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Men’s Gymnastics Claims Third Big Ten Championship

Penn State men’s gymnastics captured its third Big Ten title on its home floor Friday night with a team score of 436.700, narrowly defeating Michigan (434.750) and Illinois (436.100) in front of 1,060 fans in Rec Hall.

Heading into the final rotation, the Nittany Lions were neck-and-neck with Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, with Michigan leading the competition with a score of 434.750. However, the Wolverines had a bye in the final rotation, allowing an opportunity for Penn State to take the crown.

With Alexis Torres injured earlier in the meet, Christian McSwain was called into action to lead off for Penn State in the floor exercise. In his first event of the meet, McSwain posted a mark of 14.800. Dominic DiFulvio followed with a score of 14.750 to continue the momentum, followed by three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Thad Lawson (15.250), Matthew Felleman (14.900), and 2013 Big Ten floor exercise champion Trevor Howard (15.100). With the championship on the line, Penn State finished with a team score of 74.800 on the floor exercise — the top score overall in the competition.

To find out whether it was enough to seal the title, Penn State would have to wait to see the final scores from Illinois’ final competitor on the parallel bars. Illinois recorded scores of 13.750, 14.650, 15.050, 14.100 and 15.150, giving them a team total of 72.700 and an overall score of 436.100. The Illini came up just short, as Penn State claimed its third Big Ten title (2003, 08).

Senior Matthew Felleman won Penn State’s third all-around title with a career-best score of 87.200, joining previous winners Casey Sandy (2008) and Mike Dutka (1998).

“We talked a lot about being in warrior mode and what that means,” head coach Randy Jepson said. “And I’ve seen glimpses of it, but I haven’t seen my team have that for a while. And we’ve struggled in some years where we haven’t stepped up, and really knocked it out of the park when we needed to be warriors but we did tonight.”

Final Results

Team Scores

1. Penn State — 436.700
2. Illinois — 436.100
3. Michigan — 434.750
4. Minnesota — 433.750
5. Ohio State — 429.350
6. Iowa — 427.600
7. Nebraska — 420.100

Individual Scores

Floor Exercise

1. Christian McSwain — 14.800
2. Dominic DiFulvio — 14.750
3. Thad Lawson — 15.250
4. Matthew Felleman — 14.900
5. Trevor Howard — 15.100

Pommel Horse

1. Matthew Felleman — 13.800
2. Leroy Clarke, Jr. — 13.950
3. Alexis Torres — 12.600
4. Colin Coates — 13.700
5. Craig Hernandez — 15.200

Rings

1. Matthew Felleman — 14.200
2. Leroy Clarke, Jr. — 14.450
3. Tristan Duverglas — 15.100
4. Alexis Torres — 15.100
5. Trevor Howard — 16.100

Vault

1. Matthew Felleman — 14.700
2. Thad Lawson — 15.050
3. Tristan Duverglas — 14.450
4. Alexis Torres — 14.500
5. Trevor Howard — 15.050

Parallel Bars

1. Matthew Felleman — 14.500
2. Dominic DiFulvio — 14.150
3. Leroy Clarke, Jr. — 14.800
4. Trevor Howard — 14.850
5. Quest Hayden — 14.300

High Bar

1. Thad Lawson — 14.150
2. Leroy Clarke, Jr. — 14.750
3. Matthew Felleman — 15.100
4. Trevor Howard — 14.100
5. Quest Hayden — 14.250

What’s Next?

The 2015 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships conclude Saturday night with the individual finals starting at 7 p.m. inside Rec Hall with the top-10 gymnasts in each event from the team finals competing for the individual crown. The Big Ten Network and BTN2GO will air the individual finals live and fans can also catch a replay of the team finals starting at 5 a.m. on BTN.

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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