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MGYM Opens Season at West Point Open

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PENN STATE at WEST POINT OPEN
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Saturday, Jan. 12-13 | 7 p.m.

Gross Center

West Point, N.Y.

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Jan. 11, 2016

NITTANY LIONS OPEN 2017 CAMPAIGN AT WEST POINT OPEN
The Penn State men's gymnastics team will start its 2018 campaign on the road at Army West Point, the site of the 2017 National Championship, for the 27th Annual West Point Open Friday, Jan. 12-Saturday, Jan. 13.

The Nittany Lions will compete for their fifth-straight title after winning the event from 2014-17 and sweeping the individual event titles in the 2016 campaign.

ROTATION ORDER FOR WEST POINT OPEN
The Nittany Lions will begin the meet on one of its top events, the pommel horse, before moving to the still rings in the second rotation. The Blue and White will then compete on the vault in rotation three and the parallel bars in rotation four. Penn State will cap off the event on the high bar in rotation five and the floor for the final rotation of the evening. The top eight gymnasts will advance to the individual event finals on Saturday. However, only the top-three gymnasts from each school can qualify for the event finals.

PENN STATE HISTORY AT THE WEST POINT OPEN
Penn State has won the West Point Open 19 times in the 26 years of the meet, having won it 10-straight times from 1998-2007.

The Nittany Lions are the four-time defending champs, notching a 412.350 in the 2017 season.

Additionally, the Blue and White have won 83 individual event titles at the West Point Open, clinching four individual event titles in the 2017 campaign. Penn State returns three of its four individual event winners from the 2017 season, including senior Colin Coates, who will compete for his third-straight pommel horse title at the West Point Open.

The Nittany Lions also return sophomore Favian Valdez, who notched the floor exercise title in his freshman season and Michael Burns, who is also looking for this third-straight title on the high bar for the Blue and White.

PENN STATE VS. OPPONENTS AT WEST POINT OPEN

The Nittany Lions own a dominating 169-42-1 overall record against its five opponents at the West Point Open, defeating Temple 58 of the 68 times the two teams have faced off in a dual. Furthermore, Penn State has defeated both Army West Point and Navy over 30 times in the history of the squads, while defeating Springfield 21 times in dual action.

SERIES HISTORY WITH THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Penn State owns a 41-18-1 overall record against Army West Point in dual meets. The Nittany Lions have not dropped a meet to Army West Point since 1962 when the Black Knights handed Gene Wettstone and his squad their lone loss of the season with a 54-42 victory over Penn State.

ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST NAVY
Penn State owns a 39-11 overall dual record against the Midshipmen, defeating Navy on 28-straight occasions. The Nittany Lions have not dropped a meet to Navy since 1988 when they fell 275.600-275.300 on Feb. 5.

SERIES HISTORY WITH SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE
The Blue and White are 21-3-0 all-time against the Pride in dual meets. The Nittany Lions have not fallen to Springfield since Jan. 11, 1975 when they were defeated 202.60-200.50.

GLANCING AT THE SERIES WITH TEMPLE
Penn State has faced off with Temple in dual meets on 68 occasions, taking 58 victories. The series with the Owls dates back to the 1937 season as the Nittany Lions have met up with Temple more times than any other opponent in the history of the program.

LAST TIME OUT AT THE WEST POINT OPEN
The Penn State men's gymnastics team captured its fourth-straight title at the 26th Annual West Point Open Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. The Nittany Lions scored a 412.350 in their first meet of the season to win the open for the 19th time in program history.

In day two of the meet, the Nittany Lions had 10 individuals compete for event titles as they took home four victories on the evening. Favian Valdez picked up his first victory donning the Blue and White, notching a 14.500 on the floor exercise, while Colin Coates nabbed the pommel horse win for the second-straight year with a 14.700. In 2016, Coates helped Penn State to the individual event title sweep, winning the pommel horse with a 15.050 in the event. Penn State grabbed its third-straight individual event when Dominic DiFulvio came up big on the still rings with a 14.750 and

Michael Burns capped off the four individual event titles for the Blue and White as he picked up his second-straight high bar title with a 14.650 at the West Point Open, winning the event in the 2016 season as well.

NITTANY LIONS PICKED FIFTH IN BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
The Penn State men's gymnastics team was picked fifth in the 2018 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the conference office Thursday, Dec. 14. Along with the preseason coaches' poll, sophomores Stephen Nedoroscik and Sam Zakutney were named to the Gymnast to Watch List for the upcoming season.

For the fourth-straight season, Ohio State grabbed the top spot in the Big Ten Poll, while Minnesota and Illinois rounded out the top three places for the second-straight season. Nebraska came in as the number four preseason team in the conference with Penn State, Iowa and Michigan rounding out Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll.

