Men’s Gymnastics: Individual stars shine in NCAA Championships

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JAMIE HOLT / THE FLAT HAT

Saturday, April 20, William and Mary traveled to the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Gymnastics Championships.

This meet was the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season for the men, who sent a school-record 11 gymnasts to qualify for the NCAA Championships. This includes senior David Allen (high bar), sophomore Cutter Fugett (floor, pommel horse), senior Jacopo Gliozzi (pommel horse, rings), senior Jack Hasenkopf (vault), sophomore Collin Lillie (floor, vault), freshman Andrew Lyubovsky (parallel bars, high bar), junior Tim O’Neill (vault), freshman Kevin Portofee (all-around), sophomore Spencer Schrandt (pommel horse), senior David Watkins (rings) and junior Nate Winneg (all-around). Alternates included Fugett (parallel bars), Lyubovsky (floor, vault), sophomore Ian Creelman (parallel bars) and freshman Christian Gulotta (pommel horse).

The qualifying round showcased an impressive performance by the Tribe. In the all-around individual qualifiers, Portofee came in sixth with a 73.998, while Winneg came in eighth with a 71.332. For the floor exercise qualifiers, Fugett on floor tied for ninth with a 13.9, while Lillie placed 31st with a 13.033. On the pommel horse, Gliozzi tied for sixth with a 13.533, Fugett landed at 23rd with a 12.333, and Schrandt finished in 37th with a 10.833.

On rings, Watkins tied for ninth, earning a 13.866, while Gliozzi tied for 26th at a 13.433. For the vault, Lillie tied for fourth with a 14.566; O’Neill placed 14th with his 14.2, and Hasenkopf tied for 33rd with a 13.2. Tying for 26th on the parallel bars, Lyubovsky received a 12.466. Finally, on the horizontal bar, Allen earned a 12.666 and placed 25th, while Lyubovsky earned a 12.4 and placed 29th.

In the individual event finals, the Tribe sent a record three gymnasts to compete: Gliozzi on the pommel horse, Lillie on the vault, and Watkins on the still rings. First up was Gliozzi, who tied for 18th with a 13.333 for his performance on the pommel horse, giving the Tribe their only top-20 spot of the finals. Watkins finished soon after him on the rings, receiving a 13.566 and giving him the 31st spot overall. Lillie was the last to compete, and nearly got a top-20 finish, landing in 21st place after earning a 14.433 for his vault.

The record-breaking NCAA championships allowed the Tribe to end their season on a high note and set a high bar for next year’s 2019-2020 team.