By Kevin Saxe
The Springfield College men’s gymnastics program celebrated their senior night on Sunday in an unfortunate 387.900 – 383.050 defeat to the Midshipmen of Navy.
The men’s team features a young squad that has had very dedicated senior leadership behind the experiences presented by Jannik Haas and Joe Medina. Haas has received three NCGA All-American selections that have been rooted in his expertise on the parallel bars and horizontal bar. Meanwhile, Medina has been a recipient of the ECAC Athlete of the Week and has honed in his skill on the mats through the culmination of his Division III athletic career. Through their accomplishments, head coach Matthew Davis realizes the shoes that will have to be filled in May, when his seniors receive their diplomas.
“Jannik [Haas] and Joe [Medina] definitely have stepped into leadership roles this year. They’ve taken what they do in the gym and a lot of guys see what they do and how hard they work and that’s what we’re looking for, for the younger gymnasts that come in to copy them. Their two leaders we’re going to miss but their impact will definitely be felt.
As a senior, Haas’ presence was felt in the regular season finale. The All-American shined on the bars where he posted a 13.250 on the parallel bars and a 13.2 on the horizontal bar in his final appearance in Blake Arena.
The Pride was led by junior Stephen Lewis on the scoresheet. Lewis, who finished with a 79.250 in the all-around, also led the Pride on the floor (13.7), pommel horse (13.2), rings (13.4), and vault (14.1).
For the men, as has been the case all season with their young core, every meet gives insight and experience to the underclassmen that compete. Davis harped on the experience the younger gymnasts have gained and how it showed during their final regular season meet.
“Overall we did a lot of things better than we did in our last competition,” Davis said. “This year as a young team, we’re looking to gain a lot of experience and how guys react to situations in a meet is what we’re really looking for.”
In addition to the outstanding performance by Lewis, the Pride also received a career-best showing out of Nick Cramer, who posted a 13.050 on the rings.
The men will be traveling to West Point for their next meet on March 9. Before that meet, Davis hopes to continue the process of instilling confidence within his athletes and their routines.
“It’s about having confidence in your routines, Davis said. “Limiting the falls in gymnastics is important because if you fall it’s a full point off. We don’t have high starts but what we have to do is clean routines. Execution is something we’re looking for.”
Featured photo courtesy Springfield College Athletics