No. 8 Men's Gymnastics to Face No. 11 Temple, No. 15 William & Mary, and No. 13 Navy in Weekend Road Trip
March 5, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 8-ranked Penn State men's gymnastics team will be in action twice this weekend with a rare road doubleheader on the schedule. On Fri., March 6, the Nittany Lions will face No. 11 Temple at 7 p.m. at the Owls' McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia. From there, they will travel south to Williamsburg, Va. for a 2 p.m. match-up with host No. 15 William & Mary and No. 13 Navy on Sun., March 8.
Last weekend, led by senior Casey Sandy (Brampton, Ont.) and sophomore Warren Yang (Nepean, Ont.), Penn State won its third straight regular season dual meet versus Ohio State, topping the Buckeyes in a back-and-forth Big Ten battle, 347.600-346.500, at Rec Hall. Less than 48 hours after winning the all-around at the Elite Canada 2009 and qualifying for the Canadian National Team and following a cross-continent flight, Sandy placed first in all three events in which he competed, winning the pommel horse (14.800), parallel bars (15.050), and high bar (14.500). For his standout performance, the seven-time All-American was recognized as Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for the fourth time this season and for the conference-record 10th time in his career.
Yang established season highs in four events and claimed his first career title, claiming the floor exercise with a team season best score of 15.400. The sophomore also placed third in the high bar (14.050), fifth in the vault (15.550), and seventh (tie) in the parallel bars (14.000). For his efforts, Yang was presented with the Gene Wettstone Award.
Two-time defending ECAC champion Temple enters Friday night's meet riding a three-meet winning streak, gaining consecutive victories over William & Mary, Springfield College, and M.I.T. Sophomore Adam Al-Rokh captured all-around titles in back-to-back days versus Springfield and M.I.T., scoring a 84.800 and a 80.800, respectively. Individually, the Owls have just one competitor, sophomore Scott Bloomfield (No. 13, vault), ranked in the top 20 in any of the six events. As a team, Temple's top event, by three score average, is the pommel horse. It is ranked No. 7 in the event, averaging a 55.667.
In its last outing, on Feb. 28, William & Mary scored a 333.400 to place second in a tri-meet with host Navy and Springfield College. Derek Gygax led the Tribe, earning a personal best all-around score of 85.150. The junior is William & Mary's lone ranked competitor, as he holds the No. 19 spot nationally in the all-around. The Tribe, as a team is ranked highest in high bar (No. 11, 55.417), pommel horse (No. 12, 54.633), and parallel bars (No. 12, 54.833).
Navy, which boasts a three score team average of 334.717, has just one loss this season, a setback to Penn State at the West Point Open. The Midshipmen are headlined by a duo of nationally ranked competitors in sophomore Dylan Parrott (No. 10, high bar; No. 17, all-around; No. 19, floor exercise) and freshman Andrew Faulk (No. 15, all-around; No. 18, vault). Navy's top ranking comes on the high bar, in which it is tied with Ohio State at the No. 9 spot with a three score average of 55.917.
Penn State has more wins against Temple than any other opponent in program history (72), including last season's 353.350-337.350 victory over the Owls at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions have not lost to Temple since 1995. Penn State owns a perfect 14-0 record in its all-time series with William & Mary and a 49-10 mark against Navy. In 2008, competing without Casey Sandy, the Lions won every event as a team and individually to top the Tribe and the Midshipmen in a home tri-meet.
The Nittany Lions will return home next weekend to host No. 3 Cal in a 7 p.m. dual meet on Sat., March 14 at Rec Hall. For seniors Casey Sandy, Josh Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.), and Shaun Antonio (Rio Rancho, N.M.) it will be their final home appearance in a Nittany Lion uniform. The trio will be honored in a special ceremony following the meet. A year ago, Penn State fell to the Golden Bears, 360.550-351.300, in Berkeley, Calif.