No. 17 Women's Gymnastics Upsets No. 11 Alabama, Scores Season-Best 196.650
March 1, 2009
University Park, Pa. - The 17th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team recorded its highest team score since the 2007 season, posting a 196.650 en route to upsetting No. 11 Alabama (196.625) and defeating No. 19 Ohio State (196.050).
The meet will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, March 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
As a team, Penn State recorded scores of 49.150 on vault, a season-high 49.250 on bars, 49.100 on beam and 49.150 on floor.
Junior Brandi Personett (Katy, Texas) earned the Ann Carr Award for the most inspirational gymnast of the meet after posting a career-best 39.600 in the all-around, the highest all-around score since the 2003 season. She tallied a first-place 9.900 on vault, a first-place and career-high 9.925 on bars, a sixth-place 9.825 on beam and a first-place and career-high-tying 9.950 on floor for a first-place and personal-best 39.600, her fifth individual all-around title of the season.
Freshman Whitney Bencsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.) placed fourth in the all-around with a career-high-tying 39.325 as junior Alexandra Brockway (Macungie, Pa.) posted an eighth-place 39.050. Alabama's Ashley Priess finished second in the all-around with a 39.525 while her teammate Ricki Lebegern posted a 39.450 for third.
Penn State opened up the meet on vault, with Personett tying Alabama's Kayla Hoffman for first with a 9.900, Personett's seventh individual vault crown of the year. Bencsko and junior Casey Rohrbaugh (Spring Grove, Pa.) each scored a 9.825, a season-high-tying score for Rohrbaugh, to tie for fifth. Brockway and sophomore Danielle Hover (Hamburg, N.Y.) both tallied a 9.800, a career-best for Hover, to tie for ninth. Junior Allie Southard (Nanuet, N.Y.) notched a season-high 9.775 to place 14th.
The Nittany Lions moved to the uneven bars in the second rotation, with Personett earning her third individual title of the season with a first-place and career-high 9.925. Brockway and freshman Natalie Ettl (North Prairie, Wis.) both scored a 9.850 to place fourth, a career-tying mark for Ettl. Bencsko placed ninth with a 9.825, just off her personal-best, while Hover and freshman Alex Stine (Philipsburg, Pa.) each placed 12th with a 9.800, a mark that equals Hover's season high.
On the beam in the third rotation, Southard was Penn State's top finisher, posting a 9.850 to tie for fourth. Personett and Brockway each tallied a 9.825 to tie for sixth as Bencsko and sophomore Melissa Klein (Oceanside, N.Y.) both recorded a 9.800 to tie for 10th, a career-high-tying mark for Klein. Rohrbaugh rounded out the Nittany Lion competitors on beam with a 14th-place 9.775. Alabama's Ricki Lebegern, Geralen Stack-Eaton and Ashley Priess all scored a 9.900 to tie for first.
Personett took home her seventh floor title of the season, posting a career-high-tying 9.950 as the last competitor of the meet and needing a 9.925 or better to give the Lions the team victory. Bencsko finished third with a career-high 9.875 as Rohrbaugh scored a season-high 9.850 to place sixth. Southard notched a 9.825 for eighth, a personal-best mark, while Klein and Brockway recorded scores of 9.650 and 9.575, respectively, to round out the Nittany Lion competitors.
Penn State now hits the road for the next two weekends, traveling to West Virginia on March 8 and Maryland with Arizona on March 14 before competing at the Big Ten Championships on March 21 in Champaign, Ill. That meet will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
For more information on the Penn State women's gymnastics team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.