The No. 13 men’s gymnastics (17-6) have won the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship for the second time in consecutive years, and the 18th time under head coach Fred Turoff’s 37 years at the helm of men’s gymnastics. This year’s ECAC championship came right down to the wire, with the top three teams only separated by 2.300 points. University of Illinois-Chicago scored 409.350, William and Mary scored 410.450, and Temple won with a 411.650. In retaining the title, the Owls get an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
“This was one of the closest [ECAC Championship] meets we’ve had in quite a while,” Turoff said. “It was a very exciting meet and I am very proud of how our guys handled the pressure and came through.”
The Owls took home three of six event titles at the ECAC’s. Having the highest overall team score on floor (70.850), still rings (70.500) and on the horizontal bar (68.100),
Seniors Allan Malone and Alex Tighe led the way for the Owls, along with freshman Jon Rydzefski. In the all-around both Malone and Rydzefski received identical scores of 81.600, the highest among all Temple gymnasts and good enough for a fourth place finish overall. While Tighe took home the ECAC title on parallel bars with his 14.500 on the apparatus.
Temple will send nine gymnasts to the individual event finals, as they placed in the top eight in their respective events. Along with parallel bars, Tighe will compete in pommel horse (13.700), and horizontal bar (14.150). On floor exercise will be Malone (14.600), graduate student Evan Burke (14.200), and junior John Leonard (14.350).
Along with Tighe on horizontal bar will be Malone (14.000) and Rydzefski (14.050), while Burke (14.400) and senior Brett Statman (14.500) will represent Temple on the vault.
Lastly, on still rings will be senior Assaf Zoor (14.400), senior Dashiell Sears (14.3), and graduate student and captain Taylor Brana (14.2). The individual event finals will begin Saturday at 6 p.m.
Overall, on once again winning the ECAC championship Turoff said, “It’s wonderful; it’s a great reward for the guys.”
Next the Owls will head to the 2013 NCAA Championships, which will be held April 20-21 at Penn State University.