No. 8 Men's Gymnastics Posts Season-High Score But Falls to No. 3 Cal
March 14, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 8 Penn State men's gymnastics team recorded its highest score of the 2009 season but it was not enough to overtake No. 3 Cal and the Nittany Lions fell, 355.150-353.800, in a highly competitive dual meet at Rec Hall on Senior Night.
Penn State used a season-best score of 60.300 to win the floor exercise and posted a solid total of 57.350 to take the parallel bars. The Lions also set a season best mark in the pommel horse, scoring a 56.500, but were edged by Cal in the event (56.950). Penn State's team total of 353.800 was nearly five points higher than its previous season high set versus Michigan on Jan. 24.
Senior Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) performed on Senior Night in a manner befitting his standout career, winning the all-around with a season-high score of 90.300. The seven-time All-American was particularly dominant in the pommel horse, placing first with a career-high score of 15.650, .6 of a point higher than the second place finisher. Sandy, the reigning Big Ten and NCAA All-Around champion, also placed second in the vault, third in the parallel bars (tie, 14.500), fourth in the floor exercise (15.100) and rings (14.750), and seventh in the high bar (tie, 14.500). For his efforts, Sandy was honored with the Gene Wettstone Award.
Also competing in the final meet of their Nittany Lion careers at Rec Hall were seniors Josh Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.) and Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.). Borromeo, the team captain, thrilled a large contingent that turned out to see him perform, posting a personal best score of 14.700 in the still rings. Antonio competed in four events with his top performance coming in the pommel horse, where he placed fourth (14.250).
Junior Allen Harris (Lancaster, Pa.) and sophomore Warren Yang (Nepean, Ont.) continued their trend of late of making key contributions. Harris won his third consecutive floor exercise title (15.200) while Yang placed second in the floor exercise (15.150) and the high bar (14.750). Freshman Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio), the defending Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, used a season high score of 14.500 to tie for third in the parallel bars.
The Nittany Lions will wrap up the 2009 regular season with an opportunity to measure themselves against one of the top teams in the nation when they face defending national champion and No. 2-ranked Oklahoma on Sat., March 21 in Norman, Okla. The dual is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET start at the Sooners' Howard McCasland Fieldhouse. A year ago, Oklahoma escaped Happy Valley with a narrow 357.850-356.650 win. Casey Sandy led Penn State with wins in the pommel horse, vault, high bar, and all-around. The Lions hold a 2-11 record in all-time meetings with the Sooners.