The men’s gymnastics team had their first home match on Sunday. They hosted the Temple Owls. Temple prevailed overall, beating the Pride 408.750 to 398.300.
There was a very large crowd on hand at Blake Arena. The women’s gymnastics team had their last home meet of the season. The pre-meet ceremonies made it a very special start to the afternoon.
The Pride came up just short in the contest. Despite that, they had some great performances. Junior Ryan Ponce won the still rings competition. Ponce easily won the event with a score of 15.350. Behind Ponce was Temple’s Assaf Zoor, with 13.50 points.
Ponce, a junior from Tolland, Conn., was very pleased with the way he performed in the event.
“I am happy about that. I did a lot better than I did in the first meet,” Ponce said.
Freshman Jonathan Zirna had a solid showing in the all-around event. Zirna finished second in that event, right behind Temple Owl Allan Malone. Malone finished with 81.050 points, while Zirna put together 79.650 points.
Captain Joe Carlson had a good performance to help out the Pride. The senior from Naugatuck, Conn., tied for fourth in the pommel horse competition. He finished with 13.900 points. His teammates Pat Ryther and Jonathan Zirna finished in second and third, respectively. First place was awarded to Temple’s Mike Bittner, with 14.300 points. Bittner just barely edged out Zirna, who had 14.200 points.
Carlson was pleased with his performance.
“I feel that I did well,” Carlson said. “It was a huge boost of confidence to hit the routine I was working on.”
Carlson’s teammate, Killian O’Brien, also competed Sunday afternoon. O’Brien, a junior from Fishers, Ind. competed in a number of exercises. He finished 12th in the high bars, 12th in the floor exercise, and 10th in the vault competition. O’Brien gave a great effort in each of the events he competed in, but he just didn’t feel that he performed the way he would have liked.
“I could have done better. I messed up some skills at first,” O’Brien said.
The Pride feel that they are improving as the season continues. Working on certain things is what will make them better.
“I have been doing a lot of repetition and just maintaining my skills,” O’Brien added.
Ponce has high aspirations for this season.
“I’m looking to win an ECAC title, and hopefully make it to the NCAAs,” he said.
The men’s gymnastics team continues their season on Friday. They travel to West Point, N.Y. to compete against Army. Their next home match is Sunday, Feb. 17 where they will be hosting the New England Invitational Championships.