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April 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) was in the zone and as the routine pressed on the energy inside of Rec Hall built and eventually the crowd of over 1,500 exploded as the freshman stuck his landing to post a career-best score of 15.800 and claim Penn State's first NCAA individual event title on the floor exercise in 50 years.
It was the first career NCAA title for Howard, who headlined a group of six Penn Staters earning All-American honors on the afternoon. Two Nittany Lions placed among the top-eight on the parallel bars and still rings, while junior Adrian Evans (Boulder, Colo.) earned his second straight All-American distinction on the pommel horse.
On the floor, Howard topped the charts and finished one-quarter of a point ahead of Stanford's Eddie Penev, who won the Nissen-Emery Award, given to college gymnastics top student-athlete. The freshman set a new career-best by over four-tenths of a point and gave the Blue and White their first floor exercise title since Tom Seward tied for top honors on the apparatus in 1963. He is just the third Nittany Lion to win the award in school history, joining Seward and Jean Cronstedt (1954).
Howard also placed ninth on the vault with a score of 15.025 and on the parallel bars with a final tally of 14.175.
Evans rocked his way to All-American honors on the pommel horse for the second straight season when he completed his routine with a score of 14.675 to finish fifth overall on the event. The Big Ten took four of the top five spots on the event and Evans' award marks the 23rd All-America honor for the program on the apparatus.
Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) added his second All-America certificate of the championships when he finished fifth on the high bar with a score of 14.725. The senior was also an All-American in the all-around, which was contested on Saturday, and finishes with four All-American distinctions on his resume. Last season, Aronovich was also an All-American on the parallel bars and in the all-around.
The still rings have been a staple of the Penn State program since the beginning and Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) and Parker Raque (Louisville, Ky.) carried that tradition on as the senior duo both stood on the podium as All-Americans to give Penn State 42 All-Americans on the still rings.
Rosenthal was the third competitor on the apparatus and stood atop the standings until late in the program, eventually finishing third with a score of 15.400. It is the third straight season that Rosenthal has earned the honor on the apparatus, while Raque's sixth place showing give him four career All-America honors.
Raque swung his way to a score of 15.075 and adds the still rings certificate among his career honors, which includes two All-American performances on the floor exercise (2011 & 2012) and one on the vault (2011).
The final competitor for the Nittany Lions on the afternoon was sophomore Matthew Felleman (Medway, Mass.) and capped the final competition of the season with a fourth place finish and a score of 14.850 to lock up his first career All-America status.
The six individual NCAA Champions are listed below;
Floor Exercise - Trevor Howard, Penn State
Horse - Michael Newburger, Ohio State
Still Rings - Michael Squire, Oklahoma
Vault - Fred Hartville, Illinois
Parallel Bars - Sam Mikulak, Michigan
High Bar - Sam Mikulak, Michigan