Defending National Champion Men's Gymnastics Team Ranked Second in National Preseason Poll
Nov. 14, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The defending national champion Penn State men's gymnastics team was ranked second in the 2008 GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll, released earlier this month. The Nittany Lions received four first place votes.
Stanford, which finished in third place in 2007 despite missing several key competitors due to injury, was ranked No. 1 with eight first place votes. The Cardinal will host the 2008 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships from April 17-19 in Palo Alto, Calif. Oklahoma, the 2006 national title winner, polled at the No. 3 position (2 first place votes) followed by two-time defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State (1 first place vote). The Big Ten Conference was well represented in preseason rankings, as Michigan (No. 6), Minnesota (No. 7), Illinois (No. 8), and Iowa (No. 9) also appeared in the top 10.
A year ago, Penn State captured its NCAA-record 12th national championship in front of its home fans at historic Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions, under the guidance of 2007 National Coach of the Year Randy Jepson, posted a season-high team score of 221.000 to gain the title, their third in the past eight seasons.
Jepson, entering his 17th year at the helm of the Penn State program, returns a core of talented competitors in 2008 headlined by All-America honorees Santiago Lopez (Cibola del Mar, Mex.), Tommy Ramos (Guaynabo, P.R.), Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.), Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.), and Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.).
The Nittany Lions begin the 2008 season on Sat., Jan. 12 when they host No. 12 Army in a 7 p.m. dual meet at Rec Hall.