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March 4, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 11th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team scored a season-high 197.075 to take first place in its home season finale. The University of Maryland finished second with a 195.125, while N.C. State took third with a 194.625.
"It was one of the most inspiring performances of my career," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We've talked a lot about what it feels like to get on a roll and we did that tonight."
Junior Daryl Konsevick (Rutherford, N.J.), who posted a career-high 9.900 on beam, was named the Ann Carr Award winner after the meet for the Most Inspirational Performance.
Penn State finished the meet posting season-highs on three events, including a 49.100 on vault, a 49.275 on beam and a 49.400 on floor. The Nittany Lions also scored a 49.300 on bars.
Three Nittany Lions competed in the all-around led by sophomore Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) who turned in a career-best 39.725 for the title. Her score was .05 short of the Penn State record of 39.775 set by Katie Rowland in 2003. Sophomore Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) finished second with a 39.350 and junior Whitney Bencsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.) took fifth with a 39.275.
Penn State opened the meet on vault with Musser claiming the title with a 9.925. Merriam finished second with a 9.875, while senior Danielle Hover (Hamburg, N.Y.) turned in a season-high 9.775 to tie for seventh. Freshman Kristin Blades (Gainesville, Va.) also finished seventh with a 9.750.
The Nittany Lions moved on to bars in rotation two and all six competitors scored a 9.800 or better and claimed the top three spots. Musser once again led the way with a 9.900 and junior Natalie Ettl (Waukesha, Wis.) claimed second with a 9.875. Bencsko and Merriam tied for third, each turning in a 9.850. Merriam's score tied her season best. Hover took sixth posting a season-best 9.825.
Two Nittany Lions earned career highs in the third rotation on beam, while two others tied their career bests. Freshman Cassidy Bogar (League City, Texas), who finished seventh, tied her career best with a 9.775. Hover scored a personal-best 9.825, along with Bencsko to tie for fifth. Konsevick turned in a career-high 9.900 for second and Musser earned her third crown of the evening with a 9.950.
Penn State closed out the meet on floor and swept the top three spots. Bencsko tied for third with a 9.875 and Merriam secured second place with a 9.900. Musser tied her personal-bets with a 9.950 for first place. Freshman Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) was another top performer for the Nittany Lions taking fifth place with a career-high 9.850.
The Nittany Lions close out the regular season at West Virginia on Saturday, March 12. Penn State heads to the Big Ten Championships hosted by Minnesota on March 19.