Women's Gymnastics Signs Three
Nov. 9, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Taylor Alotta, Shealyn Farley and Samantha Musto each signed National Letters of Intent to attend Penn State and compete with the women's gymnastics team beginning in 2013, head coach Jeff Thompson announced today.
Alotto will join the Nittany Lions after being a member at Parkettes Gymnastics in Allentown, Pa. where she is coached by Bill and Donna Strauss, John Holman and Robin Netwall. The 2011 USA Gymnastics Level 10 Regional 7 All-Around Champion, Alotta was also named the Regional Balance Beam Champion and was runner-up on floor. Alotto is a senior at Notre Dame High School in Easton, Pa. and the daughter of Michael and Jacqui Alotta.
"Taylor is gymnast who possesses both grace and power," said Thompson. "I know our crowd is going to fall in love with her gymnastics. Her training at Parkettes has her ready to be a great all-arounder at Penn State. She follows a long line of Parkettes who became Nittany Lions and we couldn't be more thrilled to have her coming to join us. I know her coaches and her parents are all very proud of her decision to come to Penn State."
Farley trains at Prestige Gymnastics in Lancaster, Pa. and is coached by Tony and Jen Fatta. She was the 2010 National Champion on beam at the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championship, and also earned a second place finish in the all-around. Farley was also the 2010 Pennsylvania State Champion. She did not compete in 2011 due to injury. Farley attends Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pa. and is the daughter of Cindy Farley.
"We are very excited that Shealyn has chosen to represent Penn State University for the next four years," said Thompson. "She had offers from several of the powerhouse gymnastics schools and decided to follow her heart and her long-time love for Penn State to make her final decision. She is one of the top gymnasts in the nation. She is going to help us make our return as a powerhouse and help us achieve our goals of winning both Big Ten and NCAA Championships."
Musto is a senior at Delsea Regional High School in Franklinville, N.J. and the daughter of David and Anne Musto. She competes for Zappa Athletics Center in Mays Landing, N.J. and is coached by Nic Tomasette.
The 2010 New Jersey State Champion in the all-around, she was also the 2010 Region 7 Champion on the uneven bars and in the all-around. She finished third in the all-around at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships and was the National Champion on beam. Musto was the 2011 State Champion on bars and finished third in the all-around at the Region 7 Championship.
"I have known about Sammie since she was a little kid at ACE Gymnastics in Florida, so we were thrilled when she contacted us," said Thompson. "She is tremendous on all four events and is destined to become a star at Penn State. Not only are her Bars and Beam beautiful, but she has the power to be one of the best we have ever had on Vault and Floor, as well."
"It's so exciting to be adding this level of talent to an already gifted team. Anytime you can add three State and Regional All-Around Champions, two of whom are former National Beam Champions, makes for a great day! All three of these young ladies have trained their entire lives to reach this goal and we are thrilled that they have chosen Penn State. We are excited to watch them during their senior seasons and can't wait to start coaching them next year."
The Penn State women's gymnastics team hosts four meets in Rec Hall in 2012. The Nittany Lions open the 2012 slate in a tri-meet at West Virginia with Maryland on Jan. 8, before traveling to New Hampshire on Jan. 14. The Lions welcome Michigan State, Cornell and Alabama to Rec Hall on Jan. 21 for their home opener.
Head coach Jeff Thompson and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson welcome back 10 letterwinners from the 2011 season, including first team All-Big Ten honorees Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Natalie Ettl (Waukesha, Wis.) and second team All-Big Ten selection Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.). The Nittany Lions welcome the addition of three newcomers, including freshmen Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.), Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) and Alex Witt (Odessa, Fla.).