No. 6 Nittany Lions Place Fifth at the 2006 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships
IOWA CITY, Iowa.; March 24, 2006 - Sixth-ranked Penn State posted a team score of 210.250 to earn a fifth-place finish at the 2006 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Friday evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Ohio State amassed a score of 215.525 to capture its second consecutive conference crown and eleventh overall. The Buckeyes were followed in the final team standings by Illinois (214.800), Iowa (213.750), and Michigan (210.775). Minnesota placed sixth with a team total of 205.400.
With tonight's top eight finishers qualifying for Saturday's competition, Penn State will send five gymnasts to the individual event finals. Advancing to vie for individual titles tomorrow night will be Santiago Lopez (Cibola del Mar, Mex.) (floor exercise and vault), Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) (pommel horse and rings), Justin Miklos (Flemington, N.J.) (pommel horse), Tommy Ramos (Guaynabo, P.R.) (rings), and Matt Cohen (Agoura Hills, Calif.) (rings).
Tommy Ramos led Penn State by taking second place in the rings. The sophomore's score of 9.450 earned him his third runner-up position of the season in the event. Ramos will be joined in the rings' individual event finals by Derek Helsby, who placed fourth (9.250), and Matt Cohen, who finished tied for eighth (9.000).
Santiago Lopez placed fourth in the floor exercise with a score of 9.400 and tied for sixth in the vault, recording a 9.300. Lopez earned All-American status on the vault in 2005.
Derek Helsby, the favorite on the pommel horse entering the Big Ten Championships, placed fifth with a score of 8.900. Helsby also finished fourth in the all-around on the strength of a 53.100 cumulative score. After recent struggles, Justin Miklos contributed a solid effort on the horse, registering a score of 8.650, good enough for seventh place.
The individual event finals portion of the 2006 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships will begin Saturday evening at 8:10 p.m. ET. Follow all of the action by visiting www.GoPSUsports.com for live results from Iowa City.