Stanford, Illinois and Michigan Advance to National Collegiate Men¡¯s Gymnastics Team Finals Friday Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; April 12, 2007 ¨C In a thrilling qualifier that went down to the last participant, Stanford (216.35), Illinois (216.30) and Michigan (215.35) advanced to the 2007 National Collegiate Men¡¯s Gymnastics Team Finals at Rec Hall on Friday night at 7 p.m. Ohio State placed fourth with a 215.250 as Iowa (209.500) and Army (194.800) rounded out the field.
The rest of the six-team field will be completed after three teams advance out of the second team qualifier, being held at Rec Hall tonight at 7 p.m.
Michigan¡¯s Andrew Elkind recorded a 9.05 as the final competitor on the parallel bars to lift the Wolverines into the final qualifying spot, eliminating top-seed and Big Ten champion Ohio State by one-tenth of a point. The Buckeyes will miss the team finals for the second consecutive year after 25-straight final appearances.
The first qualifier also established the participants for the all-around championship, which will also take place Friday night. Iowa¡¯s Jonathan Buese and Illinois-Chicago¡¯s Tim Morrison and Anthony May were the unattached qualifiers. Illinois¡¯ Wesley Haagensen, Stanford¡¯s David Sender and Michigan¡¯s Justin Laury also qualified in the all-around compeititon.
Stanford jumped right out of the gates with a dominating performance in the first rotation with 38.25 points on the rings as all five participants registered a 9.10 or better. Bryant Hadden led the way for the Cardinal with a 9.70 mark, while David Sender added a 9.65 effort. The Cardinal posted the top score in four events on the day, including the pommel horse (35.60), vault (35.50) and the high bar (35.80). Sender had the second-highest individual performance of the day with an all-around score of 54.25.
Illinois came in a close second to Stanford, highlighted by its school-record 37.95 mark on the floor exercise. Wesley Haagensen was the top point producer in this qualifying session thanks in part to a 9.65 on the floor exercise and a 9.70 mark on the rings. Chad Wiest added a 9.70 in the floor exercise as five Illini posted a 9.15 or better. Illinois had a solid showing on the pommel horse with a 34.70 mark, led by Luke Stannard¡¯s 9.10 effort. All five performers for Illinois reached the nine-point plateau on the rings, including Wiest (9.70).
Michigan finished second or tied for second in four of the six events, including the floor exercise (37.15), vault (35.45), parallel bars (35.35) and high bar (35.75). However, the Wolverines posted fourth-place efforts on the pommel horse (34.25) and rings (37.40), leading to the thrilling conclusion of the first qualifier. All four UM gymnasts recorded a 9.10 or better on the floor exercise, led by Jamie Thompson¡¯s 9.50. The Wolverines posted the second-best score of the day on the parallel bars, which included the 9.05 mark from Elkind and an 8.95 score from Paul Woodward.
Ohio State registered a 36.85 on the parallel bars, the highest score of the day in that event. The Buckeyes also finished second or tied for second on the pommel horse (34.90), rings (37.95) and vault (35.45), but it will likely be the floor exercise (36.50) and high bar (33.60) where OSU will feel as though it had missed out on an opportunity to move up the standings. On the parallel bars, D.J. Butcher was the top Buckeye performer in the parallel bars with a 9.55 effort, while Pejman Ebrahimi and Jimmy Wickham each registered 9.30 tallies.
Iowa finished fifth in the standings with 209.50 points. The Hawkeyes best performance of the day came on the floor exercise, where Geoff Rains posted a 9.50 mark and Reid Urbain accounted for 9.20 points. Iowa accounted for 36.65 tallies in the rings, led by the 9.55 effort by Jacques Bouchard.
Army accumulated 194.80 points on the day. The Black Knights struggled out of the gate with 29.85 points on the pommel horse, but improved with a 32.60 effort on the rings. Mike Assenmacher¡¯s 8.65 was the best Black Knight performance on the vault as the team registered 32.45 points. The Black Knights rounded out the rotations at the parallel bar (32.80), the high bar (32.80) and the floor exercise (34.30).
The second session of the 2007 Men¡¯s Gymnastics National Collegiate Championship begins at 7:00 p.m. tonight at Rec Hall and features Penn State, Temple, Nebraska, Oklahoma, California and Minnesota, along with individual competitors from William & Mary, Air Force and Navy.
Please visit www.GoPSUsports.com for more information on the 2007 Men¡¯s Gymnastics National Collegiate Championships.