No. 8 Men's Gymnastics Records Season High Score But Falls to No. 1 Oklahoma in Regular Season Finale
March 21, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. - The No. 8 Penn State men's gymnastics team didn't get the win on Saturday night versus No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. but it gained a wealth of confidence and momentum as the postseason nears, recording season high scores in four of six events on its way to its top team score of the year, a 356.300. The defending national champion Sooners used the motivation of Senior Night and their McCasland Fieldhouse home gym advantage to the fullest, posting an astronomical 366.850.
While the Nittany Lions did not top Oklahoma in any event, they did establish season best scores in the floor exercise (60.450), still rings (59.400), vault (63.350), and high bar (59.800). Penn State's pommel horse (55.650) and parallel bars (57.650) totals were also above its season average.
While last week's home meet versus Cal was technically Penn State's Senior Night, the senior trio of Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.), Josh Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.), and Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) shined in their final regular season meet in the blue and white. Sandy won his seventh pommel horse title of the year, scoring a 15.150, and registered season best scores in the floor exercise (15.150) and still rings (14.850). Borromeo not only broke his career best score in the still rings, a 15.250, but he set the team high for the season in the event. Antonio continued to come through for his team when needed the most, establishing new career highs with superb efforts in the floor exercise (15.350) and high bar (15.050).
Junior Noam Shaham (Kfar Saba, Israel) contributed standout performances, scoring career highs in three events, the vault (15.950), parallel bars (14.500), and high bar (15.050). Junior Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.) also had a career effort, earning a score of 15.900 in the vault.
The Nittany Lions will return to action in two weeks when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to defend their 2008 conference title at the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships. The annual competition will take place from April 3-4 at Crisler Arena on the host campus of the University of Michigan. 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 7 p.m and will be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network.