Men's Gymnastics' Fourth Place Showing Not Enough to Advance to Team Finals
NORMAN, Okla., April 4, 2002 - The Penn State men's gymnastics team struggled at the NCAA qualifier on Thursday night in Norman, Okla., placed fourth with a score of 212.800. However, seven Nittany Lions advance to the individual preliminaries on Saturday, April 5. Host Oklahoma easily won the session II qualifier with a score of 218.925, followed by California (217.200) and Iowa (213.800). All three teams advance to the team finals on Sunday, April 5. Massachusettes (207.625) and William & Mary (202.175) finished behind the Lions in fifth and sixth place, respectively, and do not move on to the team finals.
Junior Kevin Donohue (Saddle River, N.J.) posted a score of 52.650 and qualified for the individual all-around preliminaries.
Penn State held onto third place through five rotations. The Lions began the meet on vault and scored a 36.500. Despite scoring a 34.625 on parallel bars and a 34.850 on high bar, PSU still hung on to the third spot. After recording a 36.175 on floor and a 35.225 on horse, the Lions went into the sixth rotation with a slim lead over the Hawkeyes, 177.375-176-750. But Iowa's 37.050 on vault was enough to overtake the third-place spot as the Lions' 35.425 on rings was not enough to hang on.
Also qualifying as an individual are junior Zack Roeder (Montrose, Pa.), sophomore Kevin Tan (Fremont, Calif.), junior Matt Abboud (Dayton, Maine). Three freshmen also move onto the second day of NCAA's: Kyle Fernandez (Stratford, Conn.), Steve Tobin (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Jerker Taudien (Eskilstuna, Sweden).
Tan and Abboud each qualified on three events. Big Ten rings champion Tan won the event for the 11th time this season with a score of 9.425. He also moves on on parallel bars and high bar. Abboud, who placed eighth in the all-around and just missed qualifying in the event, advanced on horse, vault and parallel bars. Roeder will compete on floor and horse. Fernandez will compete on rings, Tobin qualified on floor while Taudien competes on horse.
The team finals and individual preliminaries are on Saturday, April 5 beginning at 8 p.m. ET at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Penn State Individual High Scores