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Feb. 13, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite scoring a season-high 433.250, the Penn State men’s gymnastics team fell to Ohio State, 444.500-433.250 in a Big Ten Conference match Saturday, Feb. 13.
Seniors Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) and Alexis Torres (Cantano, Puerto Rico) both captured a title on the afternoon with Torres earning his third floor exercise title of the season and Howard nabbing the vault title.
Penn State got off to a solid start on the pommel horse, seeing three career bests on the apparatus. Junior Christian McSwain (Jamestown, N.C.) led the Blue and White with a career-best 14.550 to finish fifth overall, while Leroy Clarke, Jr. (Maplewood, N.J.) tied for sixth overall with a 14.400. Also placing in the top 10 for the Nittany Lions was Benjamin Cooperman (Southborough, Mass.), who earned a 13.900 to place ninth overall.
Moving to floor, Torres earned his third title of the season with a 15.550, while Jeremy Munn (York, Maine) and Howard tied for fourth with matching 14.800s. The three combined with a sixth-place finish from Joshua Smith (Baton Rouge, La.), who nabbed a career-high 14.750, helped the Nittany Lions to a season-best 73.900 on the floor exercise.
The Blue and White saw their second season-best score of the day on the vault, notching a 74.050, while Howard claimed the title with a 15.100 and Smith placed second with a 15.000. Torres rounded out the top five scores for Penn State with a season-best 14.850. Also scoring career-highs on the vault were Munn with a 14.700 and Chris Sands (Lancaster, Pa.) with a 13.650 in his first career appearance.
Ohio State swept the top three spots on the still rings, while Clarke came in fourth overall with a 14.900 for the Nittany Lions. Cooperman placed second for Penn State and sixth overall with a career-best 14.750 and Noah Roberson (Williamsville, N.Y.) nabbed a career-high 14.700 to tie for seventh overall. As a team, the Blue and White notched its third-straight season-best score of the afternoon with a 73.350 on the still rings.
The Buckeyes took the top three spots on the high bar, while Wyatt Tyndall (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) placed fourth for Penn State with a career-best 14.200. Freshman Michael Burns (Baltimore, Ohio) and Clarke placed sixth overall with matching 14.100s and Torres grabbed an eighth-place finish with a 13.900.
In the final event of the day, Clarke placed second overall with a 15.150 on the parallel bars, while Tyndall tied for fourth with a 14.750. The Nittany Lions were unable to overcome the deficit, falling to Ohio State 444.500-433.250.
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.