PENN STATE COMES IN SEVENTH IN THE CGA PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
The Penn State men's gymnastics team enters the 2018 campaign ranked seventh in the College Gymnastics Association (CGA) Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Oklahoma was picked to finish first in the nation for the fourth-straight season with 14 first-place votes, while Stanford was picked to finish second with one first-place vote and Ohio State was projected to round out the top three with two first-place votes. Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively with Penn State coming in as the No. 7 team to start the 2018 season.

NITTANY LIONS SET TO APPEAR ON BTN TWO TIMES
The Penn State men's gymnastics team will have one away meet featured on the Big Ten Network, while the network will also air the 2018 Big Ten Championships. The Nittany Lions and the Wolverines of Michigan will square off at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24 on BTN in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The 2018 Men's Big Ten Championships will be hosted by Michigan in Ann Arbor Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. The team championship will be handed out on Friday, while individual event winners will be crowned April 7. Both sessions will be aired live on BTN starting at 7 p.m.

JEPSON KICKS OFF 27TH SEASON AT THE HELM OF MEN'S GYMNASTICS
The 2018 campaign marks the 27th season for head coach Randy Jepson as the program leader of the Nittany Lions. Jepson came to Penn State in 1982 as a senior gymnast, earning All-America honors on the rings and being a Nissen-Emery Award nominee. From there, he went on to be the graduate assistant for two seasons before becoming an assistant coach from 1985-1991. In 1992,

Jepson served as the acting head coach and was promoted to head coach in 1993 and since has led the Nittany Lions to three national championships and three Big Ten titles.

Jepson has been the National Coach of the Year on three occasions (2000, 2004 and 2007) and garnered the prestigious CGA Honor Coach Award in 2011, which is given to the coaches who have 25 years of service or more to the sport of gymnastics. Additionally, Jepson is a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year honoree and has coached 45 All-Americans on 103 occasions, 30 First Team All-Big Ten selection and 12 NCAA Individual Event Champions.

NEDOROSCIK RETURNS AFTER STANDOUT FRESHMAN SEASON
Sophomore Stephen Nedoroscik won the 2017 national championship on the pommel horse with a career-best 14.900 to become the 54th individual NCAA National Champion. Furthermore, the then-freshman pommel horse specialist is the third freshman to capture an individual NCAA event title in the last five years and only the fourth-ever Penn State men's gymnast to earn an individual event title. Nedoroscik joins the company of Mark Sohn (1988 pommel horse), Trevor Howard (2013 floor exercise) and Thad Lawson (2015 floor exercise) as the only four Penn State freshman men's gymnasts to earn individual event titles.

ZAKUTNEY LOOKING FOR BIG SOPHOMORE SEASON
Sophomore Sam Zakutney notched All-American honors with a fifth-place finish on the parallel bars in his first season donning the Blue and White. Zakutney was also named Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year after earning four Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors in the 2017 season.

11 NITTANY LIONS COLLECT CGA ALL-AMERICA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE HONORS
Eleven Penn State men's gymnastics student-athletes earned College Gymnastics Association (CGA) Academic All-American Scholar-Athlete honors, while the 2017 team ranked in the top 10 with a 3.284 team grade point average in the 2016-17 academic year.

Eight Nittany Lions earned first team All-American Scholar-Athlete honors with redshirt-sophomore Noah Roberson leading the way with a 4.0 grade point average. Roberson was the 2017 Elite 90 recipient for men's gymnastics as a double major in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. Also earning first team honors for the Blue and White were Chris Sands (3.99-3.90 GPA), Wyatt Tyndall (3.89-3.80), Brayden Borromeo (3.799-3.70), Michael Burns (3.799-3.70), Alex Thomason (3.79-3.70), Benjamin Cooperman (3.699-3.60) and Franz Card (3.599-3.50).

Along with the seven first team honorees, three Nittany Lions notched second team honors, including Joseph Boyle (3.399-3.30), Dominic DiFulvio (3.399-3.30) and Stephen Nedoroscik (3.299-3.20).

As a team, Penn State ranked fifth in the nation with a 3.284 team grade point average, while Big Ten foe Nebraska led the way with a 3.505 team GPA.

Since the inception of the award in 1991, the Nittany Lions have received 76 first team All-American Scholar-Athlete honors and 46 second team All-American Scholar-Athlete honors. Penn State's 76 first team honorees rank 13th all-time amongst NCAA gymnastics teams.

TICKET INFORMATION
For information on purchasing 2018 season tickets fans can visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Penn State will host its first home meet of the 2018 season Saturday, Jan. 20 against Army West Point. The dual is slated to start at 4 p.m. at Rec Hall.

NEXT UP
The Nittany Lions open their 2018 home slate Saturday, Jan. 20 against Army West Point. Penn State and Army square off at 4 p.m. at Rec Hall.


 

 

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