Penn State

SJCA grad Jessie Bastardi named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for Penn State women’s gymnastics

Penn State’s Jessie Bastardi competes on the balance beam against Minnesota on Jan. 26, 2019.
Penn State’s Jessie Bastardi competes on the balance beam against Minnesota on Jan. 26, 2019. Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy grad Jessie Bastardi earned some Big Ten recognition this week for her weekend performance in women’s gymnastics.

The Penn State redshirt freshman, who transferred from West Virginia, finished with a career-high 9.925 on the beam Saturday against Rutgers. The score was the fourth-highest in the Big Ten this season and tied teammate and junior Tess McCracken for first place at the meet.

It was Bastardi’s first career event title. And it is tied for the Nittany Lions’ highest beam score on the season.

Thanks in part to Bastardi, Penn State tallied its second-best overall score of the season Saturday with a 195.825, but it still fell to Rutgers in an upset 196.050-195.825.

Bastardi’s season average on the beam (9.771) stands at 15th-best in the conference. The Nittany Lions’ beam score Saturday (49.350) was tied for eighth-best in program history.

Bastardi and the Nittany Lions return to Rec Hall at 4 p.m. Saturday against No. 8 Michigan.

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