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Feb. 22, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 22, 2013-- It was another successful trip to the mat for the No. 1 ranked Penn State men's gymnastics team last weekend as they posted their second highest team score of the season in a tri-meet with a pair of nationally ranked opponents and the Nittany Lions will return home to end the month with a home competition vs. Springfield College on Saturday, Feb. 23 inside Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions currently sit atop the GymInfo national rankings with three-score average team score of 446.233, which includes a season-best total of 447.850 in their season opener against Army. The Nittany Lions sit atop the team rankings - based on the three-score average - on the pommel horse (74.900), still rings (75.683), vault (74.683) and high bar (75.467, while sitting second on the parallel bars (73.550) and seventh on the floor exercise (73.217).
One of the things that sticks out when you view the individual rankings is how many PSU student-athletes have pushed their names towards the top of their respective events. In three of the six rankings, Penn State owns three of the top five scores, including four of the top five marks on the high bar. The Blue and White also have the national leader on the vault (Duverglas) and the high bar (Felleman) as the season nears the midway point.
Tristan Duverglas (West Orange, N.J.) owns the top three-score average in the NCAA on the vault and set a new career high earlier this season when he flipped his way to a 15.350 mark at the Navy Open to win the event. The sophomore has taken to the runway three times this season and captured all three titles. He is currently tied atop the NCAA standings with Stanford's Sean Senters at 15.267 and his season-best vault is tied for the third best score in the NCAA this year.
For the second time in his career, Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) was tabbed the College Gymnastics Association's Gymnast of the Week after winning the all around title in the squads tri-meet at Temple w/ William & Mary. The senior boasted a score of 88.800 and claimed the individual titles on the floor exercise, while finishing among the top three on the pommel horse, still rings and parallel bars. Aronovich is among the top-15 nationally on the pommel horse (4th), still rings (11th), parallel bars (3rd), and high bar (5th) and his all around from last weekend is the second highest score in the country this season.
It is hard to follow up a school record performance, but sophomore Matt Felleman (Medway, Mass.) has done a nice job on the high bar after setting the a school standard - which was broken last weekend by Néstor Rodríguez - during the team's first meet vs. Army. Felleman put up a 15.500 score vs. the Black Knights to open the season and matched that effort a week later at the Navy Open, winning both titles. After an off score vs. Ohio State, the sophomore came back with a 15.450 tally to finish second overall last weekend at the Temple/William & Mary tri-meet. His three-score average of 15.483 is just in front of teammate's Wasef Burbar (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Mackenzie Dow (Cranford, N.J.), who sit in second and third, respectively, on the national charts.
Craig Hernandez has had a strong start to his sophomore campaign, breaking his own school record and is currently ranked second nationally on the pommel horse. Hernandez tallied a score of 15.750 at the Navy Open to win the individual title, set a new school standard and his mark currently stands as the top individual mark in the NCAA. His three-score average of 15.317 is second in the NCAA behind Ohio State's Michael Newburger, whom Hernandez tied for the individual title earlier this month in a dual meet with the Buckeyes.
The competition between the No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions and Springfield College will get underway at 7 p.m. inside Rec Hall.