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April 12, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A trio of Penn State gymnasts featuring junior Craig Hernandez (Libertyville, Ill.), sophomore Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) and Alexis Torres (Catano, Puerto Rico) recorded three top eight finishes in the individual finals to All-America honors in the 2014 NCAA National Championships Saturday evening at Crisler Arena.
Coming off of a career-high performance in last night's NCAA team finals, Howard posted a 15.050 on the parallel bars to earn his second career All-America distinction. Howard's sixth highest score of the season finished tied for sixth with Ohio State's Sean Melton. In last night's team finals, Howard put on an impressive showing with a score of 15.500, which placed third overall.
The 2014 Big Ten still rings individual champion also competed on the still rings, earning a ninth-place finish with a score of 14.800. In addition to 2014 first team All-Big Ten Honors, Howard also concluded the season with Penn State's top season scores on the rings and the parallel bars, while also leading the team in all-around performances.
Torres earned his first career All-America honor as he swung to a score of 14.850 on the rings to finish eighth overall. He stood on the podium as Penn State's 43rd All-America on the rings in program history. Torres burst into the lineup this season as one of Penn State's top finishers in multiple events.
As one of his top events, Torres posted eight performances where he scored at least 15.100 on the rings during the 2014 season, including a season and career-high mark of 15.800 in the regular season finale at Michigan.
Hernandez earned his second career All-America honor on the pommel horse, recording a fifth-place finish with a score of 14.775. While it was not his best score of the season, Hernandez capped off the 2014 season with his 12th top-5 finish of the season. He also closed out the year with the team's top three performances on the apparatus.
In addition to taking home five pommel horse titles during the regular season, Hernandez set a season-high mark with a score of 15.175 at the Big Ten Championships to earn second team All-Big Ten honors.
Since 1938, Penn State has seen 108 student-athletes earn All-America honors on 303 occasions. The Nittany Lions have also had at least one All-American in 60 of the 76 seasons since the NCAA Championships began.
The six individual champions are listed below:
Floor exercise - Alec Robin, Oklahoma (15.425)
Pommel horse - Ellis Mannon, Minnesota (15.425)
Still Rings - Michael Squires, Oklahoma (15.800)
Vault - Alec Robin, Oklahoma (15.250)
Parallel Bars - Sam Mikulak, Michigan (15.875)
High Bar - Jordan Valdez, Illinois (15.525)