March 26, 2005
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - With the team competition in the books already, it was time for some individual champions to be crowned here Saturday (March 26) at the 2005 Big Ten Conference Men's Gymnastics Championships at Crisler Arena on the campus of the University of Michigan.
Ohio State claimed the team trophy for themselves on Friday (March 25) night with 225.350 points in the team competition while Michigan's Justin Laury earned the all-around title with 56.200 points. Saturday (March 26) medals were awarded after the individual competitions in the pommel horse, floor exercise, rings, vault parallel bars and high bar.
After coming in second to the Buckeyes in the team contest, Illinois came out and claimed some individual hardware right off the bat. With scores of 9.700 the Fighting Illini's Ben Newman and Ted Brown were crowned co-champions with Newman grabbing his third career Big Ten gold medal. Guillermo Alvarez of Minnesota took home third place honors with a score of 9.673.
In the floor exercise event, Michael Reavis of Iowa claimed the Big Ten individual title with a score of 9.762. The junior placed sixth in the all-around competition Friday night. Two Michigan gymnasts rounded out the top three in the floor event with Eddie Umphrey and Luke Bottke bringing home silver and bronze medals with scores of 9.550 and 9.512, respectively.
After finishing fourth in the 2004 still rings competition, Ohio State senior Randy Monahan finished his Big Ten career with a bang by winning the rings competition. The Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania native scored a 9.687 to win the event. Tyler Yamauchi of Illinois finished in a close second with a score of 9.675 to give the freshman his first Big Ten top-three finish. Eddie Umphry of Michigan claimed his second medal of the evening with a third place score of 9.662.
From the vault competition a fourth school has a Big Ten champion in 2005 after Guillermo Alvarez of Minnesota finished in first place with a 9.512. The Nittany Lions Santiago Lopez came in just behind Alvarez. The freshman tallied a score of 9.475 for his first Big Ten recognition. Another freshman went home with a medal in the vault event. The Maize and Blue's Danial Rais captured third place in his inaugural Big Ten championships.
Ohio State would bring home the final two gold medals of the evening. In the parallel bars freshman DJ Bucher tallied a 9.737 to win the gold medal. Illinois' Justin Spring came in second with a 9.712 followed by Andre Hernandez of Michigan in third with a 9.525.
In the high bar event The Buckeyes claimed all three top slots. Junior Ronald Ferris came in first with a 9.862, followed by Monahan at 9.850 and Willie Ito with a 9.725.
At the conclusion of the championships the following individuals were named to the All-Big Ten Conference First Team: Ben Newman, Illinois; Ted Brown, Illinois; Justin Spring, Illinois; Michael Reavis, Iowa; Linas Gaveika, Iowa; Justin Laury, Michigan; Guillermo Alvarez, Minnesota; Randy Monahan, Ohio State; DJ Bucher, Ohio State; Ronald Ferris, Ohio State
In addition, the Big Ten handed out post-season awards to Wesley Haagensen of Illinois for Freshman of the Year, Justin Laury of Michigan for Gymnast for the year, and Ohio State head coach and Miles Avery was selected as Coach of the Year.
The Conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the Conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year. Illinois' Ben Newman, Iowa's Kenny Lin, Minnesota's Clinton Mays, Michigan's Gerry Signorelli, Ohio State's Randy Monahan and Penn State's Ludwig Kern were awarded with the sportsmanship distinction following their 2004-05 performances.