No. 6 Men's Gymnastics Opens 2010 Season with 341.000-314.350 Victory Over Army
Jan. 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 6 Penn State men's gymnastics team opened its 2010 season in successful fashion on Saturday night at Rec Hall, taking at minimum the top three spots in every event in downing visiting Army, 341.000-314.350. Head coach Randy Jepson's promising class of newcomers had an exceptional debut, as a freshman captured at least a share of first place in all six events.
Freshman Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) led the way, claiming titles in the pommel horse (14.200) and the parallel bars (14.300) and a fourth place finish (tie, 13.750) in the still rings. For his standout performance, he was honored with the Gene Wettstone Award. Making his stellar collegiate debut even more remarkable is the fact that Aronovich has only been a Nittany Lion for two weeks, enrolling in school just after Christmas, and was a member of the Israeli army just three weeks ago.
Another freshman, Nick Grant (Butler, Pa.), was equally impressive, capturing the title in the floor exercise (15.150) and tying senior Noam Shaham (Kfar Saba, Israel) for first in the vault (15.700).
Three more freshmen, Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.), Mackenzie Dow (Cranford, N.J.), and Matt Chelberg (Athens, Ohio), made quick impressions with first place finishes. Rosenthal dominated in the still rings, winning the event by .6 of a point (15.050) while Dow and Chelberg shared the title in the high bar (13.800). Dow also placed second in the parallel bars (tie, 14.300) and third in the pommel horse (12.900) and vault (15.550). Chelberg had a busy collegiate debut, competing in five events, also finishing third in the floor exercise (14.700), fourth in the rings (13.750), sixth in the pommel horse (11.950), and eighth in the parallel bars (12.750).
In addition to his win the vault, Noam Shaham has good showings in the rings (second, 14.450), and parallel bars (second [tie], 13.950). He was the meet's lone all-around competitor, totaling a score of 78.400.
Sophomore Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) competed strongly in his two top events, placing second in the pommel horse (13.200) and third in the still rings (14.350).
Penn State will be back in action next weekend when it travels to compete at the West Point Open on Jan. 15-16. Hosted by the United States Military Academy, the Nittany Lions have dominated the annual competition, winning 11 consecutive team titles. The team competition is scheduled for Friday with the individual event finals to be held on Saturday. Both competitions are set for 7 p.m. at the home of the Army Black Knights, Christl Arena.