Men’s gymnastics: College takes second in USAG championship

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April 2, 2012

8:44 PM

As the old adage goes, it doesn’t matter how you start —it only matters how you finish. William and Mary’s regular season finished up well in Boulder, Colo. as the Tribe took second overall in the team portion of the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships Friday while six College gymnasts garnered nine All-American honors in Saturday’s individual competitions.

The Tribe posted its best score of the season, with a 331.85 that reaped runner-up honors. Air Force made the most of the home advantage, claiming the title with a 341.05. Navy rounded out the top three with a 326.9, while Springfield finished in fourth with a 324.35.

Three College gymnasts claimed All-American honors in all around. Freshman J.J. Jindra made the most of his first USAG event, claiming second place with a 82.2. Sophomore Daniel Potemski finished in fourth with an 81.6, edging out junior Futa Ikeda, who finished in fifth with 79.25.

Potemski led the College on the floor with a 14.4, tying a season best. Junior Matt Burns and freshman Michael Deitz followed closely behind, posting 14.35 and 14.0, respectively. The trio’s efforts helped the Tribe post a season-best 56.6 on the floor exercise.

In the pommel horse, Potemski and senior Steve Deutsch both earned berths in Saturday’s individual events with a pair of impressive performances. Potemski notched a 13.85 while Deutsch recorded a 13.6. After his impressive Wroutine in the pommel horse, Deutsch then posted a career-high 14.4 on the rings, finishing sixth. Ikeda also advanced to the individual finals in the rings with a career-high 14.2.

Potemski’s big day continued as he tied for second in the vault with a 14.4, which helped the Tribe to a 55.35.

The parallel bars also went well for the College, with Ikeda’s 13.8 and junior Kris Yeager’s 14.05. The College concluded the day with a 53.95 on the bars, highlighted by Jindra’s 13.85.

The College went into Saturday’s individual event finals with a great deal of confidence following Friday’s impressive team showing. Potemski was again at the forefront of the Tribe’s success. The sophomore began the day with a fourth-place showing in the floor exercise, edging out Burns’ score by .05. Springfield’s Jimmy Pezzino won the event with a 14.9 total.

Potemski then tied for fourth in the pommel horse, sharing a 13.15 with Deutsch. Navy’s Chris Junghans paced the field with a 13.7 while Air Force’s James Okamoto finished in second with 13.4.

In the vault, Potemski took third place, missing out on first place by just .15.  Pezzino claimed second place for Springfield with a 14.5, while Ben Zaiser’s 14.6 allowed the Falcons to take first.

Deutsch and Ikeda led the College on the rings. Deutsch earned All-American status with a 14.3, giving him a sixth-place finish Saturday. Ikeda finished in eighth with a respectable 14.15.

While Potemski, Deutsch and Ikeda featured in multiple individual events, several other Tribe athletes competed in the individual finals as well. Jindra finished in fourth on the high bar with a 13.6, while Burns recorded a fifth-place finish on the floor with a 13.8. Yeager also placed well on the parallel bars, notching a sixth-place finish with a 13.7.

The College will continue its postseason this Friday and Saturday, when it travels to Philadelphia to compete in the ECAC Team Championships.

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  • Mike Barnes

Senior staff writer Mike Barnes '13 is a Marketing and English double major from Fredericksburg, Va. Mike was previously Editor-in-Chief, Sports Editor and Associate Sports Editor.