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LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Penn State men’s gymnastics team completed the Winter Cup Saturday, Feb. 18 with all four current Nittany Lions competing in the all-around along with former men’s gymnast and current volunteer assistant coach Trevor Howard.
“Overall we had a very strong performance against the best the U.S.A. has to offer,” said head coach Randy Jepson. “Our performance here in Vegas demonstrated that we are ready to make some waves as the collegiate season moves into five up, five count format this week. I am very proud of the effort our guys put forth.”
Sophomore Michael Burns (Baltimore, Ohio) had two top 20 finishes in the finals, tying for 14th on both the parallel bars and the high bar, scoring a 13.000 and a 12.950, respectively. The Baltimore, Ohio native placed 21st overall at the Winter Cup with a combined score of 154.400.
In his second career appearance at the Winter Cup, redshirt-senior Leroy Clarke, Jr. (Maplewood, N.J.) placed seventh on the pommel horse, scoring a 14.450 representing the Nittany Lions. Clarke also placed 12th on the still rings with a 13.850 and tied for 14th on the high bar, earning a 12.400. The Maplewood, N.J. native capped off the competition placing 33rd overall after not competing on both the floor and the vault.
Senior Dominic DiFulvio (Marietta, N.Y.) had the best showing on the floor for the Blue and White, placing 22nd overall, while also earning a top 20 finish on the still rings with a 13.650. DiFulvio earned a combined score of 152.600 to place 24th overall in his first appearance at the Winter Cup.
Freshman Favian Valdez (Kearny, N.J.) placed 19th overall in the all-around in his first collegiate appearance at the Winter Cup. The freshman all-arounder notched a 19th place finish on the pommel horse, scoring a 13.300, while tying for 17th overall on the parallel bars with a 13.200.
Howard was just shy of a top 10 finish in the all-around, placing 11th overall with a 161.050 combined score. The Columbus, Ohio native notched a seventh-place finish on the still rings, scoring a 14.400, while placing ninth on the high bar with a 13.250.
The entire Penn State men’s gymnastics team will return to action Saturday, Feb. 25 when it travels to Navy for a dual. The meet will mark the first weekend of five up, five count scoring.