Men's gymnastics sweeps Big Ten honors for third time in 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- For the third time in 2013, the Penn State men's gymnastics team claimed both the Gymnast and Freshman of the Week awards from the Big Ten Conference. After toppling No. 7 Illinois the top-ranked Nittany Lions saw Felix Aronovich win Gymnast of the Week and Trevor Howard (Columbus, Ohio) earn Freshman of the Week for their efforts against the Illini.

One of the top rookies on the collegiate scene this season, Howard claimed his sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor to tie for the most top rookie accolades in conference history with Illinoi's C.J. Maestas, his opponent on Saturday. Against the Illini, he won the parallel bars, finished second on the vault and placed third on the still rings to help the Nittany Lions improve to 11-0 on the season.

Howard posted three more scores of 15.000 or better over the weekend and now has five such scores on the still rings and four on the parallel bars and vault this year. He has won at least one event in each of his six competitions this season and has brought home the Big Ten's top freshman honor every time he has stepped on the mat this season.

It is the 16th Big Ten Freshman of the Week award for Penn State as a program, the most distinctions by one program since the honor was installed by the conference during the 2010 season. Howard is the fifth Nittany Lion to earn the acknowledgment on multiple occasions and sixth PSU gymnast overall to win the award, both are tops for any Big Ten men's gymnastics program.

Aronovich won the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week distinction for the second time this season and seventh time in his career. The senior also has three National Gymnast of the Week honors in his trophy case, including two from this season. Over the weekend, he claimed his third straight all-around crown and finished among the top-10 on all six apparatus on his way to a pair of career-best scores.

The senior tied for second on the parallel bars (15.200), placed third in the floor exercise (15.100), fourth on still rings (15.550), fifth on high bar (14.050), ninth on pommel horse (13.100) and 10th on vault (14.100). His marks on the still rings and floor exercise are the best efforts in his career.

The Nittany Lions will take a break from their NCAA schedule for the second time this season when they travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for an international dual with the Puerto Rican National Team on Friday, March 8.

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Last Updated March 05, 2013