No. 5 Men's Gymnastics Seeks 11th Consecutive West Point Open Title
Jan. 15, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 5-ranked Penn State men's gymnastics team takes to the road for the first time in 2009 this weekend, traveling to New York and the campus of the United States Military Academy in search of its 11th-consecutive title at the West Point Open. The annual meet, which attracts the top teams and competitors on the east coast, will be held on Fri-Sat., Jan. 16-17 at the home of the Black Knights, the Holleder Center.
The team competition at the 2009 West Point Open is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. with the individual events finals set for Saturday, also at 7 p.m. The top eight finishers from each of Friday night's events advance to vie for individual honors on Saturday evening.
The Nittany Lions will vie with host Army, defending ECAC champion Temple, Navy, Springfield College, M.I.T., and select eastern club teams for the 2009 crown.
Led by senior Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) and junior Matt Greenfield (Villanova, Pa.), Penn State began the 2009 season in successful fashion last weekend, dominating Army, 344.250-309.550, in a dual meet in front of 1,303 fans at Rec Hall. Sandy, placed first in the pommel horse (14.750), vault (15.950), parallel bars (14.700), and tied teammate freshman Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) (14.800) for the top spot in the still rings. Greenfield won the high bar title, topping the second-place finisher by more than one point, en route to earning the Gene Wettstone Award as the meet's most outstanding competitor.
In their last appearance at the West Point Open in 2007, the Nittany Lions captured their 10th consecutive team title behind title-winning performances by Casey Sandy (pommel horse, high bar), Nick Virbitsky (floor exercise) (Harrisburg, Pa.), Tommy Ramos (parallel bars), and Nissen-Emery Award honoree Matt Cohen (all-around). Sandy (high bar), Ramos (rings), and Cohen (floor exercise) advanced to win individual titles in day two of the competition.
Fans can follow the Penn State men's gymnastics team at the West Point Open with a live video webcast from Army's Holleder Center. The cost to purchase the service is $9.95 and only Friday night's team competition is being webcast. Find a link in the schedule on the men's gymnastics page on the official website of Nittany Lion athletics, www.GoPSUsports.com.
The Nittany Lions return home next weekend to begin defense of their 2008 Big Ten Championship when they host rival No. 6 Michigan on Sat., Jan. 24 at Rec Hall. Penn State has dropped two straight and three of its last five regular season duals with the Wolverines, including their last meeting at Rec Hall, a narrow 216.750-215.800 loss in 2007. The meet, which will also feature the No. 11 Penn State women's gymnastics squad facing Michigan State, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.