Nittany Lion Gymnastics Teams to Host Blue/White Showcase on Friday
Dec. 6, 2011
The Showcase will feature Blue and White teams consisting of members of the men's and women's squads competing head-to-head. The format of the event will include six total rotations, with the women sitting out two of the six. The top two of three women's scores and the top three of four men's scores will count toward the team totals. No individual scores will be posted but a running team total will appear on the Rec Hall scoreboard.
"We wanted to do something together as Penn State gymnastics - not men's gymnastics or women's gymnastics - that would give our fans a chance to see us in action before the season starts while providing an opportunity for a `competition-type' environment to better prepare our teams for the regular seasons," said Penn State women's gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson, who is entering his second year in Happy Valley.
"This is an incredible opportunity for us to get some practice in Rec Hall before the season starts. Without the Showcase, our three freshmen would be competing at Home against the reigning National Champions (Alabama) as their first appearance in Rec Hall - that's not how to develop home-court advantage. Now, they will know what to expect when the home season begins and they are called on for real."
Students attending the Showcase will have the chance to win $200 towards THON, courtesy of the University Bookstore. The student organization with the largest number of fans in attendance will be awarded the money. Each student is encouraged to check-in for their organization at a table that will be set up near the student entrance to Rec Hall. Also, the first 100 students in attendance will receive a free t-shirt.
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, which are ranked 13th in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll, also welcome incoming freshmen Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.), Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.) and Alex Witt (Odessa, Fla.).
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.