No. 10 Temple didn’t take its competition lightly at the Eastern College Athletic Championships, entering as a nine-point favorite, as the Owls won their first team title in four years after competing in six events on Friday, April 6 at McGonigle Hall.
The Owls claimed the conference title by nearly 15 points, scoring 347.400 total points, which is a new school record team score. For coach Fred Turoff, the conference championship was No. 17 in his 36-year coaching career at Temple.
“It’s always nice to be the champion,” Turoff said. “The guys did great and they were by far the best team out there and it’s going to be nice having that trophy in the case.”
Springfield (Mass.) placed second in the meet with a score of 332.600 and three-time defending ECAC champions, Illinois-Chicago, finished in third with 332.300. In the previous two seasons, Temple finished as runners-up to UIC.
Senior Chris Mooney led the squad with a second place overall all-around finish and a season-best score of 85.300. Senior Adam Al-Rokh placed fourth in the all-around competition with 83.000.
“I was thrilled with the team to win the ECACs at home for the first time since I’ve been on the team,” Mooney said. “It’s my senior year and I couldn’t ask anything more than that.”
During individual event competition on Saturday, April 7, a pair of Owls took top honors as senior Matt Martin and sophomore John Leonard each placed first in their respective events. Martin performed on the vault and scored a season-high of 15.400 and Leonard took first in the floor exercise with 14.750-t.
The next stop for the Owls will be Oklahoma, as the team will compete at the NCAA Championships on April 20. The Owls last won the NCAA men’s gymnastics team competition in 1949 and were runner’s up in 1950.
Check The Temple News’ print edition on Tuesday for more coverage of the men’s gymnastics team.