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Feb. 11, 2016
NITTANY LIONS KICK OFF FOUR-MEET ROAD SWING
After a bye week, the Penn State men’s gymnastics team will start a four-meet road swing Saturday, Feb. 13. The Nittany Lions clash with the Buckeyes of Ohio State Saturday, Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Arena for their third Big Ten Conference meet of the 2016 campaign.
SERIES HISTORY WITH OHIO STATE
Penn State and Ohio State will both be looking for its second conference victory of the 2016 campaign at Saturday’s meeting. The Nittany Lions are 1-1 in conference action, while Ohio State defeated Michigan in their first conference meet of the season.
The Blue and White have the slight series advantage against the Buckeyes, 29-25, since its first meeting in the 1976 campaign. Penn State has taken home the victory in the last eight meetings between the two squads and has not dropped a meet to the Buckeyes since the 2006 season.
SCOUTING THE BUCKEYES
Redshirt-sophomore Sean Melton leads Ohio State with two Big Ten Gymnast of the Week accolades in the 2016 season. Melton won his second all-around title in as many meets when OSU took on Michigan. The all-around competitiors scored a 87.650 which ranks fifth nationally, while ranking third on the vault with a 15.350. Freshman Alec Yoder has also seen success in the all-around competition, placing second to Melton against the Wolverines. For his efforts, Yoder was named Big Ten Freshman Gymnast of the Week with his pommel horse score of 14.350 ranking fourth and his parallel bars score ranking sixth nationally.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST OHIO STATE
The No. 3 Penn State men’s gymnastics squad won five team events and six individual titles en route to a 443.600-431.400 win over No. 7 Ohio State Friday night inside Rec Hall. Trevor Howard led the Nittany Lions, as he won the still rings, the parallel bars and the all-around event.
Penn State opened the competition with a school record score of 75.800 in the floor exercise event. The Nittany Lions claimed the top five spots in the floor exercise event as Christian McSwain tallied a first-place finish. McSwain claimed first with his team-best score of 15.550. His score moves him into a tie for seventh all-time at Penn State. Howard and Thad Lawson finished second and third, respectively, with their scores of 15.300 and 15.100.
After the first rotation, Penn State led 75.800-70.500. On the pommel horse, Craig Hernandez claimed his third title of the season with his score of 15.300. Also in the pommel horse, Colin Coates finished third with his mark of 14.650 and Leroy Clarke, Jr. took fifth with a score of 14.300. Heading into the third rotation, the Nittany Lions led 147.650-141.300.
The Nittany Lions continued their momentum into the still rings as Howard won his first event of the evening with his score of 15.650. Penn State also finished 3-4-5 in the still rings event. Tristan Duverglas claimed third with his career-best score of 15.400, followed by Alexis Torres (15.350) and Clarke, Jr. (14.950).
In the vault competition, Ohio State claimed the top two spots, but Penn State finished tied for second through seventh. Freshman Quest Hayden tallied a career-best score of 14.900 to tie for second and Duverglas and Howard tied for fourth with their score of 14.850. After the fourth rotation, Penn State led Ohio State, 297.500-287.250.
Howard and Torres tied for first-place in the parallel bars with their score of 15.400. Also in the parallel bars, Clarke, Jr., posted a score of 15.100 to finish fourth and DiFulvio finished fifth with his score of 15.100. Heading into the final rotation, Penn State led 373.050-358.050.
Matthew Felleman ended the day strong for the Nittany Lions as he was the final competitor on the high bar and took home the high bar with his score of 15.450. His high bar title tonight was the third of the 2015 season. Howard finished the day with a score of 14.200 in the high bar to give him a score of 88.100 in the all-around competition.
For their strong performances Friday night, the Nittany Lions climbed the charts in the record books. As a team, Penn State set the school record in the floor exercise, tied the fourth-best mark in the still rings, rank 10th all-time in the vault, moved into third in the parallel bars and now have the sixth-best team score all-time.
NITTANY LIONS COME UP BIG IN FINAL TWO ROTATIONS TO TOP ILLINOIS
Penn State trailed Illinois mid-way through the meet, but came back to top the Illini with a narrow one-point victory, 430.200-429.200. Junior Dominic DiFulvio led the Nittany Lions with his second all-around title and career-best 85.050 appearance, while redshirt-junior Leroy Clarke, Jr. picked up the event title on the parallel bars and high bar. Also having a good day for Penn State was senior Alexis Torres, who tied for first with Clarke on the parallel bars with a 15.050.
For information on purchasing 2015 season tickets fans can visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Penn State continues life on the road Feb. 18-20 when it travels to Las Vegas, Nev. for the 2016 Winter Cup. The two-day event is slated to start at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 9 p.m. on Saturday.