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April 6, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. - The 14th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team earned a score of 195.875 to earn a fourth-place finish in the Norman, Okla. Regional on Saturday evening. Senior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished with an all-around score of 39.375, a tie for second place in the all-around, to earn a berth into the NCAA championships in Los Angeles in two weeks.
"We had an awesome day and we were in the hunt going into the last event," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "We had a couple extra wobbles on the balance beam that maybe made a difference between us and Washington for second and third place. We are not going to blame it on beam though. When you have six teams closely matched, it's the team that executes best on four events. It was a great day, just a bad ceiling at the end."
After starting the meet with a bye, Penn State's first competition came on the floor exercise, where the Nittany Lions posted a total of 49.075. The Lions earned three scores of 9.850 from Merriam, Musser and sophomore Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.). Junior Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) put up a mark of 9.8, while junior Kassidy Stauder (Palmerton, Pa.) rounded out the top scorers for Penn State with a 9.725.
Next up for the Nittany Lions was the vault, where Penn State earned a score of 49.175. Leading the way for the Lions was Musgrove, who put up a score of 9.875. Musser capped off the vault for Penn State with a 9.85. Merriam and junior Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) each posted marks of 9.825, while Carroll rounded out Penn State's top five with a 9.8.
Penn State moved on to the bars and earned a score of 49 flat, led by a 9.85 by Sanabria-Robles. Musser, who was last to compete on the bars for the Nittany Lions, came in with a 9.825. Penn State then had three gymnasts finish with a 9.775, including freshman Samantha Musto (Mays Landing, N.J.), sophomore Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) and Stauder.
The Nittany Lions finished things off on the beam, posting a mark of 48.625. Musser again led the way with a 9.85, followed by a 9.775 from Stauder and a 9.725 from Musto. Sanabria-Robles finished with a 9.65 while Carroll checked in with a 9.6.
The women's gymnastics championships consist of 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors, who are not on a qualifying team, and individual event specialists. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors from each of the six regionals have advanced to the national championships. Team semifinal and all-around competitor will be conducted in two sessions on Friday, April 19. The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six competition on Saturday, April 20. The top four individuals in each event (plus ties) from Friday's semifinals will compete in the individual-event competition on Sunday, April 21. For complete coverage of Penn State women's gymnastics, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-gym.
Follow Penn State women's gymnastics on Twitter: @PennStateWGYM.
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