ECAC Men’s Gymnastics Week 7 Recap: Greenville breaks program record (again!), Springfield rising

By William Gomez | February 20, 2024
Greenville's Ricky Mays and Jake Bonnay at the 2023 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.
© Amy Sanderson/Gymnastics Now

The level of gymnastics is elevating in ECAC men’s gymnastics as we near the Winter Cup break and the latter half of the season. Greenville and Army both earned season highs in a tri-meet against Nebraska, while William & Mary and Springfield continue to improve.

Here’s what happened in Week 7.

#10 Greenville & #11 Army @ #5 Nebraska

Final score: Nebraska: 412.900, Greenville: 395.700 – Army: 393.550


The climb continues for the Panthers, improving on their team score for the fifth straight week, this time besting their previous program record that they set just two weeks ago at Simpson.

Rings was the Panthers’ first event of the day, and they didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for. Sergey Popov struggled on the event, not breaking 12 after consistently scoring 13s throughout the season. They turned the page on floor, nearly reaching their season high. Zach Connelly found his groove again, nailing his full-twisting double back for a big 14.2 and second place. 

They switched around their lineup on pommel horse, and it paid off. The Panthers earned a season-high 66.75 after four big 13+ scores. Landon Benas moved from leadoff to fourth up and earned a career-high 13.55 for his set. Their new leadoff didn’t disappoint either, with Koby Cantu going 13.75 to start them off – a team high on the day.

High bar was next, with five strong hits to keep the Panthers in the mix with Army. They were looking to pull away from the Black Knights on vault, and they did just that. Four strong vaults paved the way for a beautifully stuck Kas 1.5 from Watterson in the anchor spot, where he was rewarded with a huge 15.0 and the title. Ending on parallel bars, they were seeking their first win over a Division I team. A big 65.65 solidified that, as they edged out Army by just over two points.

Greenville returns to competition at home on Saturday, March 2 against William & Mary.


In a tough tri-meet, Army earned a season-high team score of 393.55 after seven straight weeks of competition.

They began the day on pommel horse, where you could see their determination to hit. Many of the athletes showed some signs of struggle on the dismount but covered it up quickly and earned four scores of 13+, the highest coming from Maddox Pabellon (13.9).

Rings was consistent, and floor was huge for them, earning a season-high 67.1, with the final three athletes earning season-high scores as well. Max Rubin had a 13.55 for his routine, where he was able to improve on his landings from weeks past. Jaden Blank had a nicely stuck double front in his routine (13.7), and Franco Peirano nailed his full-twisting double (13.6).

The Black Knights had some issues on parallel bars, with a big form break on Steven Manolakis’ Honma, a fall from Blaze Kennedy on his dismount, and a near fall from Noah Duran on his dismount as well. Jackson Pophal was solid though, cleanly moving through his routine to earn the only 13 of the rotation with a 13.3.

They were dialed in on high bar, earning a 63.8 for five clean, hit routines. Ending on their strongest event, vault, they did not hold back in the slightest, earning yet another season-high score, 71.45.

Army will have their first bye week of the season following Winter Cup. The Black Knights return to action on Saturday, March 9, when they face Springfield and William & Mary.

#12 Springfield @ #4 Michigan

Final score: Michigan: 407.750 – Springfield: 384.850

Springfield had a great competition against No. 4 Michigan, earning their second-highest score of the season (384.850).

In this tri-meet (also featuring GymACT’s Arizona State), they began on rings, where they showed tremendous improvements on their dismounts in particular. The Pride looked strong to the end, having great chest positions and landings on nearly all of their dismounts, especially from Peyton Cramer, who nailed his double layout to grab third place (13.25).

They struggled on floor, counting a leadoff fall from Matt Browne’s difficult routine, an out-of-bounds from Sam Kaplan, and another fall from Will Wilson. Evan Reichert and Dominic Ramalho did a great job closing them out strong. That shift in momentum made a huge impact on pommel horse, where they had a lights-out rotation. Jaden Laubstein started them off strong (12.8) and was immediately followed by Gio Mantia, who earned a season-high 13.4. The hits continued, and Cramer’s day continued with a massive 14.35 – the outright winner for the evening.

