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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – After earning Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week honors four time in the regular season, freshman Sam Zakutney (Ottawa, Ontario) garnered Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors as announced at the Big Ten Individual Event Finals.
Also earning honors at the Big Ten Championships for Penn State was Wyatt Tyndall (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors as well as the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award after competing in two individual event finals at the Big Ten Championships.
Zakutney is the first Nittany Lion to earn the honor since Trevor Howard captured it in the 2013 campaign. Furthermore, the Ottawa, Ontario native is one of just four Nittany Lions to earn the award as Felix Aronovich earned it in 2010 and Mike Dutka captured the honor in 1997.
In his first year donning the Blue and White, Zakutney captured nine titles and saw 21 podium finishes. Zakutney earned titles in four separate events, including: floor exercise, parallel bars, high bar and the all-around. For his efforts in his freshman season, he earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on four occasions
Zakutney competed in the all-around eight times in his first season as a Nittany Lions, while earning the victory twice.
Zakutney, Tyndall and the rest of the Nittany Lions will return to action Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 when they head to the 2017 NCAA Championships, hosted by Army West Point. Penn State will be in search of its 13th National Championship and first since the 2007 campaign.