Gymnastics Polish Skills at Blue-White Showcase
Dec. 14, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was like a prize fight inside Rec Hall on Friday (Dec. 14) evening as the annual Blue-White Showcase was a back-and-forth affair that ended with a come-from-behind victory for the Blue Team. Trailing by one point entering the final rotation, the Blue squad scored straight 10's to rally and claim the victory. 288.5-288.0.
The men's squad saw the majority of its 20-person roster compete in front of a nice crowd, a change from the training gym in the White Building. There were eight perfect ten scores on the night for the men's squad, with six of them coming from the blue squad - including three on the final event of the night to claim the come-from-behind win.
"We had some objective coming in to tonight and I feel like we passed both of them," said head coach Randy Jepson. "We wanted to be healthy and we wanted to see where our endurance and fitness levels were. Tonight (our coaching staff) got a good glimpse of where we are as a team and what we need to work on moving into the season. We wanted to get an idea for the way we were going to compete as a team. Our guys had some gitters, which is to be expected the first time out, but I was pleased with the way we went about out business. We hit a lot of routines and I think we are off to getting a good start for the season."
The women stepped out of the friendly confines of the White Building gym and into the competition arena for the first time, as well. The women claimed 12 perfect scores on the night, with the blue squad reeling off three on the final event and seven overall on the night.
"We accomplished our goals and got our new kids some competitive experience in front of a nice Rec Hall crowd tonight and performed well," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "The upperclassmen looked the most relaxed that we have ever saw them. I really like this team and its chances heading into the 2012-13 season."
Tonight's Blue-White showcase featured six guest judges, four of them being Penn State Student-Athletes. Joining guest judge contest winners Rebecca Chelberg and Yuka Narisako was Kelsey Amy (Field Hockey), Bri Garcia (Women's Soccer), Gary Gilliam (Football) and Shane McGregor (Football). Chelberg and Narisako participated in a contest on GoPSUsports.com last month where they had to explain why they were the best fit to be judges at the Blue-White Showcase.
Four of the six men's events ended with multiple winners, with two participants claiming perfect scores on the floor, pommel horse, vault and horizontal bar. Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) won the rings with a perfect score and tied for the individual crown on the floor, pommel horse and horizontal bar. Mackenzie Dow (Cranford, N.J.) was the only other multiple event winner on the men's side, sharing the title on the vault and horizontal bar.
Matthew Felleman (Medway, Mass.) won the parallel bars with the only perfect score on the apparatus for his lone title of the night. Matt Chelberg (Athens, Ohio) tied with Aronovich on the floor with a perfect score to start the night, Adrian Evans (Boulder, Colo.) scored a 10 on the pommel horse to share the crown with Aronovich and Nestor Rodriguez (Guaynabo, P.R.) matched Dow's 9.5 score on the vault to share the top designation in the event.
Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) won a trio of individual crowns, claiming the outright floor title with a perfect mark and sharing the vault and uneven bars, also with scores of 10.0. Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, P.R.) and Samantha Musto (Mays Landing, N.J) were each two-event winner, with Sanabria-Robles claiming a piece of the title on the beam and Musto sharing the top beam mark, while both were a part of a four-way tie on the uneven bars.
Lindsay Musgrove (League City, Texas) was a part of a three-way tie on the vault to open the event for the women's squad, while Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.) shared the top spot on the beam and Alex Witt (Odessa, Fla.) rounded out the four-way tie on the uneven bars.
The men's program will open the regular season on Jan. 12 versus Army at 7 p.m. and the women's squad will travel to Denver on Jan. 5 for a 6 p.m. start to the 2013 slate. Information on single meet or season ticket packages is available by clicking here.