No. 6 Men's Gymnastics Seeks 12th Consecutive West Point Open Title
Jan. 14, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 6-ranked Penn State men's gymnastics team takes to the road for the first time in 2010 this weekend, traveling to New York and the campus of the United States Military Academy in search of its 12th-consecutive title at the West Point Open. The annual meet, which attracts the top teams and competitors on the east coast, will be held on Fri-Sat., Jan. 15-16 at the home of the Black Knights, Christl Arena.
The team competition at the 2010 West Point Open is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. with the individual events finals set for Saturday, also at 7 p.m. The top eight finishers from each of Friday night's events advance to vie for individual honors on Saturday evening.
The Nittany Lions will vie with host Army, Temple, Navy, and Springfield College and club teams Brockport and M.I.T. for the 2009 crown.
Led by freshmen Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) and Nick Grant (Butler, Pa.), Penn State opened the 2010 season last weekend with a commanding 341.00-314.350 victory over Army at Rec Hall. In their collegiate debuts Aronovich won the pommel horse and the parallel bars, garnering Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Week honors, while Butler claimed first place in the floor exercise and tied teammate senior Noam Shaham (Kfar Saba, Israel) for the top spot in the vault. Three more freshmen, Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.), Mackenzie Dow (Cranford, N.J.), and Matt Chelberg (Athens, Ohio), made quick impressions with first place finishes. Rosenthal dominated in the still rings while Dow and Chelberg shared the title in the high bar.
At the 2009 West Point Open, the Nittany Lions captured their 11th consecutive team crown behind title-winning performances by Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) (still rings, all-around), Casey Sandy (parallel bars), Nick Virbitsky (Harrisburg, Pa.) (floor exercise), and Matt Albrecht (Guelph, Ont.) (vault). Sandy advanced to win an individual title in the pommel horse in day two of the competition.
The Nittany Lions remain on the road next weekend, opening Big Ten competition in Ann Arbor, Mich. versus 2009 NCAA runner-up and preseason No. 4-ranked Michigan. The dual meet is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 24 at the home of the Wolverines, Cliff Keen Arena. A year ago, behind four title wins from Casey Sandy, Penn State edged Michigan, 348.900-348.350, in a back-and-forth, down-to-the-wire, thriller at Rec Hall.