Feb. 18, 2009


By Amy Farnum Novin

Despite his team’s loss to No. 3 Illinois in dual meet competition last weekend, Penn State’s Casey Sandy continued to shine for the fourth-ranked Nittany Lions.

The senior from Brampton, Ontario, collected four individual titles and his fourth all-around crown of the season in PSU’s 345.500-339.800 loss to Illinois. Sandy won the floor exercise, still rings, vault and parallel bars for an all-around score of 86.600.  It was the fourth time this season that Sandy won four individual titles.

Sandy, who was selected Big Ten Men’s Gymnast of the Week for the third time this season and ninth time of his career, has compiled 22 titles in only five meets this season.

CLOSE ONE:  No. 2 California barely got past seventh-ranked Stanford at the 21st annual Gold Country Class last weekend as the Bears edged the Cardinal, 354.250-354.000, in the two squads’ third meeting of the season.  The Bears also defeated Stanford in a dual meet to open the season, and took first place in the Stanford Open earlier this year.

The Cardinal’s near upset was sparked by sophomore Tim Gentry, who posted four season-high scores in the meet.  The native of Plano, Texas, tied a team record on vault with a 16.4, matching David Sender’s mark from 2008 to win the event.  Gentry also registered a 15.25 to win the still rings, and tallied season-highs on the floor exercise and parallel bars.

Gentry was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for his performance.  He is currently ranked first in the nation with a 16.117 average on the vault, and second on the still rings with an average score of 15.067.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: Navy compiled a season-best team score of 335.6 to capture its second straight All-Academy Championship at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14.  The Midshipmen outdistanced Air Force and Army to improve to 12-1 on the year.

Despite trailing Air Force after the first half of the meet, the Midshipmen rallied to win the vault, parallel bars and high bar to stage the comeback. 

Sophomore Dylan Parrott posted a 14.2 on the high bar to win the event, and then earned second-place finishes on the parallel bars and floor exercise en route to winning the all-around competition with a season-high score of 85.05.

COUNTRY FIRST: Two current University of Oklahoma men’s gymnasts joined former Sooner and Olympian Jonathan Horton on the U.S. Senior National Team after outstanding performances at the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

The Sooners have more National Team members (three) than any other Division I men’s gymnastics program, and boast the most members since having four on the 1994 squad.

Senior Chris Brooks of Houston, Texas, took fifth place at the weekend competition, while sophomore Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y., claimed seventh place.  Brooks and Legendre were two of seven gymnasts that earned spots on the team based on the national team points ranking system. 

Michigan’s Chris Cameron and Stanford’s Sho Nakamori are the only other current collegians that earned spots on the roster.  Cameron is the first Michigan gymnast to secure a roster spot on the senior national team since 2000.

Six additional gymnasts will be named later to the team.  The 15-member squad will compete at the 2009 Visa Championships in August.