Ohio State Take Home Two Individual Titles
IOWA CITY, Iowa - With the team competition wrapping up Friday night, Saturday was an opportunity for individuals to shine in six events. The top eight finishers from Friday earned a chance to compete for the individual title. Five out of the six participating universities were represented by champions on the evening.
On the floor exercise, defending Big Ten Champion and current No. 1 Michael Reavis of Iowa successfully defended his crown with a score of 9.788. He edged out two Ohio State competitors, Jimmy Wickham and Eddie Hay, who scored 9.650 and 9.625 respectively. Illinois' Justin Spring and Penn State's Santiago Lopez also fell within 3/10ths of a point, and finished in fourth and fifth place.
A new champion was crowned on the pommel horse as Ohio State's DJ Bucher pulled of an upset with a score of 9.000, which was enough to hold off Chris Lung of Illinois, whose 8.825 was good enough for second. Defending Champion Ted Brown of Illinois finished in a tie for third with Penn State's Derek Helsby.
For the fifth time in six years, a Nittany Lion was the champion of the still rings competition. Tommy Ramos's 9.550 edged Hawkeye Matt Beiler's 9.438 to earn him the championship. Helsby took third on the apparatus for his second third-place finish of the evening.
Michigan's Andrew DiGiore earned the highest marks of the night on the vault. No. 3 DiGiore got past a strong field of competitors with a score of 9.638. Lopez of Penn State was closest to him with a 9.500. Justin Spring of Illinois and defending NCAA Champion Michael Reavis rounded out the top four.
The 2006 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, Spring earned the individual championship on the parallel bars just one night after being crowned the all-around champion. The senior scored a 9.550 to earn the top spot ahead of Minnesota's Jake Lee (9.388) and Illinois' Wesley Haagensen (9.325). With the win, Illinois became the fifth school to be represented at the top of the podium on the evening.
In the final event of the night, Ohio State took its second individual title of the evening to go along with the team championship it earned the previous night. Willie Ito's score of 9.800 was the highest score of the evening and was enough to earn him the Big Ten Championship on the horizontal bar. Spring took second on the apparatus with a 9.675, followed by Reavis's 9.300.