Men's Gymnastics Sixth in Preseason Coaches Poll
State College, Pa., January 3, 2002 - The Penn State men's gymnastics team is ranked sixth in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll which was recently released. The Nittany Lions open their season this weekend at the West Point Open.
The Lions' schedule features seven teams ranked in the preseason top 20, including defending NCAA and Big Ten Champion Ohio State at No. 3. All six Big Ten schools are also ranked, with Michigan leading the pack at No. 2, followed by the Buckeyes, No. 5 Illinois and No. 7 Iowa. Penn State will face the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 26 and the Illini will come to Rec Hall on Feb. 2.
No. 11 Massachusetts opens the Nittany Lion home slate on Jan. 19. No. 12 Temple (Feb. 16) and No. 14 Army (March 16) will also be visiting Rec Hall.
Topping the preseason poll is No. 1 Oklahoma who will host the 2002 NCAA Championships on April 4-6. The Nittany Lions will see the other five Big Ten squads at the Big Ten Championships slated for April 4-6 at the University of Minnesota.
Penn State competes in the West Point Open on Jan. 11-12. The Nittany Lions have won the team title at this event the last four years. Head coach Randy Jepson is in his 11th season at the Nittany Lions helm. The team returns nine lettermen, including two All-Americans. Leading the way will be senior captain Adam Benas (Latham, N.Y.), who is back after sitting out a year because of an injury, and senior all-arounder Jose Palacios (Gijon, Spain).