Men's Gymnast Nick Grant Honored as Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week
Jan. 18, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State all-arounder Nick Grant (Butler, Pa.) has been named Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Co-Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Grant, who shares the honor with Illinois' Yoshi Mori, was recognized for his standout performances at last weekend's West Point Open.
The Nittany Lions have claimed the first two conference freshman of the week awards this season after Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) won it on Jan. 11.
After winning the floor exercise and tying for first in the vault in his collegiate debut in the season-opening rout of Army, Grant followed it up by capturing a share of the floor exercise title in the team finals of the West Point Open on Friday evening, helping Penn State claim its 12th consecutive title at the annual competition. Advancing to the individual event finals in the floor exercise and vault on Saturday, Grant shined, placing first in the floor with a season-high score of 15.200 and taking second in the vault (15.600).
Grant also competed in the parallel bars and pommel horse for the first time in his collegiate career, placing 10th and 31st, respectively, during the team finals.
The Pennsylvania state all-around champion in 2007, Grant placed fourth in the floor exercise at Junior Olympic nationals. While training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for a two-year stint, he won the Colorado state floor exercise championship in 2008.
Grant and the Nittany Lions remain on the road this 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.