WGYM Ready for Big Ten Championships

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March 17, 2017
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
Saturday, March 18 | 5 PM
Rutgers Athletic Center
Piscataway, N.J.
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women’s gymnastics team heads to Piscataway, N.J., for the 2017 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships on Saturday, March 18. The Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships are hosted by Rutgers at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

The No. 32 Nittany Lions will compete in the evening session of the Big Ten meet along with No. 20 Illinois, No. 16 Iowa, No. 9 Michigan, No. 13 Nebraska and No. 24 Ohio State.

Along with the evening session, the morning session is comprised of No. 34 Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota and Rutgers. The morning session is slated for noon, while the evening session is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Nittany Lions are coming off a third-place finish at the Big Five Qualifier last weekend to advance to the evening session of the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

At the Big Five Qualifier, the Nittany Lions recorded scores of 48.825 (vault), 48.575 (uneven bars), 49.125 (balance beam) and 48.925 (floor exercise) en route to an overall team score of 195.450.

Individually for the Nittany Lions, senior Nicole Medvitz brought home the balance beam title for the seventh time this season with her score of 9.900. Medvitz tied with Iowa’s Mollie Drenth for the event title.

Following conference championship action across the NCAA this weekend, the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee will select and seed the 36 teams that will participate in the NCAA Regional meets. The NCAA regional selection show is slated for March 20 on NCAA.com at 4 p.m. (EDT)

FOLLOW ALONG
Both sessions of the Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships will be aired live on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.com with Bernie Guenther and Sharaya Musser on the call. Fans can follow along with live stats via GoPSUsports.com.

TICKET INFORMATION

  • Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-866-445-4678 or by visiting ScarletKnights.com.
  • Each ticket is valid for both sessions. The building will be cleared following the first session of the meet. Fans may re-enter the RAC with the same ticket.
  • Prices - Adult: $12, Youth/Senior: $5, 2 Years/Under: $1, Big Ten Students: $1 (available directly through ticket office), Groups 20+: $5

NITTANY LION ROTATION ORDER
Penn State will start on the uneven bars, move to the balance beam, and then will have its first bye during rotation three. The Nittany Lions close out the meet on the floor exercise and the vault before their second bye during rotation six.

SCOUTING THE BIG TEN
No. 9 Michigan is in search of its fourth-straight Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championship crown.

Based off Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS), Michigan leads the Big Ten (196.880), followed by Nebraska (196.640), Iowa (196.400), Illinois (196.245), Ohio State (195.815) and Penn State (195.460). The top-six Big Ten teams in the RQS standings will compete in the evening session of the Big Ten Championships.

In the morning session of the Big Ten Championships, Maryland has the top RQS (195.410), followed by Minnesota (195.350), Michigan State (195.035) and Rutgers (194.370).

In the final 2017 Big Ten regular season standings, Michigan and Nebraska tied for the Big Ten regular season title with an 8-1 record.

Against the Big Ten during the 2017 regular season, the Nittany Lions tallied a 4-5 record.

ABOUT PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions advanced to the evening session of the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships after tallying a third-place finish at the Big Five Qualifier last weekend.

Over the past two meets, the Nittany Lions have climbed 10 spots in the RQS standings from No. 42 to No. 32.

Among Big Ten gymnasts, three Nittany Lions rank in the top-five in the RQS standings. Senior Nicole Medvitz is tied for the Big Ten lead on the balance beam (9.895), Sabrina Garcia ranks second on the uneven bars (9.905) and Briannah Tsang is fifth in the all-around (39.220).

LAST YEAR’S BIG TEN MEET
Michigan claimed the 2016 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championship title with a 197.125, followed by Nebraska (196.900), Minnesota (196.575), Penn State (196.150), Iowa and Ohio State (195.875), Michigan State (195.475), Illinois (195.175), Rutgers (194.775) and Maryland (194.025).

Penn State’s tallied its 11th-best score at the Big Ten Championship meet last season with a 196.150

Individually at the 2016 Big Ten Championships, Kiera Brown recorded a 9.950 on the uneven bars to tie for the event title.

Brown’s title last season was Penn State’s 18th Big Ten event title and the fifth uneven bars title at the meet.

PSU AT THE BIG TEN MEET
Penn State will be making its 26th appearance at the Big Ten Championships this weekend.

