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Men...s Gymnastics Surprises No. 18 James Madison, Finishes Sixth

By Jeff Lemieux

MIT’s men’s gymnastics team opened its season with a sixth place finish out of the seven teams at the 16th Annual West Point Open, hosted by Army, this past weekend at the Christl Arena.

As an unranked team facing six teams in the nation’s top 25, the Engineers exceeded expectations by placing ahead of No. 18 James Madison University.

Penn State University, ranked No. 2 nationally, easily defended its title for the 10th straight year with a winning score of 214.70, almost five points ahead of No. 9 Temple University, which claimed the runner-up spot with a 199.50 composite. Host Army, No. 10 in the national rankings, was next (197.75) followed by No. 14 Navy (190.25), No. 16 Springfield College (185.0), unranked MIT (174.10) and No. 18 James Madison (162.15).

The Nittany Lions took the crown in style, winning five of the six team events and claiming four individual victories, including the all-around competition by Matt Cohen (51.250).

Boris Rasin ’09 was Tech’s top performer, finishing 15th in the all-around with a score of 45.400. The Brookline, MA. native’s 8.300 on the floor exercise was his personal best for the competition as well as MIT’s highest score in any event, while his mark of 7.800 on the parallel bars was good enough for 22nd, his highest individual finish of the evening.

Joshua S. Coblenz ’08 wasn’t far behind, turning in a 43.500 all-around score, placing him 19th overall. His 8.100 on the floor exercise was his most impressive performance of the competition.

Bradley J. Sutton ’07 (42.100) and sophomore Thomas S. Caldwell ’09 (41.800) finished 25th and 26th, respectively, in a field of 99 gymnasts.

MIT will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 10, when it travels to the University of Illinois at Chicago for a 7:00 p.m. meet.