Brana continues to shine as Owls tumble

Graduate student lone bright spot in match filled with 21 falls.

The No.13 men’s gymnastics squad (10-5) was defeated by Air Force last night with a final score of 425.450-398.500. Coach Fred Turoff said he was not happy with his team’s performance.

“We had a poor meet again. In fact it was embarrassing,” Turoff said. “We counted 21 falls, so there went 21 full points. We had our lowest score with a full team of the season 398.5.”

At the same time, Turoff did acknowledge that Air Force was in good form.

“Air Force looked good and had only 2 falls, so their 425.450 was well deserved,” he added.

Graduate student Taylor Brana has continued to perform well with his team struggling. For the second time in consecutive meets, Brana has led the Owls in scoring on three events. The native of Israel was Temple’s highest scorer on pommel horse (13.950), rings (14.700) and parallel bars (14.450).

On his recent surge, Brana credits getting off to a good start on the first event, leading to a successful rest of the meet.

“It’s an easy thing to do when you perform well on your first event,” Brana said. “When you do one event well it helps out, you get that motivation and that momentum to complete the other events.”

With the exception of Brana, the Owls struggled on the first event, pommel horse. The line-up recorded several falls throughout and Brana said that had a negative impact on the rest of the competition.

“I think it just kind of got to us really,” Brana said. “We were demoralized. We weren’t as supportive of each other as we usually are. We weren’t really cheering as loud, I don’t know, we just weren’t behind each other as much and I think it really was due to a start that was demoralizing.”

After the meet, the team came together as a unit to address their recent struggles and discussed how to fix them for the future, something that made Brana believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“But what I am happy about,” Brana said. “Is the fact that after we had the poor performance, we came in as a team and said ‘look guys, what do we all need to do in order to change this, and for this to not happen again?’ and we all throughout ideas and suggestions. And we heard a lot of great things, and I’m hopeful, I’m really hopeful.”

Looking to their next meet, Turoff said, “We head to Chicago for the last leg of our spring break trip, and hopefully will get back on the track to a better performance.”

Competition between Temple and University of Illinois-Chicago begins Sunday at 1 p.m.

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