High bar followed, where they seemed to keep the momentum going from their previous event. They were not too cautious, being aggressive on the landings and getting great distance on their release elements. On vault, Wilson missed his block on his difficult Kas 1.5 and came up short. With a hit, they would have been right in line with their typical scores. Kaplan competed on vault for the all-around, where his hands slipped on the table, but he managed to keep it on his feet. The Pride finished strong on parallel bars, and Kaplan took the all-around title with a 75.05.

Springfield will return to competition on Saturday, March 2 at Penn State.

#13 William & Mary vs. #8 California (Virtual)

Final score: California: 393.150  – William & Mary: 376.900

In their first virtual competition of the year, the Tribe put up a strong showing against No. 8 California, largely in part by the all-around return of Aidan Cuy. Cuy has steadily moved his way into more lineups this season as he was recovering from injury, culminating in his all-around debut this past weekend (76.6).

They followed the dual format and started on floor, where Will Harrington improved once again, sticking his opening double layout and having a clean landing on his difficult dismount, an open full-twisting double tuck (12.6). They had some issues in the latter half of the lineup but were closed off strong by Cuy, who had the highest score of the rotation (12.65) in his season debut on the event. Unfortunately, his score was purely for the all-around total and did not count for the team.

Similar to floor, pommel horse had strong leadoffs, but that momentum fell through toward the end. Going on to rings, the commentators mentioned their experiences with virtual competitions, and how they are often a bit tougher on rings. That did seem to be the case, with a strong rotation from William & Mary that was not quite reflected by their scores. Niko Greenly, however, was undeniable in his execution and flair, earning third place with a 13.4.

On vault, Garrett Kasiski went for the big handspring double front but could not find the landing this week. Sam Lee hit his Kas 1.5 again, grabbing second place (14.45) along with Cal’s Khalen Curry. Cuy and Jared Noyman led off parallel bars with a pair of 13.15s, sharing third place. Cuy capped off his strong all-around debut with a drilled landing on his high bar dismount, earning a 12.6 to total a 76.6. Ricky Pizem’s consistency on the event is improving, getting the perfect distance on his Kolman and sticking his dismount to grab another third-place finish for the Tribe (12.75).

William & Mary will return to competition on Friday, March 1 against Illinois and Simpson.

#1 Oklahoma @  #14 Simpson

Final score: Oklahoma: 400.600  – Simpson: 360.950

Simpson was put in a tough situation this week, battling against the top team in the country, Oklahoma. Luckily they were competing at home, but nerves seemed to take over, as they scored their lowest team score of the season (360.950).

Following the regular dual format, they began on the floor, where they struggled right from the start. Jack Campbell led off the rotation with a hit, but he had a hard time finding his landings, taking a big step on his opening triple full and stumbling back on his back 1.5 to punch layout. Christopher Duane had a similar error, coming up short on his back half to punch front full. Milo Staley followed with a stumble out of bounds on his opening Randi and went out of bounds again on his back 1.5 to punch front tuck, which is normally a front layout. They were looking for a strong finish from Sterling Pariza, but he unfortunately took two falls. 

On the next event, pommel horse, they needed to let go and move on from floor, which they did well. Christian Romero got them off to a great start (12.0) and had Jake Sweeten, Alex Catchpole, and Pariza to keep it going. The nerves showed on rings, with several balance errors on handstands. Brian Rollison continued to show his strength on rings, fighting for the stick on his dismount to grab third place on the event (13.1).

They downgraded a couple of vaults, which lowered their team score, but they hit solid. There were a few errors on parallel bars, but the Storm were closed out strong by Pariza, who got back on track to earn a 13.2 and tie for third with Oklahoma’s Adriel Perales.

Pariza concluded his all-around performance on high bar, totaling a 73.05 and grabbing the title as the sole all-around competitor. Sweeten had a difficult time finding the timing of his Tkatchev, but Jake Smith had his back and finished out the meet with a commendable 12.5

Simpson returns to competition on Friday, March 1 against William & Mary and Illinois.