By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With another academic year in the books, the Penn State men's gymnastics team can reflect on many lessons learned during the 2015-2016 campaign.
Despite numerous injuries, the Nittany Lions were determined to grow this past season.
"Although it was a tough season due to injuries, it gave a lot of guys a chance to step in and improve," said head coach Randy Jepson. "We gained a lot of experience which is the best thing we can ask for moving forward."
The Blue and White fought through all the injuries and showed great determination and drive with every meet.
"I would say we surprised a lot of people this year with how much our guys fought until the end," said Jepson.
"There were times when we were five points behind and turned around to win the match, and in gymnastics every point and every second of a routine counts," he continued.
Penn State was able to place fourth in the Big Ten Championships, and then placed fifth in the NCAA Championships.
"These guys were always hungry to win and willing to put the work in it to show the other schools what Penn State has to offer," said Jepson.
This year, the team was lead by three seniors, Trevor Howard, Alexis Torres, and Blake Young, who all helped the team grow this year.
In addition to being one of the veterans on the team, Howard was able to earn his seventh All-American title this season.
"Everyone motivates one another on this team, we want to see guys lead by an example," Jepson said.
Other notable veterans on the squad were team captain, Leroy Clarke Jr., and Dominic DiFulvio, who was picked to be team captain for next season.
Despite any injuries, every member of the squad played their part and helped the Lions advance this season. Additionally, the season allowed many of the younger players gain experience and start molding the future leaders.
"I always tell the guys there's success to be had as long as we keep moving forward and working hard," said coach Jepson. "I want us to always grow from the season."
"This season was good and I'm very proud of the team, we fought hard and showed everyone what our program is about," continued Jepson.
With the season officially over, the team is already in preparation for next year. Many of the guys will continue their training this summer and start working out wit the team again in no time.
Recent graduate Trevor Howard will also be returning in the fall, joining the coaching staff come fall as he continues to train and help develop the team.
"I'm very excited to have (Trevor) Howard back and see what happens in
the future, said Jepson. "A lot of these guys train year round and now we can
take what we learned this past season and use that to make us an even stronger
team in the future."