The men’s gymnastics team dropped its alumni homecoming meet on Feb. 2 to Springfield University by a score of 400.250 to 397.450.
While Temple struggled in various events throughout the meet, one in particular jumped out to coach Fred Turoff.
“Right away, when I look at parallel bars, and I have four guys fall off, that means I count three points in falls,” Turoff said. “So that was disappointing.”
“Springfield came in and did a decent job,” Turoff added. “We had some nice performances here and there, but just not enough overall. One of my guys, Phil Pruett, fell off an apparatus in warm-up and hurt his back, so he couldn’t do floor, which hurts a little bit.”
Temple’s score in the parallel bars was its worst of the meet, at 63.600. Springfield scored a full three points higher with a score of 66.600.
The Owls started the meet off strong, with their first event being on the floor.
“I thought we started off pretty awesome [on the floor], and then our whole momentum started falling,” sophomore Evan Eigner said. “I thought we started the meet with a whole bunch of energy, the crowd was with us.”
The floor exercise was Temple’s best score, as the team posted a 68.500. Springfield scored under a point less on that event with a 67.300.
But after this fast start, senior co-captain Scott Haddaway said the wheels started to come off.
“There’s ups and downs, and there were a lot of improvements actually,” Haddaway said. “I think we let the meet get ahead of us, so we struggled in the middle, which affected the ending.”
A big positive in the meet was Evan Eigner’s performance on the rings, as he posted a score of 14.400.
“For me in rings, it’s just being confident,” Eigner said. “Being confident in the moves, and the team helps me a lot with that. Just being confident and relaxed are the two biggest parts of that event.”
Turoff further explained how his son has been able to excel on the rings.
“Evan is our strongest ring man,” Turoff said. “He holds things well and has some unusual strength, and the judges are rewarding him. Although he still has some flaws to fix up, but he’s certainly our leader on rings.”
Temple scored 65.400 on the rings as a team, which was over three points lower than Springfield’s score at 68.950.
The Owls’ best event was on the vault, as they scored a 69.400, .600 points higher than the Pride.
“I think everybody’s different in how they prepare for meets,” Haddaway said. “For me, I don’t like to think too much about what I’m going to be doing. I just talk to people, have fun, act as if I’m in a practice gym still. And then go do what I have to do.”
Next up for Temple is a meet at No. 6 Penn State on Saturday.
“The big thing is just getting your routines done,” Eigner said. “It’s numbers, numbers, numbers. If you hit routines in practice, you’re going to hit them in meets.”
“I think if we get in the gym, and I’m definitely going to push people to get their stuff done, we’re going to push for cleaner sets and hopefully raise our scores,” Haddaway said.
Turoff just wants to see improvement from his team.
“Penn State’s team is an extremely strong team, stronger than ours,” he said. “What we’re going to do is try and go up there and look better. And if we look better, that’s what I’m happy about.”
Steve Bohnel can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.