No. 2 Penn State Travels to West Point (Meet Notes)
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at West Point Open
Date: Jan. 30-31
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: West Point, N.Y.
No. 2 Penn State Travels to West Point: The Nittany Lions return to Army for the West Point Open on Jan. 30-31. The meet will mark the second for Penn State this year in West Point, N.Y., after a tri-meet there to open the season on Jan. 10. Penn State does not return home again until Feb. 14, when they host Temple in a double dual meet with the women's team starting at 7 p.m.
Who's Got Next?: Penn State will continue its road trip on Feb. 6-7 at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev. Penn State will return home on Feb. 14 for a double dual meet against Temple at 7 p.m.
PSU No. 2 in the Nation: Penn State sits at No. 2 in the nation coming into this weekend's meet. Penn State has been lead by senior Kevin Tan (Fremont, Calif.), who is ranked No. 1 in the nation on both parellel bars and still rings. Fellow Nittany Lion Chad Buczek (Bridgewater,Mass.) is ranked No. 3 in the still rings. Also, sophomore Luis Vargas (Rio Piedros, Puerto Rico) is ranked No. 3 on the pommel horse.
Just the Facts: Did you know that the Penn State men's gymnastics team has won the last six West Point Invitationals? Four Lions took home individual titles last year, including Kevin Tan who won on the rings (9.550) for the second-straight year. The winner of the all-around, then-freshman Luis Vargas (Rio Pedros, P.R.) won the high bar competition with an 8.950. Senior Kevin Donohue scored a 9.300 to take first-place honors on vault while senior captain Jose Palacios also won on parallel bars for the second-straight night, earning a 9.000.
Aerial Face-off: This weekend, all three of the country's top ringmen (by average score) will be competing at the West Point Open. Nittany Lion Kevin Tan leads the pack with a 9.817 average, with Army's Brian Lee second with a 9.725 average. Penn State's Chad Buzcek is third with a 9.508.
Last Time Out: ANN ARBOR, Mich.; January 23, 2004- Penn State's men's gymnastics team, ranked No. 1 nationally by average score this week, dropped a 215.725-212.000 decision Friday night to conference-rival Michigan. Penn State falls to 3-1 (1-1 Big Ten) on the season losing its first meet in two years.
Friday night's performances were highlighted by senior Kevin Tan, who won both the still rings and the high bar for Penn State. The defending NCAA and Big Ten champion on the apparatus, Tan notched a 9.9 on the rings. Added to his 9.750 on the high bar, Tan earned the Newt Loken Award, given to the top competitor at each of Michigan's meet and named for a past Wolverine head coach.
Although only a point behind heading into the last rotation, the sluggish Lions slipped on their final event and returned home with the steep loss. Head coach Randy Jepson sighted a light week of practice as the likely culprit of the Lions' demise, but promised the bounce-back of the team beginning next weekend at the West Point Open on Jan. 30-31 at Army.
Team Score Floor Pommel Rings Vault P Bars H Bar 1. Michigan 215.725 36.500 34.050 36.450 36.950 35.050 36.725 2. penn state 212.00 34.400 33.700 36.450 36.950 35.050 36.725
Tan Leads Nation, Teammates in Top 5: Defending NCAA rings champion Kevin Tan leads the nation in average score on the apparatus through the team's first two meets. Tan is averaging a 9.817 after notching a season-high 9.900 at Michigan. Tan also leads the nation on the parallel bars, an event he finish second in at NCAA's last year. His average of 9.192 through three meets. Penn Staters who are also ranked in the Top 5 nationally include: Chad Buzcek (No. 3 rings: 9.508), Kevin Tan (No. 4 all-around: 53.833), Luis Vargas (No. 3 pommel horse: 9.258).
Nittany Lion Team Tops on Still Rings: Ranked second in the nation, Penn State leads the country on the still rings as a team with a 37.175 average. The Lions are also second on the parallel bars with a 35.208 and third on the high bar with a 36.233 average.
An All-American Cast: The Nittany Lions are the defending Big Ten champions and return NCAA ring champ and parallel bar runner-up Kevin Tan as well as All-Americans Luis Vargas (high bar, parallel bars), Zach Roeder (pommel horse, vault), and Ludwig Kern (vault).
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