Since the cut in 2014, Temple Men's Gymnastics was on its destined four-year decline of team size, morale, and performance; but after some extensive behind the scenes work, the Navy Open this past weekend marked a pivotal moment for the future of this program. Not only was this the first time in two years that Temple was able to field a full team in competition, but this group of Owls exhibited an important characteristic that we have not seen in a long time: purpose. As a former competitor on this team, I knew what that looked like and felt like, and I saw it again this past weekend.
Collegiate gymnastics is so enticing and energetic because it is built around a group of individuals that come together to pursue common goals. These goals are most often established through passion and purpose. These intangible traits of a team cannot be forced and sadly they were missing for the past four years until now. Now that Temple's program is being rebuilt, has a clear direction, and is part of the Gymnastics Association of College Teams (GymACT), we are gaining the necessary momentum to succeed as a program again.
There was a strong showing of TUMG alumni at the Navy Open. We had a complete combination of coaches, judges, spectators and competitors at the meet. It was also exciting to have our parents and fans in the audience supporting this young new team.
Back row (L-R): Evan Eigner, Misha Kustin, Ed Yakuchev, Jason Rushton, Joe Rank, John Leonard, Jordan Motter, Walt Kenney, Macey Watson, Jesse Kitzen-Abelson
Middle row (L-R): Fred Turoff, Toby Warren, Nicolino DiBattista, Orion Kelly, Garrett McDaniel, Forrest Kelly, Ben Ewing
Front row (L-R): Evan Salters, Taden Thurber, Jackson Heitland
Although it was nowhere near a perfect competition for Temple, this new team competed with pride while laying down a new foundation for the future. For the junior gymnasts out there that want to contribute to this team and restore the pride and tradition of the Temple Owls, apply to Temple University!