Kevin Tan Wins Third Consecutive Rings Crown at Winter Cup Challenge
Feb. 10, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Penn State men's gymnastics assistant coach Kevin Tan captured the still rings championship in the finals of the 2008 Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas on Saturday evening, giving him titles in the event in three consecutive years. The former six-time All-American and two-time NCAA rings champion dominated the competition, topping the second place-finisher by nearly a full point.
Tan recorded a 16.350 in the preliminaries and a 16.100 in the finals, the two-highest scores in the event on both days, for a total of 32.450. Team Chevron teammate and former Ohio State standout Raj Bhavsar placed second (31.500) followed by current Oklahoma star and 2006 All-Around champion Jonathan Horton (31.150) and former Olympian and 2008 Winter Cup Challenge All-Around title-winner Paul Hamm (30.950). The win reaffirms Tan's status as the United States' top still rings competitor and further establishes him as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
Competing as a member of Team Chevron, Tan also placed an impressive third in the high bar, fifth (tie) in the parallel bars, and 18th in the pommel horse.
Tan co-captained the U.S. Men's Senior Team at the 2007 World Championships, helping it place fourth and secure a berth to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. In the individual event finals, facing the world's top still rings competitors, he placed fourth. Tan, along with the other six members of the 2007 World Championship Team, automatically retained their national team status. Three additional gymnasts were added to the squad based on their Winter Cup Challenge performances and three additional will be named by the Men's Program Committee.
Penn State's other Winter Cup finals qualifier, senior Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.), competed in the all-around, placing 17th with a two-day total of 164.350. His best finish came in the pommel horse, a 10th-place showing. He also placed 20th in the floor exercise, 24th in the vault, 28th in the parallel bars, 30th in the still rings, and 34th in the high bar.
Helsby and the No. 1 Nittany Lions will return to team competition on Sat., Feb. 16 when it travels to Big Ten rival No. 5 Illinois in a 7 p.m. dual meet in Champaign, Ill.