Penn State To Host 2007 Men's Gymnastics NCAA Championships
Fact Sheet and Press Conference Excerpts
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 20, 2005 - Penn State University will be the host of the 2007 NCAA Championships, which will be held on April 12-14, 2007, as announced today in a press conference on campus. The 2007 championships will mark the seventh time in school history that the Nittany Lions have hosted the NCAA championships for men's gymnastics. The last time Penn State hosted the NCAA men's gymnastics championships was in 1998.
"My staff and my team are thrilled to be able to host the NCAA championships in 2007," said head coach Randy Jepson. "Having won it most recently last year, in 2004, and then back in 2000, those were wonderful events for us, but to have an athlete be able to win a championship on his own floor is certainly a life-long dream.
"We're very excited to have the event here at Penn State in 2007," continued Jepson. "I know that the people that we recruited as well as young individuals that will still be on the team at that point are very thrilled and certainly excited about the possibility of winning a championship on our home floor in front of home fans."
The NCAA championships for men's gymnastics consists of a three-day competition. Twelve teams qualify for the NCAA men's gymnastics championships, with six making it through to the final round on day two and competing for the NCAA title. On the third day, the individual event finals are contested.
"Your biggest goal is that you want to make this the best possible experience for the student-athletes that are participating and there's a lot that goes into that," said Athletic Director Tim Curley. "I know that one of the things that our staff has worked very, very hard on is to try and make these events something that all participants, whether you win or lose, walk away and say, 'that was a great venue, great event, great fans that understand the sport and we were treated really well and it was something special. We want to give them what we call a first-class NCAA championship experience."
It is undetermined at this time because of a scheduled construction project at Rec Hall whether or not the championships will be held in Rec Hall or in the Bryce Jordan Center. Previous to 1998, all five of the championships Penn State hosted were contested in Rec Hall. Penn State will also be the host site for the 2006 NCAA men's volleyball championship and the NCAA women's basketball first and second rounds next spring.
"Honestly, just finding out for sure about it today, it's an incredible opportunity," said Nittany Lion all-around competitor Matt Cohen, who will be a senior when Penn State hosts the championships. "Winning last year was amazing and the experience was incredible, but getting to experience that at home in front of our friends and family here in Rec Hall or the Bryce Jordan Center would just be more than anything we could describe."
Penn State captured last year's championship, its NCAA-record 11th. In addition, Nittany Lion men's gymnasts have garnered 48 total NCAA national championship titles, more than any other institution, including two last year. The championship announcement comes just one day before the 2004 national championship banner will be raised in a ceremony in conjunction with the Nittany Lions' home opener on Friday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall vs. Navy and Temple.
Later this season, Penn State hosts Big Ten foe Michigan at the Bryce Jordan Center in a double dual meet with the women's team on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. Ohio State then visits Rec Hall to match-up with the Lions for senior night double dual on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. International gymnastics returns to campus when Japan comes to Rec Hall on March 1 at 7 p.m. to round-out the home schedule this year. The 2005 NCAA championships are being held at Army on April 7-9.