Men's and Women's Gymnastics Open Home Slate
State College, Pa., January 17, 2002 - The Penn State men's and women's gymnastics teams open the home slate this Saturday, Jan. 19, in the first of three double dual meets. The top-ranked men host Massachusetts, while the women compete against Denver. The meet will be held at Rec Hall and begins at 7 p.m.
The Penn State men's team is ranked No. 1 in this week's GymInfo poll after recording the highest team score in the nation at the West Point Open. The last time the men's team was ranked number one during the regular season was during the week of March 15, 1999.
The men's team won its fifth-straight West Point Open team crown last weekend with a score of 209.500. The Minutemen placed second at the Open recording a 204.000. The Nittany Lions have lost just once to UMass in 26 meetings. That loss came in a 204.650-202.155 defeat in Amherst, Mass., to start the 2001 campaign.
Senior captain Adam Benas (Latham, N.Y.), junior Matt Abboud (Dayton, Maine) and sophomore Kevin Tan (Fremont, Calif.) each won individual titles at the West Point Open, while winning their respective events on both nights of the competition. In his first meet back since sitting out a year because of an injury, he won on high bar, posting scores of 9.250 and 9.050. Abboud was a winner on parallel bars with scores of 8.650 and 8.800, while Tan easily won the rings competition notching identical scores of 9.600. This week, Benas and Tan are at the top of the polls on the high bar and rings, respectively.
The Nittany Lion women's team enters the meet ranked No. 18 in the nation according to this week's GymInfo poll. Penn State finished sixth at the Super Six Challenge hosted by the University of Florida last weekend. Denver comes into this weekend's meet with a 1-0 record, coming off of a win over Oregon State last week. The two teams have met just one other time. Penn State won a quad meet scoring a 195.375, while host Denver was third with a 194.650.
The Nittany Lions are led by juniors Katie Rowland (Georgetown, Ontario) and Katie McAvoy (Winnipeg, Manitoba). Rowland placed second in the all-around at the Super Six, posting a 39.350. She was also Penn State's high scorer on all four apparatuses. McAvoy's all-around score of 38.975 was good for 10th at last weekend's competition. Tickets for double dual meets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and senior citizens. Students enter free with a valid student ID.