No. 1 Men's Gymnastics Remains Undefeated at Home with 354.200-343.450 Win Over No. 8 Minnesota
Feb. 2, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 1-ranked Penn State men's gymnastics team upped its 2008 home record to 3-0 on Saturday afternoon with a decisive 354.200-343.450 victory over Big Ten foe No. 8 Minnesota in front of 2,135 boisterous fans at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions won every event as a team, setting season highs in the still rings (60.650) and parallel bars (60.050), and claimed individual titles in five of six events.
Pacing Penn State were junior Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) and senior Vladi Klurman (North Miami Beach, Fla.). For the fourth consecutive meet, Sandy won three or more events, claiming outright titles in the floor exercise (15.600) and parallel bars (15.500) while sharing the high bar crown (14.300) with Minnesota's Colin McGuire. Despite not giving his most polished effort of the season, Sandy still won the all-around with a score of 88.400.
Klurman bounced back from a rough outing last week versus Temple to contribute his finest performance of the season against the Golden Gophers. He easily won the vault, posting a score of 16.100, to top the nation's No. 1-ranked vaulter, Minnesota's Mitchell Mays (15.650). Klurman also secured victory in the still rings with a team season high mark of 15.350. For his efforts, he was recognized as the meet's Gene Wettstone award winner.
Josh Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.) showed again that he is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the still rings, as the junior placed second in the event for the second straight week with a personal season best score of 15.200.
Team captain Santiago Lopez led by example on Saturday by placing second in the floor exercise (15.500) and tying for the runner-up spot (14.850) with teammates Derek Helsby (Orlando, Fla.) and Vladi Klurman in the parallel bars. Both scores were personal season highs for Lopez.
Senior Derek Helsby placed second in the all-around, totaling an 86.750. Helsby's top performances came in the parallel bars (tie, 2nd) and the rings (tie, 2nd).
Next weekend, a Penn State contingent made-up of seniors Derek Helsby and Vladi Klurman, junior Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.), and assistant coach Kevin Tan will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete individually in the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge from Feb. 7-9. Tan is the two-time defending Winter Cup still rings champion while Klurman qualified for the finals in four events at the 2007 event.
After consecutive road meets against Big Ten foes Illinois (Feb. 16) and Ohio State (Feb. 24), the Nittany Lions will return home on Sun., March 8 to face William & Mary and Navy in a 2 p.m. tri-meet at Rec Hall.