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Feb. 25, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After a week away from team competition and the first week of a five up, five count format, the Penn State men’s gymnastics team came away victorious at Navy winning the dual 409.400-399.250 Saturday, Feb. 25.
The Nittany Lions earned five event titles on the afternoon with freshman Sam Zakutney (Ottawa, Ontario) earning the win on both the high bar and parallel bars and Dominic DiFulvio (Marietta, N.Y.) sharing the win with sophomore Christopher Sands (Lancaster, Pa.) on the still rings and taking the vault title outright. Finally, redshirt-senior Leroy Clarke, Jr. (Maplewood, N.J.) garnered his second pommel horse title of the season, scoring a 14.200.
The Blue and White started off strong on the pommel horse, taking the top four spots in the event with Clarke earning the victory, scoring a 14.200, while Favian Valdez (Kearny, N.J.) placed second with a 14.100. Sophomore Michael Burns (Baltimore, Ohio) rounded out the podium spots with a 13.700 and Stephen Nedoroscik (Worcester, Md.) placed fourth overall with a 13.650.
Moving onto the floor, Navy earned the top two placed in the event, while Zakutney notched the third-place finish with a 14.050 in the event. Senior Christian McSwain (Jamestown, N.C.) and Valdez tied for fourth overall for the Blue and White on the floor with matching 13.850s, while Wyatt Tyndall (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) finished in sixth overall with a 13.800.
Penn State took the top three spots for the second time on the afternoon when DiFulvio won the vault with a 14.250 and Valdez and Jeremy Munn (York, Maine) tied for second overall with tying 14.100s. As a team, Penn State scored a 69.850 on the vault to maintain a lead over the Midshipmen.
The Blue and White excelled on the still rings, scoring a season-high 70.500 behind a tying first-place finish from DiFulvio and Sands as both posted 14.400s on the events, while Clarke picked up the third-place finish with a 14.150.
Penn State extended its lead to 340.750-334.150 following the fifth rotation, scoring a 63.700 on the high bar behind a team-best 13.950 and win from Zakutney. The high bar title marked the second of the season for the freshman. Navy took the next four spots on the high bar, while Franz Card (Nashua, N.H.) came in fifth with a 12.900.
In the final rotation of the day, Zakutney nabbed his second title at Navy and third parallel bars win of his young career, scoring a 14.200, while Clarke placed second with a 14.050 and Card came in third overall with a 13.800.
The Blue and White will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for a tri-meet against both the Cornhuskers and Iowa Saturday, March 4. The Nittany Lions will square off with the two Big Ten Conference squads starting at 5 p.m. ET.