Penn State posts season-high score
Aronovich totals career-high score of 87.150, wins all-around title
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Fourth-ranked Penn State gave the 2,400-plus fans that packed Rec Hall on Saturday a night to remember, as the Nittany Lions established two program records and registered the nation's highest score in a decisive 359.300-347.900 victory against No. 6 Minnesota.
Penn State's team total surpassed the previous season high of 357.050 held by No. 1 Oklahoma by over two points and ranks third in the Nittany Lion record book (in the FIG scoring era). For the second time this year, Penn State broke the program record in the pommel horse (59.900) and still rings (62.400).
In the victory, which was Penn State's third consecutive against a Big Ten opponent, the Nittany Lions won all six events as a team, setting season highs in five of them. Penn State also captured individual titles in every event, led by Parker Raque, who placed first in the floor exercise (15.800) and vault (15.100).
Felix Aronovich put on a phenomenal performance, claiming the all-around with a score of 89.400, easily topping his previous career high of 87.150. He posted career bests in three events (floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings) and earned a share of the parallel bars title en route to the nation's fourth-highest all-around score this season. For his standout efforts, Aronovich was honored with the meet's Gene Wettstone Award.
Other Penn State event winners included Craig Hernandez (pommel horse), Scott Rosenthal (still rings), and Wasef Burbar (high bar).
Penn State's first rotation was a harbinger of things to come, as all six floor exercise competitors either tied or set career high scores. Raque's winning score of 15.800 improved upon his previous personal best by .4 of a point. Matt Chelberg tied for second place with a score of 15.100.
The Nittany Lions remained locked in throughout the next two rotations, following their floor exercise effort with back-to-back impressive performances in the pommel horse and still rings. Behind Hernandez's winning pommel horse score of 15.600, Aronovich placed second (15.100) and Preston Gall (14.800) took third. Rosenthal secured his sixth still rings title of the season with a score of 15.900 and was followed in the standings by four teammates, Miguel Pineda (15.700), Raque (15.500), Nihir Kothari (15.300), and Aronovich (15.300).
Kothari was also key to Penn State's fortunes in the parallel bars, placing third with a score that surpassed his previous career best by .7 of a point (14.700). Warren Yang shined in his penultimate home appearance, tying a career high in the high bar (14.800) to share second place with Aronovich.