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Jan. 16, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 16, 2014 - The fourth-ranked Penn State men's gymnastics teams hits the road this weekend for its first road trip of the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions will head to West Point, N.Y. to compete in the West Point Open, hosted by Army. PSU opens the weekend with the team finals Friday, Jan. 17th at 7 p.m. before wrapping up the event with the individual finals Saturday, Jan. 18th at 7 p.m.
While on the road, Penn State will compete against some of east region's top talent as Navy, Temple, Springfield College, William and Mary, Brockport, Arizona State and Army will all be contenders.
The Nittany Lions are a perennial powerhouse in the West Point Open, having claimed the team title in the last 14 consecutive outings. In the most recent West Point Open showing in 2012, Penn State compiled a season-high team score of 352.000 to secure the win, advancing three competitors to the individual finals in each event, which is the maximum allowed under West Point Open Rules.
Penn State enters this weekend's competition with 11 different Nittany Lions ranked in the national top 20 in various individual events, according to the GymInfo rankings. Sophomore Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) highlights the group, as he is ranked within the top 10 in every single event except for the pommel horse. Howard, the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, is ranked third on the still rings and in the all-around, while also tying for third on the vault. He's ranked fourth in the floor exercise and tied for sixth on the parallel bars, while coming in at No. 10 on the high bar.
Junior Matt Felleman (Medway, Mass.) is ranked within the top 20 in three different events, which includes a No. 1 ranking on the high bar. Last weekend, Felleman earned his fourth career title on the high bar, winning the event in the meet against Army. On the vault, he's ranked sixth and on the pommel horse, he's ranked seventh.
Redshirt freshman Leroy Clarke (Maplewood, N.J.), junior Tristan Duverglas (West Orange, N.J.) and redshirt junior Nestor Rodriguez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) are all three ranked within the top 20 in at least two different events. Within the top 10, Rodriguez is ranked fifth on the pommel horse, while Duverglas is slotted sixth on the rings.
As a team, the Nittany Lions are ranked within the top five nationally in every single event, while also ranking second overall in team total (431.900). Penn State has the most depth on the rings, leading the nation in the category as a team with five gymnasts ranked within the top 20. PSU recorded a solid season opening performance on the rings last weekend, capturing the first five spots in the meet against Army.
Following the West Point Open, the Nittany Lions will remain on the road, traveling to the Navy Open Saturday, Jan. 25th, before returning home to host Temple Saturday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. in Rec Hall.
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