Men¡¯s Gymnastics Wins Fifth-Straight West Point Open Title
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., January 11, 2002 ¡ª The No. 6 Penn State men¡¯s gymnastics team won its fifth-straight West Point Open team title, outdistancing the competition and scoring a 209.500. No. 11 Massachusetts was the next closest finisher, recording 204.000 to place second, followed by host Army (199.050). Sophomore Kevin Tan (Fremont, Calif.) matched his career high on rings, winning the event by a large margin and posting a 9.600. Junior Matt Abboud (Dayton, Maine) was the Nittany Lions¡¯ top all-arounder, placing fourth with a score of 50.750 and advancing to the individual event finals on three events.
The Nittany Lions won three of the six events and finished second in the other three. Penn State¡¯s best score of the night came on the rings. All six competitors placed in the top 10 led by Tan. Freshman Kyle Fernandez (Stratford, Conn.) came through on his strongest event, posting an 8.950 and placing fifth behind Abboud who recorded a 9.050. Tan, Abboud and Fernandez all advance to the event on finals on Saturday night on the rings.
Abboud won the parallel bars with a score of 8.650 and was fifth on the pommel horse (8.450), qualifying for the event finals on these two apparatuses as well. He is the only Lion to qualify for the finals on three events.
Team captain Adam Benas (Latham, N.Y.) was also a winner at the meet. In his first meet in two years, he won the high bar competition with a score of 9.250. He missed the 2001 season because of a torn achilles¡¯ tendon.
Junior Duke Van Vleet (Safety Harbor, Fla.) had a career night. He earned his first top-three performance of his career, coming in third with an 8.850 on high bar. He recorded his second top-three showing, placing third on the parallel bars at 8.550. Besides Benas and Van Vleet, junior Jay Kim (Burke, Va.) will also participate at the high bar individual finals after placing fifth (8.750).
Freshman Adam Pierce (Conroe, Texas) also qualified for the event finals. In his first-collegiate meet, he was the Lions top finisher on vault, posting a 9.200.
Juniors Kevin Donohue (Saddle River, N.J.) and Zack Roeder (Montrose, Pa.) will also participate in Saturday night¡¯s event finals. Donohue will compete on parallel bars (8.350, t7th) and on floor (8.900, 3rd), while Roeder will take part on the floor competition after earning second place with a 9.000, the highest showing of his career. Tan will also be participating in the event finals at multiple events. He will take part in the pommel horse finals (t7th, 8.400) along with the rings competition.
The West Point Open event finals begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, January 12, at Christl Arena.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
PENN STATE FINAL TEAM RESULTS:
PENN STATE TOP INDIVIDUAL SCORES: