Senior Patrick McLaughlin led the way for Temple with a career-high all-around score of 87.000.
The No. 11 men’s gymnastics team had its first appearance at home in McGonigle Hall this season, and the Owls did not disappoint their home crowd, as they finished in first place at their Alumni Homecoming meet.
Temple took on the State University of New York-Brockport and the defending conference champions, the University of Illinois-Chicago.
The Owls came into last Sunday’s meet looking to build on their strong performances so far this season. The team took second place in its first competition, The West Point Open, and finished in first place in the Navy Open.
Temple has been led this season by senior Patrick McLaughlin, who has established himself as the team’s catalyst. He was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Men’s Gymnast of the Week in January.
“He’s the anchor of the team,” coach Fred Turoff said. “He goes last on every event, and he’s my best guy on every event.”
McLaughlin validated his coach’s comments by posting an overall score of 87.000, his highest this season. Entering the event, he had averaged a score of 85.950.
“This was a strong day for me,” McLaughlin said. “All in all, I’m happy, especially with the team performance. That’s what I’m really happy about”.
McLaughlin’s performance was accompanied by strong performances from his teammates. The Owls posted a team score of 343.750.
Although McLaughlin posted the highest all-around score for the entire event, he still said he saw room for improvement.
“87.000, that’s my highest this year, but I still had bobbles,” McLaughlin said. “Three places I kind of fell, so that’s promising.”
“He is going to get better because he made a number of errors today, but still he’s doing a great job for me, and I think he’s established himself as the all-arounder to beat in our conference, and hopefully, he continues to develop,” Turoff said.
McLaughlin’s development will be crucial to the Owls’ continued success. Several Temple male gymnasts will travel to Las Vegas Thursday for the Winter Cup Challenge, a national team selection meet.
“It’s judged by stricter standards, and we’re going to be up against everybody in the whole country,” Turoff said. “It’s a real good place to measure yourself against what’s there in the country.”
The Owls’ confidence is soaring right now with back-to-back first-place finishes in their first three events this season, as the team has achieved two first-place finishes through their first three events.
Raymond Boyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.