|Follow PSU Men's Gymnastics:||Follow @PennStateMGYM|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head Coach Randy Jepson announced the signing of three recruits to a National Letter of Intent for the 2017-18 campaign Monday, Nov. 14.
The 2017-18 freshman class includes: Parker Clayton (Fishers, Ind./Homeschooled), Alex Frack (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area) and Brennan Pantazis (Sparks, Nev./Edward C. Reed).
"We are very excited to announce the signing of three outstanding prospects in Brennan Pantazis, Alex Frack, and Parker Clayton," stated Jepson. "While all three possess great talent, experience and academic credentials, I am most impressed by the fact that they are all young men of great character. They will fit in perfectly with our gymnastics family here and will contribute greatly in our quest for future Big Ten, NCAA Championships and national team berths."
Clayton comes to Penn State from Fishers, Ind. where he was homeschooled through Northpoint Christian Academy and trained at Deveau's School of Gymnastics. He is a five-time Junior Olympic Qualifier and a three-time Future Stars National Team member. The Fishers, Ind. native placed third on the still rings at 2012 Nationals before earning fifth-place finishes in both 2014 and 2015. Clayton notched a 10th-place finish in the all-around at the 2014 Nationals as a member of Deveau's School of Gymnastics. For the past two years, Clayton has captured the regional championship on the still rings and helped his team to a third-place finish at Nationals in both 2015 and 2016. Finally, Clayton qualified for the 2016 U.S.A. Championships. The still rings specialist was a member of the National Academy of Future Physicians and was a Congress of Future Medical Leads nominee in 2016. Clayton intends to be a pre-med major at Penn State.
"Parker Clayton is very likely the best ring performer in the country this year but, that's not all," noted Jepson. "He is an accomplished all-arounder who will bolster our line up on all six events. From the moment he stepped onto our campus he knew that Penn State was where he wanted to be to pursue his academic and gymnastics dreams. We are thrilled to have him on board."
Frack makes the short trip to Penn State from Nazareth, Pa. where he trained with Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center. He qualified for the P&G Championships where he earned fourth on the pommel horse. Frack also earned the state championship on the high bar for Parkettes and is a six-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier.
"A Pennsylvania native, Frack is also an accomplished all-around gymnast who has no weak event, said Jepson. "He was perhaps a bit under the radar last year due to an injury that kept him from his fullest potential but he has rebounded with a vengeance and has made incredible gains in skill development as well as strength. I believe that the sky is the limit for Alex and I am excited to get the opportunity to work with him in the days ahead. He is very athletic as well as artistic in his gymnastics and he will be a key contributor to our squad right from the start."
Pantazis heads to Happy Valley from Sparks, Nev. where he attended Edward C. Reed High School. Training at Gymnastics Nevada, Pantazis qualified for the 2015 and 2016 P&G Championships. Pantazis placed third in the all-around at the 2016 P&G Championships, while earning a second-place finish on the vault and a seventh-place finish on the floor exercise at the 2016 Junior Olympic National Championships. At the 2015 National Qualifier the Sparks, Nev. native notched a third-place finish in the all-around before going on to earn a first-place finish on the floor exercise and vault. Pantazis concluded the 2014 season with a second-place finish on the still rings at the Junior Olympic National Championships in Long Beach, Calif.
"Brennan is one of the most explosive gymnasts to matriculate to Penn State," commented Jepson. "He is an all-around performer who is outstanding on floor and vault and overall, really has no weak event. With some refinement, we believe that he will be one to be reckoned with on the collegiate gymnastics landscape."