ECAC Men’s Gymnastics Week 4 Preview: Tight conference matchups; Greenville, Simpson on byes

By William Gomez | January 25, 2024
The Springfield men's gymnastics team at the 2022 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.
© Amy Sanderson/Gymnastics Now

For the first time this season, we will be seeing only conference matchups in ECAC men’s gymnastics this week. No. 13 Springfield will take on No. 12 Army, and No. 15 William & Mary will put up a fight against No. 8 Navy.

Neither Greenville nor Simpson will be competing this weekend but will return next weekend for a dual meet against each other.

Here’s what you can expect in Week 4.

#13 Springfield @ #12 Army

Week 4 Matchup: Saturday, January 27 @ 1 p.m. ET | Springfield College @ Army | Video (YouTube)

Springfield

Springfield is coming off two good performances in a row. This week, they continue their streak of away meets, competing at Army for the second time this season. The Pride are sitting at an average of 377.200 after their first two meets, but can certainly increase that number if they can find their landings this weekend. Pommel horse has also been an area of weakness for the Pride, and they are hoping for five strong sets to keep up the momentum throughout the competition. 

Routines to watch:

  • Will Wilson’s vault: Wilson hit a great Kas 1.5 last weekend after a bit of a stumble in Week 1. He was fired up last weekend, and we should be expecting a similar performance this week after his 14.5 score at the Navy Open
  • Sam Kaplan’s parallel bars: Kaplan had a team-leading 13.1 at the Navy Open despite a pretty substantial form break on his Diamidov and a low landing on his double front dismount. If he’s able to hit a clean routine this weekend, you can expect him to push a 14 and contend for the title.

Army

After three weeks of being the underdog agaisnt primarily Big Ten teams, Army is now coming into a competition with an edge over its opponent. Luckily, being at home in a dual meet, they start on floor, which can be a make-or-break event for the Black Knights. If they hit five-for-five for the first time this season, we can expect them to carry that momentum throughout the remainder of the meet. If they continue to struggle, Springfield may be able to take advantage of the opportunity to take the lead and run with it.

Routines to watch:

  • Jackson Pophal’s parallel bars: Pophal made his debut on this event last weekend and has a nice set starting with a difficult Makuts. He had an impressive 9.0 execution as well, which he can improve on with more height and keeping his chest up on his double pike dismount.
  • Maddox Pabellon’s vault: Pabellon has had a few short landings on his Kas full so far this season. Look for him to use the motivation from the home crowd to get a nice block off the table and break into the 14s for the first time this year.

#15 William & Mary @ #8 Navy

Week 4 Matchup: Saturday, January 27th @ 2 p.m. ET | William & Mary @ Navy | Video – (William & Mary: Facebook Live) – (Navy: Facebook Live)

William & Mary

The Tribe has another tough matchup, traveling to Navy for the second weekend in a row to take on their top ECAC opponent. William & Mary showed tremendous improvement in Week 2 and can hopefully take advantage of competing in the same arena and on the same equipment again this week. They had a season-high team score last year of a 386 and will be looking to creep up on that number as we get further along in season.

Routines to watch:

  • Niko Greenly’s pommel horse: Greenly suffered two falls on this event last week, coming off on his Sivado and his Russian. With a hit set, he could be looking at a 13+ score, which is something the Tribe could use on this event.
  • Will Harrington’s floor: Harrington struggled a bit on floor last weekend but has great potential on this event. He was quite short on his opening double layout and had a rough landing on his full-twisting double back dismount. If he can grab those landings, it will be a great way to start on Saturday.

Navy

Navy is back at home this weekend after a successful second place performance at the Navy Open. The Midshipmen are favored in their first dual meet of the year, and will only one opponent, they should have no issue focusing on themselves and the small details that chipped away at their score last week. If all goes well, this squad could push the 400 mark.

Routines to watch:

  • Matthew Petros’ high bar: Petros started off his routine aggressively last week, going right to handstand on his Tak half, but was unfortunately too far from the bar on his following skill (layout Tkatchev) and came off. He will be looking to break 13 on this event for the first time this season. 
  • Ronan McQuillan’s pommel horse: McQuillan is a pommel horse specialist who is hungry for his first title of the season. He was bested by Springfield’s Peyton Cramer in Week 2 and had some trouble on his dismount last week. Expect a redeeming set from him this weekend.