Ann Arbor, Mich. - April 11, 2014 - Senior Ryan Ponce (Tolland, Conn.) added another historic chapter to his illustrious career as he advanced to the final day of the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships after a standout showing Friday evening at the University of Michigan's Crisler Center.
Competing in the second day for the third-straight year, Ponce was the first gymnast in the entire competition to appear on the rings this evening. The senior standout didn't disappoint and registered a score of 14.950 to finish in a tie for seventh among the 42 athletes in the event. The top 10 gymnasts in the entire nation qualify for Saturday's finals and includes athletes representing Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois, and William & Mary.
Ponce becomes the first Springfield College men's gymnast to advance to the NCAA Championship finals since Jeff Coelho finished as the national runner up in the Division I competition on the rings in 1984.
The Sports Biology major will try to earn All-America honors on Saturday as he looks to place in the top eight of his event.
On Thursday afternoon, Ponce tallied a qualifying score of 14.650, the ninth-highest score of his qualifying session.