Leonard's Two Titles Stands Out In West Point Open Individual Finals

Leonard's Two Titles Stands Out In West Point Open Individual Finals


– After a tight finish Friday night, the No. 13 Temple men's gymnastics squad sent eight gymnasts to Saturday's event final at the West Point Open.  Temple excelled on the night, taking first place in four events, including floor exercise, high bar, parallel bars and the vault. 

Senior John Leonard nabbed two first place finishes, including a stellar performance sin the floor exercise with his score of 14.550, while classmate Alex Tighe secured a top-three finish in three different events and freshman Jon Rydzefski notched two top-three finishes on his respective apparatuses, making it a successful and impressive night for the Owls.

Senior Allan Malone and co-captain Evan Burke finished second and third competing on floor.  Malone scored 14.500, while Burke tallied 14.450 to make it an impressive finish for the Owls on floor.

While excelling on floor, Temple took first and second on high bar with Tighe leading the way with 14.300 followed by Rydzefski. 

Tighe followed his notable performance on the high bars with a first place finish scoring 14.400 on the parallel bars.  Temple also took this event with a first, second and third place finish.  Co-captain Taylor Brana (13.900) and Rydzefski (13.800) finished on the podium with two solid routines.

Following all of these strong routines, Leonard followed his winning floor exercise with another first place finish. On vault, he slightly beat Army's Ikaika Jakub by .050, with his score of 14.350.

Continuing the impressive night for Temple, gymnasts Brendan Williams and Tighe tied for second on the pommel horse behind only Army's Garrek Hojan-Clark.  Sophomore Michael Bittner finished fourth scoring 13.500 to add another solid performance for the Owls.

Also helping TU to a big night, senior Dashiell Sears took a close finish behind Springfield's Ryan Ponce on rings, scoring 14.050, which was just .050 off Ponce's earned total. Meanwhile, freshman Evan Eigner added to Temple's successful night with a fifth place finish (13.700). 

Select members of the team will represent Temple later this week at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 7. Competition is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. PT.
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