No. 5 Men's Gymnastics Posts Season High Score Versus No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Illinois
March 19, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. - Despite competing shorthanded for the second consecutive week, the No. 5 Penn State men's gymnastics team finished the regular season strong, recording its highest score of the year, a 356.750, in a tri-meet versus host No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Illinois on Saturday evening in Norman. The Sooners used the motivation of Senior Night and their McCasland Fieldhouse home gym advantage to the fullest, posting a score of 366.400, while the Illini totaled a 359.100.
The Nittany Lions overcame a bout of sickness that has hampered the squad for the past two weeks and the absence of redshirt junior Warren Yang (Nepean, Ont.), who was competing north of the border in the Canadian National Championships, to also set season high scores in the still rings (61.400) and high bar (59.300).
Sophomore Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) added another chapter to his storybook season, scoring a 15.750 to place first in the still rings for the ninth time in 2011. Also leading the Lions was freshman Wasef Burbar (Arlington Heights, Ill.) continued his late season surge, tying the nation's top gymnast, OU's Steven Legendre, for the title in the high bar with a team and season high score of 15.350.
Junior Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) was also a key to Penn State's stellar rings total, placing third with a career high-tying score of 15.500. Redshirt freshman Nihir Kothari (Malvern, Pa.) was also a factor, finishing sixth with a career best mark of 15.100.
Redshirt freshman Francisco Vazquez (San Juan, P.R.) rebounded strong after a illness-shortened showing last week in his native country versus the Puerto Rico National Team, highlighting the Nittany Lions' efforts in the floor exercise, pommel horse, and vault. He set career high in two events, finishing tied for seventh in the floor (15.250) and third in horse (14.850). Vazquez also tied his career best score in the vault (15.900).
Sophomore Parker Raque (Louisville, Ky.) tied Legendre, a former NCAA vault champion, for fifth in the event with a score of 15.950, his second highest mark of this season and his career.
Penn State will return to action in two weeks when it travels to Champaign, Ill. to seek their third conference title at the 2011 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships. The annual competition will take place from April 1-2 at Huff Hall on the host campus of the University of Illinois. On Friday, the team and all-around champions will be crowned while Saturday's action will feature the individual event finals. Both nights of competition are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network in high definition.