No. 2 Men¡¯s Gymnastics Defeats No. 15 William & Mary and No. 13 Navy
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.; March 3, 2007 ¨C After faring well against some of the top teams in the Big Ten over the last month, the No. 2 Penn State men¡¯s gymnastics team found equaled success when it stepped outside conference competition Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions won all six events, as a team and individually, scoring a 212.800 to defeat host No. 15 William & Mary (191.750) and No. 13 Navy (191.700) at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va.
Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) demonstrated the form that made him a four-time All-American a year ago, capturing the high bar title with a career-high and season team-high score of 9.700. The junior also tied teammate Santiago Lopez (Cibola del Mar, Mexico) for first place in the pommel horse (9.050) and took second in the still rings (9.350).
In addition to securing a share of the pommel horse title, Lopez contributed a dominating performance in the floor exercise. The junior claimed the crown with a career-best score of 9.600. He would go on to earn second place in the parallel bars (8.850).
Sophomore Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ontario), the nation¡¯s No. 1 pommel horse performer, was given the day off in his top event, but he still made an impact by winning his first parallel bar title of the season with a score of 9.250. He also placed third in the high bar (9.000).
It was business as usual for junior Tommy Ramos (Guaynabo, P.R.) in the still rings. The No. 1-ranked competitor in the event in the nation, Ramos claimed his sixth title of the season, scoring a 9.500. He also finished in second place in the high bar, drawing a 9.500 from the judges.
With some of Penn State¡¯s regular competitors out of the line-up nursing injuries or earning well-deserved rest, other performers, mainly from the freshmen class, filled in and didn¡¯t miss a beat. Matt Greenfield (Villanova, Pa.), Allen Harris (Lancaster, Pa.), and Cody Carnahan (East Brady, Pa.) all tied for third place in the floor exercise with a score of 9.250, helping the Lions post a season-high team score of 37.350 in the event. Carnahan later won the vault with a career-best mark of 8.600.
The Nittany Lions remain on the road next weekend, traveling to Palo Alto, Calif. to take on west coast power No. 5 Stanford and Big Ten rival No. 9 Iowa in a tri-meet scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on Sat., March 10. A year ago, Penn State used a season-high team score to narrowly defeat Stanford, 216.800-216.750, in a dual meet held at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lions have not faced Iowa outside of postseason and open competition since 2003, a 217.250-213.750 Penn State victory in a tri-meet at Illinois.