Seventh heaven

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March 27, 2007

2:47 PM

__College claims seventh consecutive USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships title in front of home crowd__

p. This was a big weekend for the men’s gymnastics team as the College hosted and won the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Team Championship. The Tribe took the gold for the seventh consecutive year with a score of 199.85, improving their season record to 15-6. The team has won the event a record 12 times since entering the competition in 1994.

p. The USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Team Meet is held for schools that receive below a certain level of funding, and the athletes generally do not receive scholarships. The competition has been running since 1987, but this marks the first time the College has hosted the event. Gymnasts and observers from across the country filled Kaplan Arena the entire weekend. Along with friends and family members, Blaine Wilson — an Olympic silver medalist, three-time Olympian, and national champion — attended and signed autographs for fans.

p. The Tribe competed against five varsity level teams — the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, Springfield College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and James Madison University. The College trailed the Navy Midshipmen — the Tribe’s toughest competitor — before pulling through in the floor corps with a season-high score of 35.75.

p. “This was definitely one of the most exciting meets in my career at the College,” junior Andrew Hunt said. “We were down the entire meet to Navy and managed to do really well on the floor performances and win it in the last rotation.”

p. Sophomore Sloan Crawford and junior Dave Locke led the floor event with a tied score of 9.25, marking a season and career high for Crawford and a season best for Locke. The two also led the high bar event with Crawford earning a career high score of 8.7 while Locke received a 9.0. Freshman Derek Gygax also performed very well, placing second in the all-around with a total score of 48.850.

p. The top eight individual scorers competed in the individual event on Sunday and the College had the maximum two gymnasts competing in each event. Nine Tribe gymnasts earned 11 All-America Honors. Locke claimed gold in the vault event and earned a total of three honors while Hunt came in first in the parallel bar event for the second season in a row. Gygax and freshman classmate Richard Pearson represented the Tribe on the pommel horse earning third and sixth place respectively.

p. Competing on the rings, junior Aaron Ingram captured fifth and senior Chuck Portz placed seventh. Senior Gustav Lindquist took sixth on the vault, for his third USAG Collegiate All-America honor. Fellow senior Dave Ridings finished third on the parallel bars and Crawford placed fifth on the floor exercise.

p. The men look forward to continuing their reign this weekend as the Tribe will travel to Philadelphia, PA to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship.

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