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Feb. 4, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 4, 2013 -- After helping the No. 1 Penn State men's gymnastics team to a victory over No. 5 Ohio State on Saturday inside Rec Hall, freshman Trevor Howard earned his first career Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and in the process claimed his third Freshman of the Week accolade from the conference office on Monday (Feb. 4).
Howard has continued the strong start to his rookie campaign against the school from his hometown. The Columbus, Ohio native captured three individual events and won the all around title against the Buckeyes to help the Blue and White to a 444.300-432.300 victory. He was a part of the five scoring competitors in all five of the events in which he competed as a part of the six-man lineup, winning the floor exercise, still rings and parallel bars.
The freshman owns the second best all around scoring average in the NCAA this season at 87.200, just behind Michigan's Adrian de los Angeles' average of 87.983. His score of 88.250 vs. Ohio State is just the third time this season that a men's gymnast was able to top the 88-point mark in an NCAA competition and marks his second straight all around title after earning the distinction at the Navy Open on Jan. 19.
The rookie entered the weekend among the nation's top-ten on the still rings, (2nd), vault (4th), parallel bars (6th) and high bar (10th) and came away with four personal best efforts against Ohio State. He opened the meet by posting a new career-best score of 15.400 on the floor exercise and followed with a PR on the pommel horse (13.300). Howard later boasted a personal-best score of 15.350 on the parallel bars, which helped him accumulate a season-best total in the all around competition.
Penn State has won the Big Ten's Freshman of the Week award 13 times since the distinction was installed during the 2010 season, which is the most in Big Ten history. Howard is the fifth Nittany Lion to earn the award on multiple occasions and sixth overall to win the award, both the most of any Big Ten institution in men's gymnastics. With three weekly top rookie distinctions, Howard is now fourth in Big Ten history, trailing C.J. Maestas (six) and Yoshi Mori (four) of Illinois and Sam Mikulak (four) of Michigan.