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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s gymnastics team had five of its incoming student-athletes compete at the Junior Olympic National Championships in the Junior Elite Session in Kissimmee, Florida. The future Nittany Lions saw five podium finishes on the day with Parker Clayton capturing the still rings title.
Both the JE and JO Divisions consisted of two competition days, with all-around scores tallied together from both sessions. In the JE Division, Session I featured open ended scoring while Session II was scored on Technical Sequences on a 10.000 scoring base.
Clayton competed in the all-around with one national champion finish on the still rings, scoring a 15.050 in the prelims and a 9.600 in the finals, while also placing sixth on the parallel bars and ninth in the all-around.
Also earning a top-three finish was Brennan Pantazis, who placed second on the floor exercise, pommel horse and the all-around. The Sparks, Nevada native put up a 137.550 total in the all-around, while earning a 9.450 in the floor exercise finals and an 8.400 in the pommel horse finals.
Alex Frack also had a strong showing, earning a third-place finish behind his future teammate on the pommel horse with an 8.050 in the finals, while placing in the top 10 on the vault, parallel bars, high bar and in the all-around.
Finally, Michael Pepe-Lage and Brandon Hopgood picked up sixth-place finishes on the parallel bars with Pepe-Lage competing in the Junior Elite Session and Hopgood in the Junior Olympic Session.