By Kevin Saxe
Home for the first time this season, the Springfield College men’s gymnastics team went toe to toe with Army. The Pride narrowly fell 382.650 to 381.100 in a match that came down to the last event to decide a winner.
Despite the loss for the Pride, there were a number of positives to take from the day including improving on their season high score by 4.2 points. Even though the Pride ended up on the wrong side of the decision on the scoreboard, Head Coach Matt Davis was pleased with the growth in his team.
“Overall we look to build every day. In the gym we saw some big corrections that we saw today. We had some guys who made some adjustments, better landings, better execution in their routines and the best part is we still can make a lot of improvement,” he said.
For the last four years the model of consistency has been Stephen Lewis, and he showed that as he delivered a 77.50 on the all-around with his lowest score still being a solid 12.500 on the floor. Lewis’ day was highlighted by a 13.9 on the vault and a 13.1 on the pommel horse.
The day however, was not just about Lewis but the guys in the younger classes stepping up with big scores. Two in particular were first-year Dominic Ramalho and junior Collin Maberry.
Ramalho competed on every event except for pommel horse and had his day highlighted by a 13.7 on the floor and a 13.5 on the vault. Maberry, who competed on the parallel bars and pommel horse, tied for the team high on the p-bars with a 12.8 and also added a 12.5 on the pommel horse.
Their performances did not go unnoticed by Davis.
“Collin [Maberry] works real hard every day in the gym,” he said. “He really nailed his routines and we really saw the work and dedication pay off. Dominic Ramalho is someone who continues to gain confidence every day. You can see it in his routines when he salutes he’s ready to go.”
The Pride would start the day on the floor where they would end with a score of 63.150 highlighted by Ramalho’s 13.7 along with junior John Murphy’s 12.6. Moving to the pommel horse the Pride would score 61 more than two points better than their season average.
Lewis took first on the event with his 13.1 and junior Jack Vollo would take second just one tenth behind Lewis at 13.00. In the third event, the rings, the Pride were led by sophomore Christian Wilkey who scored a 13.1. Wilkey who competed for the second consecutive week on the all-around scored a 72.450. Outside of a rough pommel horse routine for Wilkey, it was a solid day and one that Davis was happy about.
“[Christian] Wilkey is getting into the all-around score now,” he said. “He’s contributing on five events and then competing on horse for the all-around score.”
The Pride’s high score came on the vault when they would score an even 69 points in an impressive showing where the lowest of the top five scores was still an impressive 13.5 from Ramalho. Murphy led the way with a 14.2 followed by Lewis with a 13.9 and freshmen Jakarie Williams with a 13.8.
On the parallel bars the Pride would be led by Wilkey and Maberry and tie for second overall in the competition with a 12.8 in an event where the Pride would score a 63.500, over three points higher than their season average.
Closing out the day clinging to a lead of just over a point, Army would finish with the top four scores in the event to clinch the competition. For the Pride, Lewis led the way on the event with a 12.550, and as a team they would score a 61.400.
Moving forward, the Pride will have a weekend off from competition as they gear up to face Illinois in Champaign on Feb. 9. Davis is looking forward to competing against some of the top competition in the country.
“It’s going to be a great experience for our young guys to get out there and see some other talent and see a team we don’t usually compete against,” he said. “For us we don’t really concentrate on the other teams we concentrate on doing our job out there and that’s what we’re going to work on.”
Photo courtesy of Joe Arruda