Key performances in the final event by sophomore twins Dan and Dennis Hayden combined with a penalty levied against Nebraska helped Arizona State win its first NCAA men’s gymnastics title Saturday.
Dan Hayden scored a 9.9 in the high bar, and his brother posted a 9.8.
Arizona State, which had finished second in 1978 and 1974, scored 283.90 points to 283.60 for second-place Nebraska. Stanford was third with 279.50.
Dan Hayden and Jerry Burrell added individual titles to the Sun Devils’ team victory Saturday night.
Hayden had a 9.9 on the parallel bars to retain the 1985 title he shared with Ohio State’s Seth Riskin. He added a 9.85 to also defend the high bar title he shared in 1985 with Nebraska’s Wes Suter.
Burrell shared the floor exercise title with Brian Ginsberg of UCLA, both scoring 9.8s.
In the team competition, the Haydens’ efforts on the high bar helped the Sun Devils erase the 1.35-point lead held by five-time champion Nebraska heading into the final round.
Nebraska Coach Francis Allen filed three inquiries over earlier high-bar competition.
The judges’ denial of a fourth protest proved costly for the Cornhuskers because of an automatic penalty of three-tenths of a point. Without that protest, the meet would have ended in a tie.
This is the first year the NCAA has permitted coaches to file inquiries about scoring in gymnastics competition. The three-tenths of a point penalty is assessed if the fourth protest filed by a coach is denied.
Nebraska also suffered when Wes Suter, on his final vault, slipped and sat down upon landing.