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Men’s Gymnastics Crowned Champion At THON 2024 Pep Rally

The THON 2024 Pep Rally is in the books.

The annual talent show performed by Penn State Athletics showcased finesse, stunts, and dashes of mediocrity. The men’s gymnastic team walked away victorious after debuting a feature performance full of flips and flair.

To kick off the event, the Blue Sapphire and Majorettes opened the Pep Rally with Blue Band-backed chants and cheers to make the Bryce Jordan Center feel just like Beaver Stadium.

Shouts of “Go State, Beat Cancer” and “F-T-K” rang through the arena along with “Fight On, State” to set the tone for the evening ahead.

The Symbol of Our Best knocked out 46 one-armed push-ups, commentated by mic man Ben Meloy, to liven the crowd and perform crowd control.

Pep Rally emcees Char Morett-Curtiss and Christian Hackenberg were introduced and got the crowd hyped with a “We Are” chant and got into the brunt of the event.

Morett-Curtiss introduced Penn State Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford who shouted out the Alumni Association for its help with the production of the Pep Rally.

“Where else would you rather be than in a room full of Penn Staters?” asked Clifford.

Morett-Curtiss then gave the floor to Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi, who addressed THON from a pre-recorded video. She could not make an in-person appearance at THON due to the birth of her grandson and encouragement from doctors to refrain from joining large crowds to protect the infant’s health.

“I can assure you, I am proud of you, and I am proud of THON,” Bendapudi said. “…It is truly an honor to be your president.”

From there, football coach James Franklin and Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft fired up the crowd and reminded the Bryce Jordan Center of the singularity of THON and its impact.

“What’s up?” Kraft asked the Bryce Jordan Center. “Wow, this is awesome.

Kraft encouraged the Penn Staters in the building to hold the importance of the fight against pediatric cancer close and uplift young Four Diamond children to keep Dear Old State in mind as they near college decisions.

“Keep going now. Keep the fight going beyond just this weekend,” Kraft said. “Let’s make sure those little cubs grow up to become strong, powerful Nittany Lions just like every one of you.”

Reigning champion women’s lacrosse opened the Pep Rally performances with a prop-heavy, highly-choreographed dance to Hannah Montana’s “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home,” utilizing their lacrosse sticks as makeshift guitars.

Dripped out in animal onesies, the women’s tennis team heightened the competition immediately by rocking out a high-energy kick line to the Lion King Circle of Life remix.

Immediately after, bodies flew through the air as men’s gymnastic performed synchronized flips and tricks to a pop remix. The Bryce Jordan Center experienced seemingly show-stopping technical difficulties which delayed the women’s soccer team’s performance. Dancer relations captains took the stage and help entertain dancers and attendees as audio kinks were worked out.

Women’s fencing, men’s swim and dive, women’s golf, and women’s ice hockey showcased their performances ahead of the highly-anticipated football skit.

The team made its debut on the THON stage with very little preparation, decked out in hooded tracksuits. After Franklin’s group fulfilled its Pep Rally requirement, women’s swim and dive, women’s volleyball, field hockey, and men’s soccer showed off their dancing skills.

David Taylor, Michael Mauti, and Mike Rhoades each addressed the crowd between teams presentations. In Rhoades’ first THON since taking over the helm of Penn State men’s basketball, he noted it was the most magic event he’d attended in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Women’s soccer finally got its chance to dance and conducted an impressive routine to Migos’ “Is You Ready” and David Guetta’s “I’m Good (Blue)” featuring front flips and theatrics. The Lionettes closed the performances, followed by the Alma Mater.

The Four Diamond kid judges dubbed men’s gymnastics and women’s soccer the Pep Rally champion finalists, but men’s gymnastics emerged victorious by a 3-2 vote.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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