Five Nittany Lions Compete in Individual Finals of 2009 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships
April 4, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Five Nittany Lions competed in the individual finals of the 2009 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships on Saturday evening at host Michigan's Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Junior Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.) performed in three events, contributing Penn State's top showing by placing third in the vault with a score of 15.900; a mark that tied his season and career high established two weeks ago at Oklahoma. He also finished eighth in the floor exercise (14.675) and 10th in the high bar (12.750).
Senior Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) added another accomplishment to his best competitive season as a Nittany Lion, earning a fifth place finish in the high bar (14.250).
Joining Virbitsky in the floor exercise individual event final was junior Allen Harris (Lancaster, Pa.). Harris scored a 14.825 to place fifth.
Senior Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.), the 2008 Big Ten Parallel Bars and All-Around Champion, was injured on Friday night during the team finals. Freshman Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio), one of Penn State's top pommel horse and still rings performer, broke his hand while preparing for the Big Ten Championships and will miss the remainder of the season.
In less than two weeks, the Nittany Lions will seek their NCAA-record 13th national title when they travel to Minneapolis, Minn. for the 2009 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships. From April 16-18, the nation's elite collegiate gymnastics competitors will descend upon the Sports Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota to vie for team and individual glory. The competition begins on Thurs., April 16 with two qualifying sessions, scheduled for 2 and 8 p.m. ET. The top three teams from each qualifier then advance to vie for the national championship at 8 p.m. ET on Fri., April 17. The nation's top all-around performer will also be crowned that evening. On Sat., April 18, the individual event finals will be held at 8 p.m. ET, with six national titles and All-American status at stake.