The men’s gymnastics team has had its share of glory through the years, winning
14 Eastern College Athletic Conference
titles in coach Fred Turoff’s 31 seasons
at the helm.Now, Turoff wants this year’s squad to add to that tradition.
The No. 11 Owls will take on their conference in the ECAC Championship meet this weekend, held in McGonigle Hall. They enter the tournament coming off a season-best 206.150 score in their last home meet, a tri-meet against Army and Navy.
“Since [the team] performed quite well the last two meets, it’s a matter of trying
to just eliminate a tenth here, a tenth there and land better,” Turoff said. “We have been trying to eliminate the problems
that showed up during the season in routines and – in some cases – rearrange some of the skills.”
The Owls will have home-floor advantage
and will look to Temple’s faithful to bring their vocal chords.”The one thing that we hope to have here is a lot of Temple students coming to see the meet, cheering
on the Temple team that very well could win a championship in front of their eyes,” Turoff said.
Since the Owls are currently ranked highest entering the tournament, they were rewarded with the choice of event order. Turoff elected to start the competition on parallel bars, a notably weaker event for the squad, and finish off the day on the vault, a stronger event.
“If we’re ahead or even if we’re behind
a little bit going into that last event, I figure we’ll catch anybody,” Turoff said. “If we are ahead, then it’s a cruise because nobody is going to catch us.”
Key athletes for the Owls will be juniors
Luke Vexler and Sterling Kramer, who compete all-around in every event. Also look for important contributions from sophomore Jon Vogtman and freshman Patrick McLaughlin. The winner of the meet will get an automatic bid into the NCAA qualifier tournament, and ultimately a chance to play for the national championship. The action starts on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the team events and runs into Sunday with the individual competition at 2 p.m.
Anthony Stipa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.