone specialist later revealed that a previous ankle injury did not properly heal, and the re-injury caused another setback.
Oliveri proved that she could come back strong though. At William and Mary, the Mantua, N.J. native posted a 9.600 performance on uneven parallel bars. A performance that was strong enough to win the week’s ECAC Coaches Choice Award, as voted on by the coaches in the ECAC.
Oliveri and the rest of the Owls will now prepare for their most important meet of the year, the ECAC Championships to be held at Cornell University this Saturday at noon.