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January 20, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind five event victors and an all-around winner, the Penn State men's gymnastics team secured its first home victory of the 2018 season with a 407.600-384.100 win over Army West Point Saturday, Jan. 20 at Rec Hall.
"I think the thing that we walk away out of this is that we have to focus," said head coach Randy Jepson. "We didn't focus very well today and a lot of just silly errors that we haven't had for months. It's frustrating to regress, but the bright side is we've got a great Illinois team coming in. They're going to challenge us right to the end, so we're going to have to be pretty prepared mentally."
The Nittany Lions bested their team score, while posting season-bests on the pommel horse (67.850), and the still rings (68.550). The Blue and White also took home five event titles as well as the all-around title as sophomore Stephen Nedoroscik (Worcester, Mass.) notched the pommel horse title, Greg Tamargo (Kennett Square, Pa.) captured both the still rings and vault titles, freshman Brennan Pantazis (Sparks, Nev.) earned the parallel bars and all-around wins, and freshman Alex Frack (Nazareth, Pa.) picked up the high bar win.
Penn State saw eight career-highs on the day with Frack besting all his scores from the West Point Open and earning his first collegiate title. "He did a nice job," said Jepson. "Alex [Frack] is a pretty savvy competitor. He wasn't perfect on horse, but he didn't give a break up. He had a solid set there. On parallel bars he flopped through, a little sloppy, but he got it done. On high bars, he came through again there, so it's good to see there.
Tamargo led the Nittany Lion squad with two event wins with a victory on both the still rings and the vault. "Greg Tamargo did a great job," noted Jepson. "He started a little bit last year, and it was a struggle for him all season long. He wasn't able to get in the competitive squad, and he came through today with a great meet, much sharper than he was last week. That was huge."
The Blue and White took the early lead in the meet, scoring a 68.950 on the floor exercise. Tamargo led the Nittany Lions, placing second overall with a 13.950, while senior Quest Hayden (Harrisburg, Pa.) notched the third-place finish with a 13.850. Elliott Herman of Army earned the win on the floor exercise, scoring a 14.000 in the event.
Nedoroscik continued to impress on the pommel horse, picking up his second-straight victory in as many meets in the 2018 season, scoring a 14.300. The Nittany Lions swept the podium spots as senior Colin Coates (Emmaus, Pa.) placed second with a 14.050 and Frack notched the third-place finish in his first collegiate home meet at Rec Hall. As a team, Penn State scored a 67.850, which bested its team score from a week ago by an entire point.
The winning continued into the third rotation as Tamargo grabbed his first victory of the day with a 14.150 on the still rings. Redshirt-junior Noah Roberson (Williamsville, N.Y.) followed Tamargo with a second-place finish as he scored a 13.800 and Chris Sands (Lancaster, Pa.) rounded out the top three with a 13.600. The Blue and White took the top five spots of the day on the event with Michael Burns (Baltimore, Ohio) and Isaac Hammett (Sacramento, Calif.) scoring matching 13.500s.
Tamargo solidified his second win of the night and third top three finish as he garnered a 14.000 on the vault as the second competitor in the Penn State rotation. Sophomore Brayden Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.) finished just slightly behind Tamargo with a 13.950 to tie for second on the vault with Army West Point's Seth Cannon.
With two rotations to go, the Nittany Lions held onto a 273.250-258.700 lead over the Black Knights. Pantazis kept the winning going for the Blue and White as he picked up the parallel bars title for the second-straight week, scoring a 13.950. Penn State swept the top three spots for the third time of the day as Sam Zakutney (Ottawa, Ontario) placed second with a 13.850 and Frack placed third with a 13.650.
Frack earned his first title as a collegiate student-athlete in the final event of the day when he posted a 13.700 on the high bar for the Nittany Lions. Frack was followed by redshirt-sophomore Alex Thomason (Houston, Texas) and Burns, who completed the podium sweep with a 13.650 and a 13.350, respectively.
Pantazis also earned the all-around title as the lone competitor with a 77.400 in his second time competing in all six events.
The Penn State men's gymnastics team will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 27 for the first double dual of the season with the women's team. Both squads will take on Illinois in the Big Ten Conference meet at 4 p.m. at Rec Hall.