Men's Gymnastics Jumps to Fifth at NCAA Finals
COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 6, 2001 --The Penn State men's gymnastics team jumped ahead of Michigan State in the final rotation to take fifth place at the NCAA team finals on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, posting an overall team score of 212.125. Host Ohio State University won the team title with a score of 218.125, followed by Oklahoma (217.775) and California (216.775). The Buckeyes' Jamie Natalie defended his title as the nation's No. 1 all-arounder winning the competition with a score of 55.700.
The Nittany Lions were in sixth place after the first two rotations, but a season-high 36.775 on the vault boosted the team to second place. The Lions earned the second-highest score in the meet on the event. Penn State struggled on the parallel bars, however, earning a 33.950 to fall back into last place. Solid scores on the high bar (35.050) and floor (35.350) to end the meet pushed the team up one spot, finishing ahead of the Spartans.
Senior Chris Lakeman (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) remains unbeaten in the last four meets, coming in a tie for first with Ohio State's Daren Lynch with a score of 9.500. He advances to the event finals on Saturday, along with teammate freshman Kevin Tan (Freemont, Calif.), to battle for the national title on the event. Tan was fifth overall with a score of 9.300
Also advancing to the event finals is two-time all-American senior Dominic Brindle (Bradford, England). The two-time captain placed seventh on the vault with a season-high 9.250. Sophomore Jay Kim (Burke, Va.) led Penn State on the vault, breaking his career-high score which he set last night, notching a 9.325 for a third-place finish. He will also participate in Saturday's finals.
The top eight gymnasts on each event advance to Saturday's event finals. The top six on each event earn all-America honors with the title of national champion going to the top gymnast on each event. The meet begins at 7 p.m. at St. John Arena.
Team Results 1. Ohio State, 218.125 2. Oklahoma, 217.775 3. California, 216. 775 4. Michigan, 216.175 5. Penn State, 212.175 6. Michigan State, 211.875 Penn State Scores Floor: 35.350 Horse: 35.000 Rings: 36.000 Vault: 36.775 PBars: 33.950 HBar: 35.050 Individual Scores Floor Matt Abboud 8.900 Zack Roeder 8.800 Kevin Donohue 8.800 Tobias Ekman 8.850 Jose Palacios 8.050 Ted Johnson 8.250 Horse Kevin Donohue 8.650 Tobias Ekman, 8.450 Jose Palacios 9.000 (t14th) Matt Abboud 8.900 (t16th) Josh Malecki 7.500 Dominic Brindle 8.200 Rings Matt Abboud 8.400 Tobias Ekman 8.300 Jose Palacios 8.400 Josh Malecki 8.800 Kevin Tan 9.300 (t5th) Chris Lakeman 9.550 (t1st) Vault Tobias Ekman 8.950 Dominic Brindle 9.250 (t7th) Kevin Donohue 8.900 Ted Johnson 9.050 Rob Saliski 9.150 (t12th) Jay Kim 9.325 (t3rd) Parallel Bars Ted Johnson 8.450 Kevin Donohue 8.050 Tobias Ekman 8.550 Matt Abboud 8.500 Kevin Tan 8.300 Dominic Brindle 8.450 High Bar Kevin Donohue 8.650 Jose Palacios 8.850 (t17th) Matt Abboud 8.550 Tobias Ekman 8.450 Rob Saliski 8.300 Dominic Brindle 9.000 (t12th) All-Around Tobias Ekman 51.550 (16th)