No. 6 Men's Gymnastics Drops Road Dual Meet Decision to No. 9 Cal
March 14, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 6 Penn State men's gymnastics team suffered a 354.650-344.300 setback to No. 9 Cal on Saturday evening at the Golden Bears' Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. Eighth-ranked Nebraska was originally scheduled to participate in the meet but could not make the trip from Lincoln due to travel issues.
The Nittany Lions won the floor exercise with a season-high score of 60.250 but struggled on the parallel bars, posting a season-low score of 53.550, and had below average totals in the other four events. Individually, freshman Nick Grant (Butler, Pa.) led Penn State by capturing titles in the floor exercise, winning with a season best score of 15.400, and the vault, tying for the top spot by equalizing his season high mark of 15.850. Fellow freshman Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) claimed first place in the still rings (14.650) and finished second in the pommel horse (14.800).
Penn State was edged in the still rings by Cal by just .50, getting strong performances from senior Noam Shaham (Kfar Saba, Israel) (14.500) and freshman Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) (14.450), who placed second and third in the event, respectively.
Freshman Parker Raque (Louisville, Ky.) matched his season high in the vault, scoring a 15.600 for the second consecutive week to place in a tie for third. Senior Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.) secured his eighth top-three finish in the last four meets, placing in a tie for third in the floor exercise (15.200).
The Nittany Lions return home next weekend to host No. 2 Oklahoma in a 7 p.m. dual meet on Sat., March 20 at Rec Hall. For seniors Matt Greenfield (Villanova, Pa.), Allen Harris (Lancaster, Pa.), Noam Shaham, and Nick Virbitsky, it will be their final home appearance in a Nittany Lion uniform. The trio will be honored in a special Senior Night ceremony following the meet. A year ago, Penn State posted a season-high team score but fell to the Sooners, 366.850-356.300, in Norman, Okla. The meet will be a double dual with the No. 18 Penn State women's gymnastics team facing No. 11 Nebraska.