March 25, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy sophomore Christopher Tam (Draper, Utah) placed second in the all-around with a score of 50.45 to lead 15th-ranked Navy to a second-place finish with 203.775 points in the 2006 ECAC/EIGL Men's Gymnastics Championship presented by the Holiday Inns of Greater Baltimore on Saturday afternoon in Macdonough Hall. The second-place tally marked Navy's best finish in the conference championship since its second-place effort in 1997.
William & Mary outscored the competition with a 206.125 to win the 2006 ECAC/EIGL Championship. Navy's 203.775 points placed the Midshipmen in second, followed by Temple's 203.175 points, Army's 200.0 points, UIC's 199.3 points, Springfield's 186.5 points, MIT's 184.5 points and James Madison's 181.95 points.
Last year, Navy finished fifth at the ECAC/EIGL Championship with a team score of 202.25 points. Heading into the weekend, the Midshipmen ranked fifth among ECAC/EIGL schools by the national ranking average.
Tam, the 15th-ranked all-around gymnast in the country, owned a score of 8.2 or higher in five of the six disciplines and qualified for the event finals tomorrow on the high bar. One week after registering a career-best mark of 9.3 on the high bar, the sophomore earned a 9.2 from the judges to finish second among all competitors. Tam also placed 10th on the parallel bars with an 8.2.
Two other Midshipmen joined Tam among the league's top-five all-around gymnasts on Saturday. Senior team captain Ben Peterman (Amherst, Mass.) came in third with a score of 50.35 points. Peterman, ranked 16th in the nation in the all-around, earned an 8.3 or higher in five of the six events to post a 50-plus point all-around performance for the third-straight week.
Peterman qualified for Sunday's action in three events, highlighted by his 9.15-point effort on the vault to place third overall. The senior scored a season-best 8.3 on the parallel bars and picked up 8.65 points in the floor exercise to finish sixth in both events.
Fellow senior Grant Regelin
(Columbia, Md.) rounded out the top-five all-around performers with a score of 49.8 points. Regelin, ranked 18th in the nation in the all-around last week, placed among the overall top-15 in four events and tallied 8.0 points or better in five of the six events on Saturday. The senior earned an 8.75 from the judges on the vault to rank 14th among all competitors.
Junior Sean Blackman (Fayetteville, Ga.) topped the field on the still rings on Saturday. Blackman, ranked 14th in the country on the still rings, was nearly flawless in his routine and stuck the landing to earn a 9.325 mark from the judges. The junior has posted a 9.0 or higher on the still rings nine times in 10 competitions this season.
Sophomore Brandon Cook (Longmont, Colo.) qualified for the individual event finals in both events he competed during Saturday's competition. Cook, the 15th-ranked national gymnast on the vault, scored an 8.95 to finish seventh overall. The sophomore also turned in an 8.9-point performance in the floor exercise to place fourth.
Freshman Joseph Atzenbeck (Broomfield, Colo.) registered a career-best mark on the parallel bars to advance to the event finals on Sunday. Atzenbeck collected a team-best 8.45 points in the event to finish fourth among all gymnasts on Saturday.
Navy posted season-best team scores in two events and owned the second-highest team tally among the field in three events on Saturday. Highlighted by Blackman's performance on the still rings, Navy totaled 34.875 points in the event. The Midshipmen also boasted a season-best 33.1 points on the parallel bars, sparked by season-high scores from Peterman and Atzenbeck. Also, Navy finished second in the conference in the floor exercise with a 34.2-point showing on the heels of its season-best mark of 34.8 points last weekend against Temple.
The 2006 ECAC/EIGL Men's Gymnastics Championship individual event finals take place tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Maconough Hall. Tickets for tomorrow's action can be purchased at the entrance of the gymnastics facility. Admission for the individual event finals is $10 for adults and $5 for students.