No. 5 Nittany Lions Claim Season Opening Win Over Army
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The No. 5 Penn State men's gymnastics squad opened the 2014 campaign with a convincing victory against No. 15 Army, 431.900-410.300, on Saturday evening inside Rec Hall. Sophomore Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) won four individual events, while redshirt-junior Nestor Rodriguez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and junior Matthew Felleman (Medway, Mass.) helped the Nittany Lions sweep the individual event titles, winning the pommel horse and high bar, respectively.
Howard also took home the all-around title with a score of 73.250, winning the floor exercise (15.050), still rings (15.450), vault (15.000) and parallel bars (15.100). He scored 12.600 on the pommel horse and 14.350 on the high bar to close out his season-opening effort.
After missing the second portion of the 2013 season, Rodriguez made a triumphant return to the mat, capturing a first-place finish on the pommel horse by a score of 14.750. On the rings, he finished fourth, with a score of 14.900, while also finishing eighth on the high bar (13.500).
Felleman opened the 2014 season with another strong performance on the horizontal bar. The school record holder recorded a first-place finish in the event with a score of 15.550 for his fourth career title on the high bar.
Freshmen Jeremy Munn (York, Maine) and Dominic DiFulvio (Marietta, N.Y.) both made their collegiate gymnastics debuts against the Black Knights. DiFulvio highlighted the evening with a fourth-place finish on the parallel bars with a 14.100 mark. On the horizontal bar, he swung to an eighth-place finish, recording a 13.600. He also registered a 13.900 score on the vault, good for ninth place in the event. Munn, who competed in the floor exercise, posted a sixth-place finish, with a score of 13.800.
Ingvar Jochumsson (Kopavogur, Iceland) swung to a career-high mark on the still rings, recording a score of 14.500, good fifth place in the event. Jochumsson also notched and eighth- place finish on the parallel bars (13.600).
As a team, the Nittany Lions claimed the first five spots on the rings, featuring Howard, Tristan Duverglas (West Orange, N.J.), Alexis Torres (Catano, Puerto Rico), Rodriguez and Jochumsson. Penn State also captured the first four positions on the parallel bars, which included top performances by Howard, DiFulvio Leroy Clarke Jr. (Maplewood, N.J.) and Preston Gall (Columbus, Ohio).
Next up, the Nittany Lions hit the road for their first road trip of the season, traveling to the West Point Open. Penn State will compete in the team competition Friday, Jan. 17th, before concluding the weekend with the individual event finals Saturday, Jan. 18th.