Philadelphia, Pa. -- April 6-7, 2012 -- The Springfield College men's gymnastics placed second of six teams with one of its top finishes of the year in the ECAC-EIGL Championships on Friday night at Temple University's McGonigle Hall. On Saturday, sophomore Ryan Ponce claimed the still rings title to become an ECAC champion, and Steve Posner was named the EIGL Coach of the Year..
In this two-day event, the first night was reserved to crown the team title as well as the individual all-around title. Springfield College finished better than expected on the team side by placing second with 332.600 points, just one-tenth of a point short of its best score of the year (332.700 versus William & Mary on March 11 at Blake Arena).
In first place was host Temple University with a score of 347.400. In third place was three-time defending champion University of Illinois-Chicago with a tally of 332.300. UIC was followed by William & Mary at 330.400, Navy at 330.300, and Army at 325.700.
Springfield College has only won the ECAC-EIGL Team Championship once since 1926, and at that it was a co-title with Penn State in 1967. But in the 30 years that Posner has been the head coach here at Springfield, he had not even finished in the top three -- until this year's second-place finish.
Also determined on the individual side was the all-around competition. Andrew Faulk of Navy proved to be the winner with a score of 86.000. In second was Temple's Chris Mooney at 85.300. Others in the top eight included Joseph Hodges of UIC (83.900), Adam Al-Rokh of Temple ((83.000), Daniel Potemski of W&M (82.100), JJ Jindra of W&M (81.400), senior Ty Evans (San Jose, Calif.) of Springfield (81.000), and Futa Ikeda of W&M (80.700).
Because of the Friday evening events, several SC individuals had advanced to compete in the remaining individual events on Saturday afternoon. The top finisher was Ryan Ponce (Tolland, Conn.) in the still rings, who has finished first in that apparatus through just about the entire year. On this occasion, Ponce placed first with 14.500 points, thus winning the ECAC-EIGL title
SC's next top finisher was junior Jimmy Pezzino (Buffalo, N.Y.) in second in the floor exercise with a score of 14.750.
In the high bar, Evans finished in a tie for fifth (13.550). In the vault, SC placed 6-7-8 with sophomore Garrett DeSantis (Manalapan, N.J.) in sixth (14.050), junior Chris Jost (Ashland, Mass.) is seventh (14.000), and Evans in eighth (13.950). In the parallel bars, junior Rich Ruggiero (Northford, Conn.) was tenth at 13.400.
It now remains to be seen if any SC competitors will advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks (April 19-20) at the University of Oklahoma.