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Feb. 15, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 15, 2013-- After a successful tip to the Winter Cup for part of the team, the No. 1 ranked Nittany Lion men's gymnastics squad travels to Peason-McGonigle Hall to face off with No. 12 Temple. The meet will also feature No. 11 William & Mary, whom Penn State defeated at the Navy Open earlier this year.
Sophomore Matthew Felleman (Medway, Mass.) has had a torrid start to his second season on the University Park campus, tying the school record in the high bar and owning some of the team's top marks on the still rings, vault, parallel bars and all around. The sophomore started the year by posting back-to-back scores of 15.500 on the high bar to equal Felix Aronovich's (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) mark, which was set in the season opener, as well. He followed that with a second place showing in his first event all around competition at the Navy Open and last weekend at the Winter Cup finished ninth out of 42 competitors in the all around.
Aronovich is among the team leaders on five of the six apparatus this season, tying for the top spot on the high bar, ranking second on the pommel horse and still rings, while sitting third on the parallel bars and fourth on the floor exercise. He owns scores of better than 15.000 on the rings (15.300), pommel horse (15.350), parallel bars (15.300) and high bar (15.500).
Freshman Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) has competed four times this season and has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors during all four of those weeks. He owns the team's top all around score of 88.250 that was set against Ohio State on Feb. 2 to win the all around. On a national level, Howard sits second on vault (15.083), third on still rings (15.317) and third on parallel bars (15.100) with a three-score average of over 15.000 in each event. He currently owns the team's top scores on the floor exercise (15.400), still rings (15.700) and parallel bars (15.350).
Craig Hernandez (Libertyville, Ill.) finished third at last weekend's Winter Cup on the pommel horse and has already bested his own school record in the event this season. The sophomore compiled a score of 15.750 to break his own record that was set last season and post the highest individual score in the NCAA so far in 2013. Hernandez is the nation's top competitor on the pommel with a three-score average of 15.317, just ahead of Ohio State's Michael Newburger, whom he tied for the individual title two weeks again inside Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions own the top three, three-score averages in the NCAA on the parallel bars, as Felleman, Mackenzie Dow (Cranford, N.J.) and Wasef Burbar (Arlington Heights, Ill.) hold down the top three spots. Felleman owns an average of 15.200 and is one of three competitors in the NCAA to record a score of 15.500, while Dow's average of 15.100 is just ahead of Burbar's 15.067 average.
The competition between the No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions, No. 11 ranked Tribe and the No. 12 ranked Owls will start at 7:30 p.m. inside Peason-McGonigle Hall.