Four men's gymnasts earn All-America honors

Columbus, Ohio — Four Penn State men's gymnasts, Parker Raque (Louisville, Ky.), Miguel Pineda(Galloway, Ohio), Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.), and Wasef Burbar (Arlington Heights, Ill.), earned All-America honors with top eight finishes in the individual finals of the 2011 National Collegiate Championships on Saturday night at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

Raque received All-America recognition based on standout performances in the floor exercise and vault. He set a personal best in the floor exercise, scoring a 15.400, to finish in a tie for fifth place with Stanford's Eddie Penev and then tied a career high in the vault, receiving a score of 16.050, to place fourth. He also competed in the still rings, earning ninth place (14.900).

Raque's individual finals performance caps a spectacular showing at the 2011 championships and a strong overall season for the sophomore. In the national qualifier, he tied or established career best in all three of the events in which he competed, helping Penn State secure a share of second place in the opening session. In the team finals, he posted the Nittany Lions' highest score in two events.

Raque ends the 2011 season as owner of Penn State's top scores in the floor exercise (15.400) and vault (16.050). He was also a major factor in the team's strong still rings line-up throughout 2011.

Pineda finished in a tie for second place in the still rings, scoring a 15.400. The junior was also key to Penn State's fortunes at the championships. His score of 15.900 in the rings in the national qualifier shattered his previous career high by .3 of a point and helped the Nittany Lions set the program record in the event (62.300). Scoring a 15.650 in the team finals, Pineda led Penn State, as it bested the field in the still rings.

Rosenthal did not perform at his peak in the still rings in the individual finals, scoring a season low 15.000, but his eighth place finish was enough to earn him his first career All-America honor. The 2011 championships draw to a close what was a brilliant season for the sophomore rings specialist. Penn State's top ranked gymnast in any of the six events throughout the season, Rosenthal captured a total of nine still rings titles.

Together, Pineda and Rosenthal were the backbone of what was, by the conclusion of the championships, definitively the No. 1 still rings squad in the nation. Both Pineda and Rosenthal will be among the favorites to win the national title in the event in 2012.

Burbar finished in sixth place in the high bar, tying with Oklahoma's Steven Legendre with a score of 14.800. After a late season surge, the freshman emerged as Penn State's ace high bar performer and was consistently strong throughout the championships. Burbar registered the team's top three scores in the high bar in 2011 and won a total of three titles in the event.

Sophomore Tony Beck (Catasauqua, Pa.) competed in the individual finals of the pommel horse, placing ninth with a score of 13.900.

With the five earned tonight, the most since the Nittany Lions' national championship year of 2007, Penn State gymnasts have produced 107 All-America honors since 1980, including 78 during head coach Randy Jepson's 20-year career.

 

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Last Updated April 22, 2011