The Nittany Lions have finished second at the Big Ten meet, a conference record, 11 times.

At the Big Ten meet, the Nittany Lions have recorded 25 individual champions on 18 event titles and seven all-around titles.

Penn State’s 25 event titles rank third-best among Big Ten programs and Penn State’s seven all-around titles are tied for second-most.

BIG TEN HONORS
Following the season-opening quad meet, Briannah Tsang was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for the first time in her career.

Individually, Tsang won titles outright on the vault (9.850), floor exercise (9.850) and all-around (39.350). She also tied for the balance beam title with a 9.825.

Following the 2017 regular season, four Nittany Lions were honored with All-Big Ten plaudits.

Sophomore Sabrina Garcia and Tsang were named to the All-Big Ten First Team. The All-Big Ten Second Team featured senior Nicole Medvitz and freshman Kristen Politz.

For the second-straight season, Medvitz was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and Tsang received All-Big Ten First Team honors.

SUCCESS ON THE BALANCE BEAM
Dating back to the 2010 season, the Nittany Lions have ended the season with a 49.000 or better on the balance beam in the RQS standings.

Currently the Nittany Lions’ 48.925 on the balance beam is tied for fourth in the Big Ten and is tied for 26th in the nation.

Individually, senior Nicole Medvitz is tied for 25th in the nation and is tied for the Big Ten lead in the balance beam RQS with a 9.895.

On the year, Medvitz has won the balance beam seven times, which includes five balance beam titles in Big Ten competition.

In her Nittany Lion career, Medvitz has captured 14 balance beam titles.

FAMILIAR FACES
After changing the lineups for the majority of the season, the Nittany Lions have had a fairly consistent lineup over the past three meets.

Over the past three meets, there have been only three changes to the Nittany Lion lineup between the four events.

STELLAR SOPHOMORE SEASON
In her second year with the Blue & White, sophomore Sabrina Garcia has set a pair of top-10 performances in the Penn State record books and has won 10 titles.

In the Penn State record books, Garcia has tallied a 9.950 on the uneven bars twice, which is tied for the No. 3 performance in school history.

On the year, Garcia has claimed four uneven bars titles, one balance beam title, three floor exercise titles, and two all-around titles.

Garcia was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team for the first time following the conclusion of the 2017 regular season.

HOMECOMING
Penn State’s trip to Texas will be a homecoming for three Nittany Lions. Sophomore Mason calls Pearland, Texas, home, Tess McCracken hails from Plano, Texas, and Emma Sibson is from Allen, Texas.

WELCOME BACK
The Nittany Lions return 12 members from the 2016 team that finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and fifth at the NCAA Regional Championships.

Last year, a pair of Nittany Lion freshmen competed in all 12 meets (Mason Hosek & Jessica Jones), while freshman Sabrina Garcia competed in 11 of 12 meets on the year.

RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE
Sophomore Sabrina Garcia swung into the Nittany Lion record books with her performance on the uneven bars in the 2017 season-opener.

Garcia recorded a career-best 9.950 on the uneven bars, which tied the No. 3 performance in school history.

Two weeks later, Garcia posted another 9.950 on the uneven bars against Maryland on Jan. 21.

At the Penn Quad meet on March 5, junior Briannah Tsang tied the No. 5 performance in school history on the floor exercise with a career-best 9.950.

As a team on Feb. 19, the Nittany Lions tied the No. 10 performance in school history on the balance beam with a 49.300 at the Texas Woman’s University quad meet.

TSANG’S 41 TITLES
Junior Briannah Tsang has captured 31 individual titles and 10 all-around titles in her Nittany Lion career.

Tsang opened up her junior year with three individual titles and the all-around title in a quad meet victory against Bowling Green, BYU and Temple on Jan. 7.

On the year, she has 12 individual event titles and five all-around titles.

FIRST CAREER TITLES
Freshman Kristen Politz and sophomore Peyton Schuller both captured their first career title as Nittany Lions against Maryland on Jan. 21.

Politz and Schuller tied for the floor exercise title along with Sabrina Garcia against Maryland, as they all tallied a 9.825.

NEW NITTANY LIONS
Tess McCracken, Kristen Politz and Mikayla Waddell joined the Penn State women’s gymnastics team in the fall of 2016 as freshmen.

