Consistency in any sport is the measure of a true champion.
Senior co-captain Alex Weber fits that billing.
The four-year phenom on the Temple men’s gymnastics team has solidified himself as the most dependable and consistent gymnast during his tenure at Temple.
Weber has been voted the most consistent gymnast by his teammates the past two years and his performances speak for themselves.
Weber is the proclaimed leader for this Owl’s squad.
He leads by example and lets his gymnastics do the talking.
Weber recently won the Eastern Collegiate Althletic Conference all-around title.
Teammate Richie Maguire won the same honor at last years’ ECAC Championships.
Senior co-captain Mike Ast says the team can always count on Weber to pull through.
“He’s been the heart and soul of our team since freshman year,” Ast said.
“Not only is he our best gymnast, he’s our leader.
Whenever the team is down and you’re worried about what is going on, Alex gets out onto the floor and gets it done.
His integrity and confidence make the rest of the team feel confident and that makes him a great leader.
He instills confidence in others.”
Weber values the leadership role he has been thrust into.
His humble attitude personifies the team player that teammates and coaches boast of.
“It’s definitely a better honor than any individual accomplishment you can achieve: to have a group of people following you into battle,” Weber said.
“Up until a gymnast comes to college there isn’t a lot of team exposure. When you come to college you have to adjust to team victory.
It’s nice to win the all-around but team victory far surpasses individual victory when 20 of your friends are standing on first place with you.”
Weber also led his team to another ECAC Championship this season with an impressive individual showing on the all-around.
His score of 53.20 set the high mark for the field.
Out of all the events Weber participates in, pommel horse is the one event he is most proud of.
“It’s always been my best,” he said.
“In high school I was a national champion on pommel horse. Ever since then its been the best thing that I do.
I can always count on getting a nine every time.”
Head coach Fred Turoff calls Weber the “backbone of the team.”
He says Weber’s performance at ECACs personified the type of gymnast he has become.
Alex credits much of his development to the coaching staff.
“I like to think of college coaches as a tool to perfect what you have already accomplished,” Weber said.
“Fred has taken the raw product and made it into something very refined.
He has changed every routine and event and made me a better gymnast.
He has the technical aspect of gymnastics down better than any coach I’ve ever had.”
Heading into ECACs as the reigning champions and trying to repeat their performance of last year was an imposing challenge for Weber and his teammates.
Coming out on top again this year was a shining moment in his career.
“It was an amazing feeling because it was my final meet in the ECAC,” Weber said.
“It was a great meet to because we weren’t doing well at the start of the competition and we really picked it up towards the end.
It was a great victory and all the fans in the stands could tell you the same thing.”
This modest individual feels as though he has gotten everything he can out of the sport and the national competition will be his curtain call as a gymnast.
He plans to stop competing after nationals, but he has set some simple goals.
He wants to win pommel horse and maybe become an All-American in the process.
Individual accomplishments aside, there is one thing he will always cherish more than anything else in his illustrious career.
“I cannot get anything more out of the sport than I have,” he said.
“The bond I have formed with my teammates is amazing.
We are all brothers and there is no doubt that we would all give anything to help each other.”
Sports revolve around a team concept, and the mindset of your leaders sets a barometer for the success of the team.
Weber is a leader that will give anything to propel his team to victory.
“Without Alex we wouldn’t be where we are now.
We’d be a Division III team or something. He is so good all the time and always underrepresented and under respected,” Ast said.
“He constantly performs well in the face of adversity and never fell victim to the lack of respect many have given him.
He’s stepped up every time and proven himself.
When he sets his mind to something nothing can stop him.
“He is such a perfect example of what a college athlete should be.
He is a good student, great athlete and really dedicated to the team and the sport.
He exemplifies what every coach, or teammate could ask out of a guy on the team.”
Doug Saylor can be reached at Dgsylr@temple.edu.