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    Newman takes pommel horse title with career high
    Ben Newman won the Big Ten championship on the pommel horse with a career-high 9.675, and was named to the All-Big Ten team.

    Ben Newman won the Big Ten championship on the pommel horse with a career-high 9.675, and was named to the All-Big Ten team.

    March 29, 2003

    Columbus, Ohio - Sophomore Ben Newman won the Big Ten pommel horse title with a career-high 9.675, topping the career-best 9.650 he set Friday during Big Ten championship team competition. The Denver, Colo., native adjusted his pommel horse routine prior to the weekend in hopes of improving his seventh-place finish of 8.525 in 2002.

    "I changed some of the difficulty to make it a little cleaner and more consistent," Newman said.

    Said coach Yoshi Hayasaki, "Ben Newman really did a job. He was clearly the Big Ten champion. Second place was almost three-tenths behind, so he was certainly a deserving Big Ten champion today."

    In fact, Newman defeated Penn State's Luis Vargas by 0.275, an abnormally large margin of victory. Newman's title was the first Big Ten championship for an Illini gymnast since Travis Romagnoli captured the horizontal bar crown in 1998. Newman also was selected for the All-Big Ten team, the first Illini to gain that honor since Leo Oka and Linh Hoang were named All-Big Ten in 2001.

    "Since we changed his routine, he's been a different guy," Hayasaki said of Newman. "His pommel horse has been swinging much better, executing better. He's been more consistent."

    Freshman Adam Pummer finished second in the vault with a career-high 9.525. Michigan freshman Andrew DiGiore won the vault Big Ten championship with a career-best 9.625. Scott Wetterling, a junior from Pennington, N.J., placed seventh on vault with a 9.150.

    The only Illini to qualify for the finals in more than one event, Wetterling also finished 10th on parallel bars, scoring an 8.200. Raj Bhavsar, a senior from Ohio State, won the Big Ten parallel bars title with a score of 9.275.

    Although he qualified for the event finals on parallel bars, freshman Justin Spring did not compete because of the neck injury he sustained during Friday's team competition.

    "There's no question that it sparked everybody today by having three guys perform well in the Big Ten championship finals," Hayasaki said. "It certainly motivated everybody in finding out Justin is doing much better today. I think everybody is really beginning to feel like 'Hey, we are going to be able to put together a team and we have a second chance at the NCAA championships.' "

    All-Big Ten Team
    Linas Gaveika		IOWA
    Andrew DiGiori		MICH
    Justin Laury		MICH
    Kevin Tan			PSU
    Luis Vargas		PSU
    Ben Newman		ILL
    Guillermo Alvarez		MINN
    Clay Strother		MINN
    Raj Bhavsar		OSU
    Randy Monahan		OSU
    

    Gymnast of the Year Randy Monahan OSU

    Freshman of the Year Justin Laury MICH

    Coach of the Year Randy Jepson PSU

    Individual Results Floor 1. Clay Strother MINN 9.675 2. Guillermo Alvarez MINN 9.650 3. Randy Monahan OSU 9.325 4. Cameron Schick IOWA 9.250 5. Dick Huntwork OSU 9.100 6. Kevin Donahue PSU 8.900 7. Jose Palacios PSU 8.825 8. Kerry Adderly OSU 8.675

    Pommel Horse 1. Ben Newman ILL 9.675 2. Luis Vargas PSU 9.400 3. Linas Gaveika IOWA 9.300 4. Ryan Meeks IOWA 9.275 5. Kevin Tan PSU 9.175 6. Tony Cesar IOWA 8.750 7. Brian Peterson MICH 8.400 8. Zack Roeder PSU 7.800

    Rings 1. Kevin Tan PSU 9.725 2. Conan Parzuchowski MICH 9.625 3. Scott Vetere MICH 9.500 4. Cody Trobaugh OSU 9.400 5. Randy Monahan OSU 9.325 6. Raj Bhavsar OSU 9.300 7. Justin Laury MICH 9.150 8. Chad Buczek PSU 9.100

    Vault 1. Andrew DiGiore MICH 9.625 2. Adam Pummer ILL 9.525 3. Raj Bhavsar OSU 9.300 4. Ludwig Kern PSU 9.275 5. Clay Strother MINN 9.250 6. Tim Koehler MINN 9.225 7. Scott Wetterling ILL 9.150 8. Dick Huntwork OSU 9.025 9. Steve Tobin PSU 8.850 10. Mike Reavis IOWA 8.750

    Parallel Bars 1.Raj Bhavsar OSU 9.275 2. Luis Vargas PSU 9.000 3. Eric Block IOWA 8.975 4. LInas Gaveika IOWA 8.950 5. Kevin Tan PSU 8.825 6. Ronnie Ferris OSU 8.700 7. Guillermo Alvarez MINN 8.600 8. Clay Strother MINN 8.500 9. Kerry Adderly OSU 8.450 10. Scott Wetterling ILL 8.200 11. Dick Huntwork OSU 8.150

    High Bar 1. Linas Gaveika IOWA 9.725 2. Randy Monahan OSU 9.375 3. Justin Laury MICH 9.300 4. Nathan Blair IOWA 9.275 5. Kevin Donahue PSU 8.950 6. Mike Reavis IOWA 8.800 7. Kevin Tan PSU 8.700 8. Luis Vargas PSU 8.300

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