Men's Gymnastics to Host Temple in 2006 Home Opener
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 12, 2006 - Coming off a season-opening victory over 11th-ranked Army last weekend, No. 5 Penn State will begin the home portion of its 2006 schedule on Fri., Jan. 13 when its hosts Temple in a dual meet. The competition between in-state rivals is set to start at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.
Penn State has dominated the all-time series with Temple, owning a 67-11-0 record versus the Owls in a rivalry initiated in 1937. A year ago, the Nittany Lions gained two wins over Temple, defeating the Owls 216.975-203.50 on Jan. 21 in a tri-meet with Navy and 217.75-205.825 on Jan. 28 in competition at the West Point Open. The Lions last lost to Temple in 1995.
The Nittany Lions began the 2006 campaign with a successful showing last Saturday, defeating Army 206.650-199.150 in a dual meet hosted by the Black Knights. Freshman Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) excelled in his collegiate debut, winning the all-around outright by posting a score of 52.650 and tied classmate Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) for first place in the parallel bars (9.000). The former Canadian National Team member also claimed second in the pommel horse (9.000), tied for second in the vault (9.150) and the high bar (8.450), and earned a third place finish in the floor exercise. For his standout performance, Sandy earned Big Ten Men's Gymnast of the Week honors.
Junior Justin Miklos (Flemington, N.J.) garnered Penn State's other individual title versus Army, winning the pommel horse with a 9.150. Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) was the runner-up to Sandy in the all-around, scoring a 50.650. The sophomore also claimed third in the parallel bars. Senior captain Chad Buczek (Bridgewater, Mass.) contributed a second-place finish, tying Sandy with a vault of 9.150.
For Temple, Friday evening's dual meet with Penn State will be its 2006 season opener. Led by veteran head coach Fred Turoff, the Owls placed second at the 2005 ECAC Championships. Gone from that team are two-time All-American Nyika White and 2005 ECAC high bar champion David Ramos. However, back to lead Temple in 2006 are 2005 ECAC-EIGL Rookie of the Year Luke Vexler and sophomore all-around competitor Sterling Kramer.
After a week layoff, Penn State will head back on the road, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich. to face Big Ten foe Michigan in a dual meet on Sat., Jan. 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Fans of Penn State men's gymnastics have just three opportunities to see the team compete this season in home meets. In addition to Friday's dual with Temple, the Nittany Lions will host Stanford at the Bryce Jordan Center on Feb. 19 at 5:00 p.m. and face William & Mary at Rec Hall on March 4 at 7:00 p.m.