The Defending Big Ten Champions and Current No. 4 Penn State Men's Gymnastics Team Travels to 2004 Big Ten Championships
NO. 4 PENN STATE TRAVELS TO 2004 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Penn State will look to defend it's Big Ten crown on March 19-20, in Champaign, Ill. at 7 p.m.
WHO'S GOT NEXT?: PSU will travel to the NCAA Championships from April 2-4 in Champaign, Ill. On April 2, the Nittany Lions will compete in the NCAA Qualifier at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Saturday, April 3 will be the NCAA Team Championships at 4 p.m. Rounding out the weekend will be the NCAA Individual Finals on April 4th at 2 p.m.
PSU NO. 4 IN NATION: Penn State sits at No. 4 in the nation coming into this weekend's meet. Showing the way all season is senior Kevin Tan (Fremont, Calif.), who is ranked No. 1 in the nation on the still rings (9.850) and No. 3 in the all-around with a 53.633.. Fellow Nittany Lion Zach Roeder (Montrose, Pa.) is ranked No. 2 on the pommel horse with an average of 9.617.
Sophomore Chad Buzcek (Bridgewater, Mass.) is ranked No. 7 on still rings (9.575) and No. 5 in the all-around (53.950).
TAN NAMED NISSEN-EMERY FINALIST: Senior Kevin Tan has been named a Nissen-Emery finalist, given to the year's outstanding senior gymnast. Tan, is one of eight finalists selected for the award. Tan, the 2003 NCAA rings champion is currently ranked No. 1 on the apparatus (9.825), No. 4 on the parallel bars (9.192) and No. 4 in the all-around with a 53.633.
VARGAS NAMED BIG TEN GYMNAST OF THE WEEK: After tasting victory in all four events in whcih he competed last Saturday, sophomore gymnast Luis Vargas(Rio, Piedros, P.R.) earned his first-ever Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor. Vargas helped propel the Lions to a 218.800-207.475 victory over visiting Army and posted season or career highs in two of his four events. The Nittany Lion sophomore, who earned All-Big Ten honors as a freshman last season, posted a career-high on the floor exercise and a season-best on the parallel bars. He joins teammates Kevin Tan (Feb. 11) and Chad Buczek (Feb. 25) as the third PSU gymnast to be selected this season, which leads all Conference schools.
LAST TIME OUT: No. 4 Penn State downed No. 12 Army by a commanding 218.800-207.475 Saturday evening in Rec Hall. On senior night, Penn State senior Kevin Tan won the all-around with a score of 54.850. Tan, the nation's leader on the rings and the 2003 NCAA champion, posted a 9.900 to remain undefeated on the apparatus this year.
Penn State never trailed throughout the match with sophomore Luis Vargas leading the way by taking first on the floor exercise (9.050), pommel horse (9.700), the high bars (9.400) and the parallel bars (9.350).
The 2003 Big Ten champion men's gymnastics team, Penn State will try and defend its title on March 19-20 in Champaign, Ill., which will also serve as the site of this year's NCAA championships. A senior, Kevin Tan will also look to defend his individual title on the rings.
After the Lions' meet on Saturday, the men's gymnastics family helped pioneer Gene Wettstone celebrate his 90th birthday. Wettstone's birthday was actually last summer, but the Lions wanted to both surprise and thank the former coach, pioneer and champion of the sport nationally with a celebration at the venue he coached at for 38 years.
NITTANY LION TEAM TOPS ON RINGS AND VAULT: Ranked fourth in the nation, Penn State leads the country on the still rings as a team with a 37.208 average and also leads the nation on the vault as a team with a 37.250 average. The Lions are also fourth on the pommel horse (36.627), and fourth on the parallel bars (35.700).