The top-ranked Penn State men’s gymnastics team edged No. 7 Illinois 438.900-436.250 in a back-and-forth meet on Saturday night at Huff Hall.
Illinois (7-5) led after three rotations before Penn State (11-0) finished strong on the parallel bars to account for a three-point swing and the victory.
Felix Aronovich claimed the all-around title for the Nittany Lions, while Matthew Felleman tied with Illinois’ Joey Peters for the top spot on the on high bar at 14.800. Penn State’s Trevor Howard topped the field on the parallel bars with a score of 15.250. Aronovich finished the all-around with a score of 87.100 to edge Illini all-arounder Yoshi Mori’s score of 86.800.
Aronovich walked away with four top-five finishes on the evening, including career-best showings on the floor exercise and still rings. The senior marked 15.100 on the floor exercise and 15.550 on the still rings, while also collecting a 15.200 on the parallel bars to tie for second in the event.
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After his breakout performance on the high bar last weekend against Springfield College, junior Wasef Burbar came through with two more career-best efforts; coming on the floor exercise and parallel bars. Burbar was seventh on the floor with a final mark of 14.700 and came through with a fourth place showing on parallel bars with a final score of 15.100.
Howard had another solid showing against a quality opponent as he was among the top three finishers in each of the events he touched. Along with topping the charts on the parallel bars, the rookie finished second on the vault (15.100) and third on the still rings (15.600).
Senior Scott Rosenthal competed for just the second time in 2013 on the still rings against the Illini and finished second with a season-best score of 15.640.