Men’s gymnastics places first, women’s fourth in ECACs

The men’s team won all six events on senior day at McGonigle Hall.

Saturday was a busy day for Temple gymnastics.

On their senior day, men’s gymnastics (12-6) posted an overall team score of 417.350 ousting Navy (405.000) and Army (403.800) to win first place at the competition. Meanwhile women’s gymnastics (6-25) finished in fourth place at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships with a season high team score of 192.175, falling to ECAC title winner, The University of Pennsylvania (193.725), Cornell (193.250), and William and Mary (192.950), while defeating Yale (192.100) and Brown (191.500).

Senior day was kicked off with men’s coach Fred Turoff recognizing his senior’s in front of the home crowd at McGonigle Hall, each senior was announced and walked out to Turoff who presented them with flowers. The rest of the day was then dominated by in the men’s events by Temple, which won event titles on all six events.

Freshman Jon Rydzefski led the way for the Owls. In the all-around, Rydzefski totaled 82.750, the best all-around score of the day. While senior Brett Statmann won the event title on vault (14.450), senior Dash Sears won rings (14.550), graduate student Evan Burke won floor exercise (14.600), senior Alex Tighe won high bar and pommel horse (15.200) and (14.100), and graduate student Taylor Brana completed the sweep with his 13.950 on parallel bars.

“We performed better than we have in the last two weeks,” Turoff said. “And that was encouraging.”

Next, men’s gymnastics will prepare for the ECAC Championships to take place on April 5, at Springfield, competition to begin at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the women’s fourth place finish at their ECAC finals was something that coach Aaron Murphy was very proud of.

“I’m definitely a very proud coach,” Murphy said. “We had our season high with a 192.175, we just pulled our girls together and told them ‘we want to have you guys go out there and not only prove to yourselves but prove to everyone else that you guys are a 192 team’ and it was really nice to see that come true for them, and they really performed a great effort today.”

Sophomore Natali Ruzich led the Owls on two events, taking home a third place medal for her performance on floor exercise where she posted a 9.850, and opened up the day for Temple with a team high 9.650 on vault. Along with Ruzich’s 9.850, sophomore Lauren Capone scored a career best 9.800 on floor, leading Temple to a season high team score of 48.875 on the apparatus.

For his efforts this year, Murphy has been named the ECAC Coach of the Year. Even though Temple only managed six victories all season, Murphy showed his ability to get the most out of his lineups when several times he was forced to make last minute lineup adjustments due to pre-meet injuries. Murphy’s leadership helped lead the Owl’s gymnast in winning eight ECAC weekly awards throughout the course of the season. It is the second time in his seven years at the helm of Temple women’s gymnastics that Murphy he has been given this award.

As a team, women’s gymnastics is done for the season, they now wait to see which members will qualify for the USAG Championship at Cetenary College, which will be held April 11-13.

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