Men’s and women’s gymnastics return to action

After having a week off, both men’s and women’s gymnastics will be back on the road this weekend for their respective competitions this Sunday. Men’s gymnastics (9-3) will be traveling north for a dual meet with State University of New York at Brockport. While women’s gymnastics (4-15) will be heading down south to West Virginia University for a quad-meet with Denver, George Washington and host West Virginia.

In facing tough opponents like West Virginia, George Washington and Denver, the women’s gymnastics team is not intimidated, but rather excited, to face high quality teams.

Women’s head coach Aaron Murphy said, “We will be going head to head with some pretty big programs in women’s gymnastics. West Virginia, Denver and George Washington have great teams and we have never seen Denver before, so, they will be fun to watch.”

In preparation for the meet, the Owls have been focusing on tidying up their routines to get the highest optimal score.

“We have taken the past week, along with this week, to clean up any execution errors that we have at this point to ensure that our team score will hit the 191.00 mark which we still need to do this season,” Murphy added.

Meanwhile, in facing SUNY Brockport, men’s gymnastics will be facing an opponent of lesser quality. Men’s head coach Fred Turoff plans to use this to his advantage, by providing valuable experience to gymnasts that are not in the everyday rotations.

“Since we’re meeting a team that is weak,” Turoff said. “It will give me a chance to work some guys who can’t make the primary squad.”

Turoff also explained that this Sunday’s meet is also a great opportunity to ease senior Brett Statman into the line-up. Statman has missed the majority of the season because of frequent back pain, and will look to make the best of the last meet the team has before their spring break trip, in which the team will face tough competition against California, Air-Force, and Illinois-Chicago.

For both men’s and women’s gymnastics, this Sunday’s competitions will begin at 2 p.m.

DeMeno and Kilkenny take conference honors

The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference recognized two Temple gymnasts for their performances against Ursinus last Sunday. Junior Brittanie DeMeno was named the ECAC Gymnast of the Week, while freshman Tara Kilkenny was nabbed as the ECAC Coaches’ Choice Award winner.

DeMeno was a major contributor to Temple’s overall victory over Ursinus. The native of Staten Island N.Y., competed in all four events and was awarded an all-around score of 38.200 including a career best (9.550) on bars. Her all-around score was the best in the competition.

Kilkenny was not originally going to compete in last Sunday’s meet, that was until fellow freshman Hannah Popper dislocated her elbow in warm-ups. Coach Aaron Murphy gave Kilkenny the last-minute nod to compete on bars. In her collegiate debut, Kilkenny nailed her routine and was awarded a 9.675, the best score on the apparatus in the entire

DeMeno, Kilkenny and the rest of the Owls will prepare for their next meet, the Towson Invitational, which will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Women set to travel to Ursinus College

The women’s gymnastics team will be traveling to Collegeville, PA.,
Sunday for a 1 p.m. meet with Ursinus College.

The Owls (2-13) are fresh off of their first two wins of the season at
last week’s Ken Anderson Memorial Invite, and look to carry that
moment going into tomorrow.

The beam line-up, will once again try to help lead the team to an
overall victory. Anchored by Junior Sylvie Borschel, junior and team
captain Heather Zaniewski, sophomore Alexis Arena, senior Jean Alban,
and sophomore Taylor Rakus, the beam event has been Temple’s strongest
event all season.

However, the Owls also should improvement in the other three events
(floor exercise, bars, and vault) at the Ken Anderson Invite as well.
Coming in second place overall on each apparatus.

The vault line-up performed especially well, scoring a 48.275. Led by
sophomore Stephanie Verry, the vault line-up will again try to score
high and aid the beam line-up in helping Temple achieve an overall
victory at Ursinus.

Tighe advances to finals

Senior gymnast Alex Tighe will be advancing to the final day of
competition at the Winter Cup held in Las Vegas. The Brookfield WI.,
native placed 11th on high bar and 17th on pommel horse, good enough
to advance through the preliminary rounds of approximately 92

Although Tighe advanced, he was still not completely satisfied with his day.

“It was some good, some bad,” Tighe said. “I had a nice pommel horse
routine, it was nice and clean, not too much difficulty.”

Tighe scored a 13.600 on the apparatus, however, the routine Tighe was
most looking forward to having a good showing in was parallel bars and
that did not go well.

“Unfortunately it was a disaster, it was the event I was most hopeful
for having a good showing. I had a very difficult routine, but it just
wasn’t my day,” Tighe said.

Tighe was able to bounce back for his routine on high bar, scoring a 13.85.

“I was able to turn around quickly and get myself in a good mind frame
to do a nice high bar routine to finish off the meet,” Tighe said.

Tighe will be competing in the finals starting Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Pair of gymnasts win ECAC honors

Men’s gymnastics was honored with two recipients winning this week’s Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference awards.

Senior Alex Tighe was awarded ECAC Co-Gymnast of the Week, sharing the award with Army freshman Jesse Glenn. Freshman Jon Rydzefski was awarded ECAC Rookie of the Week.

Last Friday at the 22nd annual West Point Open, the Owls were guided to victory by the performances of Tighe and Rydzefski. Tighe worked three events to help pace Temple, as they captured the team competition, but the day belonged to Rydzefski. The Leominster, MA., native came in third place in the all-around with a career best score of 81.200.

The duo followed up Friday’s performance with an even better one on Saturday for the individual event finals.

Rydzefski medaled in two of the six events, placing in third on parallel bars scoring a 13.800, and then second on high bars with a score of 13.750. Yet, he was bested by Tighe who won both apparatuses, outscoring all of the competition in both high bar (14.300) and parallel bars (14.300), to win the event titles.

Both of their performances were enough to earn them their respective ECAC weekly honors.

Men’s gymnastics will have the week off, with the exception of Tighe who has been invited to participate in this year’s Winter Cup held in Las Vegas, and a chance to qualify for the USA Championships in Hartford, CT this summer. The competition begins tomorrow at noon.

Tighe invited to Las Vegas

Temple University will send one gymnast to Las Vegas this Thursday to
compete in the Winter Cup.

The Winter Cup is a field of the best 92 gymnast in the country.
Senior Alex Tighe is the lone recipient from Temple to receive an

Tighe looks to be able to get past the preliminaries on Thursday, and
make it to the finals on Saturday.

“The goal is to go out, hit my routines, and make the finals,” Tighe said.

The same aspirations were spoken by coach Fred Turoff.

“For the Winter Cup,” Turoff said. “I’d like [Tighe] to improve upon
his finish, and advance to the second day of competition. If he hits
his routines as he did the event finals at the West Point Open, I
think he has a good chance to do that.”

The preliminaries begin this Thursday at noon, and the finals will
begin Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Women’s gymnastics ready for meet at New Hampshire

Women’s gymnastics will travel to Durham, N.H., this Saturday for its meet at the University of New Hampshire starting at 4 p.m.

The Owls will enter this weekend having had two gymnasts winning the ECAC Coaches’ Choice Award in consecutive weeks. Junior and team captain Heather Zaniewski is the current recipient of the award, and sophomore Taylor Rakus won it the week prior.

Regarding this weekend’s meet, coach Aaron Murphy wants his team to record less falls than last week.

“After coming off the University of Pittsburgh meet and only counting
two falls towards the team score, I want our Owls to try and better that by counting one or no falls for the team score,” Murphy said.

“We seem to have some good momentum going our way and I plan to keep them focused on staying positive and confident with their gymnastics,” he added.