McCracken is from Plano, Texas, while Politz (Morganville) and Waddell (Ridgewood) both call New Jersey home.

NITTANY LION DEBUTS
All three Nittany Lion freshmen have competed in at least one meet during the 2017 season.

Tess McCracken made her Nittany Lion lineup debut at Nebraska, Kristen Politz competed in the season-opener and Mikayla Waddell made her lineup debut in Blue & White at Illinois.

ALL-AROUND DEBUT
In her first career all-around, freshman Kristen Politz tallied a 39.050 to finish third at the Penn State-Nebraska meet.

On the day, Politz recorded a 9.875 on the uneven bars, a 9.625 on the vault, a 9.750 on the floor exercise and a 9.800 on the balance beam.

PRESEASON POLL
The Penn State women’s gymnastics team was selected 23rd in the 2017 National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Nittany Lions closed out the 2016 season ranked No. 26.

Penn State will compete against eight programs that are ranked in the NACGC/W Preseason Coaches’ Poll during the 2017 season.

HOME SWEET HOME
The 2017 slate features five home meets for the Nittany Lions inside Rec Hall. Penn State opens the 2017 campaign at home in a quad meet against Bowling Green, BYU and Temple on Jan. 7. The Nittany Lions return home two weeks later to host Maryland in a double dual with the Penn State men’s program on Jan. 21.

The month of February features three home meets for the Blue & White with Michigan State (Feb. 4), Ohio State (Feb. 11) and Pittsburgh (Feb. 25) coming to town. All Nittany Lion home meets start are scheduled for Saturdays at 4 p.m.

BIG TEN GYMNAST TO WATCH
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Briannah Tsang was named a Big Ten Gymnast to Watch.

Tsang tied for 38th overall on the floor exercise at the 2016 NCAA Championships with her score of 9.8125.

SMART LIONS
Four Nittany Lions were honored by the Big Ten for their work in the classroom.

Nicole Medvitz, Christina Postiglione, Chanen Raygoza and Briannah Tsang were named to the 2016 Academic All-Big Ten team.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

STARTING OFF STRONG
Since the 1999 season, the Nittany Lions have started the season with a top-10 season-opening meet score. The Nittany Lions have tallied a season-opening top-10 score in each of the past three seasons.

Five of those scores have been recorded at home, with four others accomplished at the Super Six Challenge; 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

195.775 Morgantown, W.Va. 2012
195.075 University Park, Pa. 1999
194.875 University Park, Pa. 2006
194.850 Gainesville, Fla. 2005
194.800 University Park, Pa. 2009
194.675 University Park, Pa. 2015
194.625 University Park, Pa. 2017
194.600 Tuscaloosa, Ala. 2004
194.575 Fayetteville, Ark. 2007
194.375 Athens, Ga. 2003

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Penn State enjoys one of the most historic collegiate gymnastics venues in the country and they take pride in giving the home crowd something to cheer for, including a lot of wins.

Since 1975, Penn State owns a 233-59 overall record in home meets. The Nittany Lions are 230-59 at Rec Hall and are 3-0 in meets contested inside the Bryce Jordan Center.

The loss to North Carolina State on Jan. 9, 2016, snapped a seven-meet winning streak inside Rec Hall. The seven-meet winning streak was the fourth-best in program history.

Penn State swept its last two home meets in 2014 and was unblemished in its five home dates in 2015.

The longest unbeaten streaks in school history are as follows: (Streaks are listed by meets, not wins. Meaning if Penn State hosted three teams needed to be victorious vs. all three opponents to extend the streak.)

1977-82 28 meets
1999-2001 11 meets
1975-77 10 meets
2014-15 7 meets
2013-14/2009-10/2005 6 meets
2007/1992-93 5 meets
2011/1991/1986-87 4 meets

LOOKING AHEAD
The top-36 teams in the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) standings will advance to the NCAA Regional round.

The NCAA Regional round is held on April 1 at six different host sites.

The six host sites are: Champaign, Ill. (Illinois), Fayetteville, Ark. (Arkansas), Gainesville, Fla. (Florida), Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska), Morgantown, W.Va. (West Virginia), and Seattle, Wash. (Washington).

The NCAA regional selection show is slated for March 20 on NCAA.com at 4 p.m. (EDT)


 

 

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