UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Though it is the final meet of the regular season, the No. 12 Penn State women’s gymnastics program will enter the B1G Five Meet in Minneapolis on Saturday, March 14 with a postseason mentality. The meet will include the Nittany Lions, host No. 20 Minnesota, No. 25 Iowa, No. 6 Michigan and Rutgers, with the top three finishers advancing to the evening session of the Big Ten Championships and the bottom two earning a spot in the morning session of the event.
After improving to 11-2 overall with a 196.750-195.900 victory at West Virginia last weekend, Penn State enters the weekend on a five meet winning streak. The last loss for the Nittany Lions came on Jan. 31 at No. 14 Illinois, a meet that Penn State led after two rotations.
Freshman Briannah Tsang continues her impressive rookie campaign by posting four top-three finishes and winning her fourth all-around title last weekend at West Virginia. She now has 11 individual event titles and four all-around wins in her first nine career meets. She tied for the vault title, finished second on the uneven bars and third on both the balance beam and floor exercise.
A pair of record book worthy performances occurred at the WVU Coliseum last weekend, as sophomore Emma Sibson and senior Krystal Welsh both wrote their names into the Penn State top-10. Welsh’s 9.950 on the uneven bars opened the meet with a bang for Penn State and is tied for the No. 3 spot on PSU’s all-time charts. Sibson used a 9.950 on the floor exercise to move into a tie for the No. 9 spot on the all-time charts.
Welsh finished second in the all-around with a score of 39.375 and won a pair of event titles in the process. The senior tied atop the uneven bars charts and won the outright title on the balance beam. Sibson tied with Tsang for the vault title and won the floor exercise to earn the first multi-title meet of her career.
Seven of the 10 Big Ten teams are in the national rankings this weekend, led by No. 6 Michigan’s regional qualifying score of 197.180. Nebraska (9th), Penn State (12th), Illinois (13th), Minnesota (20th), Iowa (T25th) and Michigan State (T25th) are all among the top-25, as well.
Minnesota’s Lindsay Mable ranks second nationally in the all-around with a RQS of 39.585, while Michigan’s Nicole Artz and Sachi Sugiyama rank No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, among the national all-arounders. Mable and Artz rank third and fourth, respectively, on the balance beam, while Michigan freshman Brianna Brown ranks fourth nationally on the uneven bars.
Versus The FieldPenn State owns a 38-16 regular season record against the four opponents it will face this weekend at the B1G Five Meet.
- Against Iowa, the Nittany Lions are 5-0 all-time with the first meeting coming in 1990. Penn State is 4-0 in Big Ten meetings with the Hawkeyes, winning in 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2014.
- Since the first meeting in 1988, Penn State is 7-10 all-time vs. Michigan. The Nittany Lions have won three of the last five meetings vs. the Wolverines.
- The series with Minnesota began in 1991 and Penn State is 9-6 all-time vs. the Gophers. After winning four in a row vs. the Gophers, Penn State dropped meetings vs. Minnesota in 2013 and 2014
- Penn State defeated Rutgers earlier this season in a non-conference meeting and is 17-0 all-time vs. the Scarlet Knights.
2014 Big Ten QualifierLast season, Penn State grabbed one of the four spots in the evening session of the Big Ten Championships with a second place showing at the Big Ten Quad meet in Ann Arbor.
- In 2014, Penn State’s 196.475 finished second to Minnesota’s 196.700. Michigan placed third (196.025) and Iowa placed fourth (194.750).
- The two wins moved Penn State’s record to 20-3 overall, marking the first 20-win regular season in program history.
- Penn State tied for the top score on the balance beam at 49.225 with Minnesota and owed the second highest score on the uneven bars at 49.100.
- Krystal Welsh finished tied for third in the all-around at 39.275. She tied with teammate Kassidy Stauder.
- Stauder posted the two highest finishes of the afternoon, tying for second overall on the uneven bars and balance beam.