Feb. 4, 2009


By Amy Farnum Novin

ALL-AROUND GOOD GUY:  Penn State senior Casey Sandy collected an all-time record eighth Big Ten Gymnast of the Week award after an outstanding individual performance in the Nittany Lions’ loss to Minnesota last week.

The native of Brampton, Ontario, set a career-high by winning five of the six individual even titles and the all-around competition as PSU’s undefeated season came to end.  Sandy won the all-around with an 89.050, and took first-place on the floor exercise with a season-high 15.300.  He also won the pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and high bar. 

Sandy, who also was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week last week, is the nation’s top-ranked gymnast in the all-around.  The 2009 Nissen-Emery Award candidate has recorded 127 top-three finishes and 71 titles in 37 career meets.

FALCONS FLY: Air Force recorded a season-high score of 329.1 as the Falcons rolled to victory over service academy rival Army on Jan. 31.  The No. 16 Falcons won five individual titles in their first home victory versus the Black Knights in five tries.

The Falcons set a program record on the vault with a score of 60.95, sparked by freshman Joel Uptmor’s first-place finish (15.5).  In the Falcons’ previous meet, Uptmor set the Academy record with a score of 15.55 on the vault.

Sophomore Nash Mills posted a career-high 81.35 to win the all-around competition, while winning the parallel bars title with a career-best 13.95.  He took second place on the high bar.  Mills, who finished in the top five of every event in the meet, was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for his efforts.

UP TO THE CHALLENGE:  Several of the nation’s top collegiate gymnasts will assemble in Las Vegas, Nev., for the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 5-7 as they compete for a spot on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team. 

Seven gymnasts will be named to the U.S. Men's Senior National Team based on the national team points ranking system from the Winter Cup Challenge, and will a part of the squad that will compete at the 2009 Visa Championships in August.

Stanford will be well-represented at the Challenge with seven Cardinal gymnasts competing at the event -- Bryant Hadden, Sho Nakamori, Alex Buscaglia, Josh Dixon, Tim Gentry, Ryan Lieberman, and Greg Ter-Zakhariants.  Dixon is the nation’s top-ranked collegiate gymnast in the floor exercise and high bar.

CLASS OF HIS OWN: Temple University head coach Fred Turoff has been selected as a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009 after spending 33 seasons at the helm of the Owls’ successful program.

Turoff, who owns a career record of 356-157 (.694) at Temple, has led the Owls to 16 EIGL/ECAC titles during his tenure.  He has also served as a member of the coaching staff at several different international competitions, including the 1979 World Championships and the 1992 Olympic Games.

"It's a terrific honor. I'm tickled," Turoff said.  "The success that I've had is due to all of the hard work from the student-athletes and coaches that I've had the pleasure to be associated with at Temple University and throughout my professional career."