Sandy Breaks Conference Record with Eighth Career Big Ten Gymnast of the Week Award
Feb. 2, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the second consecutive week and for the record-breaking eighth time in his brilliant career, Penn State senior all-arounder Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) has been honored as Big Ten Gymnast of the Week. The seven-time All-American was recognized with the award for his dominating performance in the No. 5 Nittany Lions' narrow loss to Minnesota last weekend.
By being selected for an eighth Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor, Sandy establishes a new Big Ten record for most in a career, surpassing Minnesota's Guillermo Alvarez (2002-05). His back-to-back conference awards marks the second time he has accomplished that feat after winning on Jan. 16 (vs. Army) and Jan. 23 (vs. Michigan) in 2008.
Penn State's undefeated streak to begin the 2009 season may have come to end versus Minnesota but Sandy's run of impressive performances was not only sustained but taken to another level against the Golden Gophers. The 2008 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year was superb, setting a single-meet career high by winning at least a share of five of the six events and the all-around crown (89.050). He captured titles in the floor exercise (15.300), in which he earned a season-high score, pommel horse (14.650), vault (15.850), parallel bars (tie, 14.350), and high bar (15.000). Ranked No. 1 in the nation in the all-around, Sandy has won the competition in each of three meets he has completed the full rotation this season.
A leading candidate for the 2009 Nissen-Emery Award, Sandy has fashioned one of the greatest careers in the storied history of Penn State men's gymnastics. In 37 career meets, he has earned a remarkable 127 top three finishes and claimed 71 title wins.
Next weekend, a Penn State contingent made-up of freshman Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) and volunteer assistant coach Vladi Klurman will travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete individually in the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge from Feb. 5-7. Pineda placed 19th in the still rings, scoring a 14.400, while Klurman finished in 17th in the pommel horse with a 13.550 showing at the 2008 event.
Sandy and the remaining Nittany Lions will begin preparations for an upcoming dual meet with conference rival Illinois, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 14 in Champaign. The key conference match-up will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network on a tape-delayed basis, airing one week later on Sat., Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. A year ago, Penn State topped the Illini during the regular season, overcoming a season-low score of 352.300 to claim victory. The Lions won with depth, capturing at least a share of five of six events as a team but just one individual title outright.