By Kevin Saxe
After hosting the Division III NCAA men’s basketball tournament the last two nights, Springfield College men’s gymnastics took over Blake Arena. Facing off against ECAC foe William and Mary, the Pride fell 383.550-377.700.
Despite some rough patches for the team today, Springfield head coach Matt Davis was pleased with his team’s ability to finish routines even after a fall.
“Something we work on as a young team is mental toughness,” he said. “What was great was while we did have some mistakes the guys reacted really well afterwards and finished their routines.”
On the young Springfield team, there is a core group of senior leaders who played a pivotal role in the team finishing routines strong on Sunday.
“We have some great leaders on the team,” said Davis. “Some upperclassmen including Jeremy Vera, Nick Cramer, Luke Wilcox, Matt Degrandpre, GC (Giancarlo Lawrence), and even Steve (Lewis) who isn’t as vocal but he works hard and the guys follow. They kind of look up to them, and I think they are starting to figure it out.”
The meet would start on the floor exercise with the Pride scoring a 63.8, while William and Mary scored a 65.7. The Pride were led by first-year Dominic Ramalho with a 13.2 and junior John Murphy with a 13.0. Senior Tomas Palma won the event for the Tribe after producing a stellar routine that earned a 13.9. The Tribe also got a 13.1 and a 13.05 from sophomores Andrew Lyubovsky and Kevin Portofee, respectively.
On the pommel horse, the Pride struggled and scored a measly 58.650 compared to the Tribe’s 62.550. Winning the event from William and Mary was sophomore Christian Gulotta with a score of 13.0 followed by teammate and classmate Christian Marsh with a 12.6. The Pride were led by juniors Collin Mayberry and Jack Vollo with 12.45 and 12.3, respectively.
Concluding the first half of the meet were the rings. Leading the Pride was Ramalho with 13.05 and Lewis with a 12.75. For the Tribe they were led by the high score on the event from Marsh with a solid 13.5 and Lyubovsky who scored a 12.95.
This season, the Pride has seen underclassmen make impressive contributions in each meet. Sunday was no different as first-year Dominic Ramalho stood out. Ramalho, who has been competing in the all-around for the Pride, has taken a much bigger role early in his career than Davis expected.
“When I was looking at him to come to the school, I could always see huge potential in college,” Davis said. “I wasn’t honestly expecting him to take this much of a step in his first year here. You can see it meet by meet he’s getting more confident. It’s become one of those routines when he salutes you know it’s going to hit.”
In the fourth event, each team posted their highest score on any event in the meet. The Pride earned a 69.7 on the vault while William and Mary received a 69.3. Ramalho took first with a 14.4, and was followed closely by Lewis with a 14.3 and Murphy with a 14.15, rounding out the top three for the event.
On parallel bars the Tribe got a team score of 63.1, while the Pride put up a 61.55. Cuy won the event with a 13.2 to lead the Tribe. The Pride were led by sophomore Christian Wilkey who finished second in the event with a 13.05 and Lewis who finished third with a 12.8.
Ending the day on the high bar, the Pride scored a 61.6 while the Tribe scored a 60.650. Leading the way for the Pride was Lewis who won the event with a 13.0 and sophomore Kyle Lukaesko with a 12.65. For the Tribe they were led by Portofee with a 12.9 and junior Ian Creelman with a 12.55. Lewis would also finish first in the all-around with a 77.55.
Up next for the Pride will be a road contest with Army on Saturday Mar. 14 at 1:00 p.m., before returning home for their final regular season meet also against Army on Mar. 21 at 1:00 p.m. which will also be the Pride’s senior day.
Photo courtesy of Gabby Guerard