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March 7, 2014
SAN JUAN, P.R. - Behind a pair of top individual performances, the No. 5 Penn State men's gymnastics team finished second at the Puerto Rico Challenge Friday evening at the Pedrin Zorilla Coliseum. Posting a team score of 428.550, the Nittany Lions outscored the Puerto Rican national team (405.450), but came up short against top-ranked Michigan, who recorded a top team score of 438.800.
Sophomore Alexis Torres (Catano, Puerto Rico) and senior Wasef Burbar (Arlington Heights, Ill.) led the team with individual titles. Torres swung to a first-place finish on the rings with a season-high score of 15.650. Burbar also recorded a season high score, tying for first on the high bar with a score of 14.750.
Torres also recorded four more top-10 finishes to round out his performance. He turned in a third-place finish in the floor exercise (15.200), before tying for eighth on the vault (14.650).
He concluded the evening with a season-high fourth-place finish on the parallel bars (14.950) and a fifth-place finish on the high bar (13.700). Junior Ismael Sanabria (Caguas, Puerto Rico) tied Torres for eighth on the vault with a season-high score of 14.650.
In addition to a title on the high bar, Burbar also added another top-five score, finishing fifth on the parallel bars (14.450).
Redshirt junior Nestor Rodriguez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) turned in a pair of top five finishes. Setting a season-high mark, he finished second on the parallel bars with a score of 15.300. Competing on the vault, he recorded a third-place finish (15.050).
Overall, the Nittany Lions outscored the Puerto Rican national team in every single event, but could not overcome the Wolverines for a team title on any of the apparatuses.
After returning home from Puerto Rico, the Nittany Lions will hit the road for their last regular season dual meet of the season. In final preparation for post-season competition, Penn State travels to Michigan to square off against the Wolverines Friday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena.