No. 2 Men¡¯s Gymnastics Places Second in Road Tri-Meet with No. 5 Stanford and No. 9 Iowa
Penn State bested the field in three events outright (floor exercise, pommel horse, parallel bars) and tied Stanford in the still rings with a score of 37.550. The Lions¡¯ downfall proved to come on the high bar, where they struggled with a score 34.400 while the Cardinal excelled in the event, posting a 37.050.
Individually, Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) led Penn State with wins in the pommel horse (9.300) and in the parallel bars (9.350). For the sophomore, the horse title was his eighth of the season. Sandy will get a chance to reclaim his spot atop the national rankings in the event next week when he faces Cal¡¯s Tim McNeill head-to-head in a dual meet at Rec Hall. His score of 9.350 in the parallel bars was a career-high and earned him his second consecutive crown in the event. Sandy also lent a score of 9.300 to Penn State¡¯s still rings team total.
Junior Santiago Lopez (Cibola del Mar, Mexico) had a solid showing, contributing a second-place finish in the vault (9.050) and tying for third in the floor exercise (9.300).
Tommy Ramos (Guaynabo, P.R.), the nation¡¯s No. 2 performer in the high bar, secured second place in the event with a score of 9.350. Despite earning a mark of 9.450 in his top event, the still rings, Ramos placed fourth, behind two competitors from Stanford and Iowa¡¯s Jacques Bouchard.
Junior Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) provided good efforts on the still rings (9.400) and the parallel bars (9.100), helping the Lions take at least a share of both events.
The Nittany Lions return to Rec Hall next weekend, hosting No. 8 California in their 2007 home and regular season finale. Last year, in just the second all-time meeting of the programs, Penn State was dealt a 219.100-216.575 loss by the Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif. The postseason will begin two weeks later when the Lions travel to Minneapolis for the 2007 Big Ten Championships on March 30-31