Bateman sitting in fifth on points scale, heading into finals

COLUMBUS, Ohio After finishing the opening round in seventh place, senior all-arounder Jake Bateman advances to the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge finals, holding fifth place based on the Men’s Program Committee’s approved points ranking system. The Kingsport, Tenn., native collected 98 points from five Top 10 finishes Thursday.

Only the Top 42 combined athletes from two qualifying sessions advanced to the second day of the competition.

Bateman will be joined by three teammates at the national event finals at 9:30 p.m. EST Saturday in Las Vegas with all Ohio State student-athletes beginning the competition on parallel bars.

Freshman Philip Onorato enters Saturday ranked 15th with 68 points. The Plano, Texas, native finished with a score of 83.7 in the all-around for ninth while also recording a second-place mark of 16.0 (tied) on vault.

Brandon Wynn, of Voorhees, N.J., advances after posting an 82.65 for 12th in the all-around and Steven Spencer, a redshirt-freshman from Pleasanton, Calif., moves on to the finals after capturing second place on pommel horse with a 14.75.

After the Winter Cup Challenge finals, seven gymnasts will be named to the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team based on the national team points ranking system and one each will be selected by the Men’s Program Committee and men’s national team coordinator.

The six members of the 2008 U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Olympic Team can petition for spots, and the Men’s Program Committee will name additional members to the senior national team if any Olympic positions are unused. The 15 gymnasts named to the team will comprise the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team until the 2009 Visa Championships in August.