During the course of spring break, men’s gymnastics (10-6), ranked No. 13, went 0-3 in an action-packed week of gymnastics. During their spring trip, the Owl’s saw competition in California, Colorado, and Illinois.
“We had a marvelous time on our trip in terms of sight-seeing and showing the guys stuff,” men’s coach Fred Turoff said. “But we’re disappointed in terms of a competitive trip because we’re coming home with three loses.”
After the team’s most recent loss at University of Illinois-Chicago last Sunday, the Owls concluded their spring trip they way they began, in defeat, losing to California Berkeley (428.650-405.150) on March 10th, Air Force (425.450-398.500) on March 14th, and UIC (412.550-407.650) on Sunday, March 17th. Graduate student and co-captain Taylor Brana was a bright spot for the Owls during their losing skid. Brana led the team in scoring on three events at Berkeley and Air Force, and two events at UIC.
At UIC, Brana was Temple’s highest scorer on parallel bars, posting a 14.300 on the apparatus, and tied freshman Evan Eigner for the Owl’s highest score on rings with a 14.200, ultimately ending in the Owls 412.550-407.650 defeat to the Flames of UIC.
“[Brana] did pretty well [on Sunday],” Turoff said. “But we still had 11 falls, so there’s 11 points right away off of the team score.”
Temple’s worst showing of the spring trip came against Air Force last Thursday, a showing that Turoff was not happy about.
“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.”
In a meet that was called ‘embarrassing’ by the head coach, Brana led the Owls in scoring on pommel horse (13.950), parallel bars (14.450), and rings (14.700). The native of Israel credited a good start as a reason to his success for the day.
“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 their first event at Air Force, which was 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.”
Temple didn’t start off their spring trip that well in their 428.650-405.150 March 10th loss to California Berkeley either.
“California Berkeley was a better team than us, and we didn’t look as good as I certainly would’ve liked too,” Turoff said.
Yet, Brana still led the Owls in scoring again on pommel horse, parallel bars and rings, posting a 14.200, 14.300 and 14.600, respectively.
With the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships in just two weeks, the Owls are in need of some remodeling to fix the problems that the team has encountered on their three meet losing stretch.
On fixing those problems before the ECAC Championships, graduate student and co-captain Evan Burke said, “We’re definitely going to start pushing more consistency, more cleanliness, maybe having to water our routines down just a little bit, just so that we can guarantee hits, rather than taking as much risks as we have been.”
Turoff added, “Going into the ECAC Championships, we will most likely no longer be the top seed, so [the team] will still have to improve their performance considerably.”