Tsang named Freshman of the Year, women's gymnastics fourth at Big Tens

March 26, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 11 Penn State women's gymnastics team posted the highest Big Ten Championships score in program history at 196.725 to claim a fourth place finish at the event on Saturday inside the Crisler Center. Freshman Briannah Tsang (Vancouver, British Columbia) was named Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year following the event.

Michigan won the Big Ten title with a score of 197.825 and was followed by Illinois (197.350), Nebraska (196.875) and Penn State. Iowa finished fifth (196.500), Minnesota sixth (196.450) and Maryland claimed seventh (196.075). The standings were rounded out by Michigan State (195.650), Ohio State (195.250) and Rutgers (193.125), who finished 8-10, respectively.

The team score of 196.725 is the highest in Penn State history at the Big Ten summit, topping the 196.675 score by the 2000 squad. It is the 11th time in 24 championship appearances the Nittany Lions scored better than 196.000 at the conference summit.

"It was an outstanding performance by our team today," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "To post the highest Big Ten Championships score in school history is a great thing for our program. We did a great job today of opening and closing well on each event, which is one of our goals each time we compete. The girls handled some pre-meet lineup changes very well and everyone did their job. I feel really good about where we are right now heading into the NCAA Regional selections on Monday."

Tsang finished the Big Ten Championships tied for 10th in the all-around and earned Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the honor with Michigan's Briannah Brown. The rookie becomes the fourth Penn Stater to win the B1G Freshman of the Year award, joining Sharaya Musser (2010), Brandi Personett (2007) and Nikki Bongiovanni (1999), after claiming a school-record four Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards during the regular season. It is the first shared Freshman of the Year honor since it was first awarded in 1988.

"We were really excited to see that Briannah [Tsang] was named Co-Freshman of the Year," said Thompson. "Those two [Tsang and Brianna Brown] won the bulk of the weekly freshman awards this season and to see that see that my fellow coaches think [Tsang] was the top rookie is great."

The freshman, who earned second-team All-Big Ten earlier this week, scored 39.350 to tie with Iowa's Sydney Hoerr for 10th in the all-around. She posted her highest finish on the uneven bars with a career-high-tying 9.900 on the apparatus to finish tied for fifth. Tsang tied for 18th on the floor exercise at 9.850. She also scored 9.800 on the vault and the balance beam.

In her final Big Ten Championships appearance, senior Sidney Sanabria-Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) placed among the top-20 on three of the four apparatus and claimed a seventh place showing in the all-around. Her total of 39.375 included a 9.900 on the vault, 9.850 on both the uneven bars and floor exercise, and a 9.775 on the balance beam. She tied for fifth on the vault, finished tied for 20th on the uneven bars and was tied for 18th on the floor exercise.

The Nittany Lions Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient, senior Krystal Welsh (Bowie, Md.), also recorded a solid showing in the all-around with a 39.300. It was her fourth highest score of the year in the all-around. She posted her highest finish on the uneven bars with a 12th place showing at 9.875. She scored 9.825 on the vault and floor exercise, and scored 9.775 on the balance beam.

Penn State opened session two with a solid showing on the uneven bars and logged its second highest score of the season at 49.275. Tsang posted the team's top score at 9.900 to tie her career high, which she set at West Virginia on March 8, and finish tied for fifth on the apparatus. Welsh scored 9.875 and Sanabria-Robles anchored the rotation with a 9.850. Senior Alex Witt (Odessa, Fla.) and sophomore Christina Postiglione (Selden, N.Y.) both collected scores of 9.825 to round out the scoring. Freshman Chanen Raygoza (Upland, Calif.) also had a solid effort on the uneven bars at 9.800.

The second rotation featured a 49.000 on the balance beam for the Blue and White, led by Postiglione's career-high-tying 9.850 to finish tied for ninth overall on the event. Nicole Medvitz (Paramus, N.J.) and Tsang both totaled 9.800 scores, and Sanabria-Robles and Welsh each tallied a 9.775 to round out the scoring routines. Their team score through the first two rotations sat at 98.275.

After a bye in the third rotation, Penn State headed to the floor exercise and scored 49.175 to run the team total to 147.450. A trio of Nittany Lions scored 9.850, with Sanabria-Robles, Emma Sibson (Allen, Texas) and Tsang all logging the score to finish tied for 18th overall. A 9.825 from Welsh was the fourth best score on the squad, while senior Lexi Carroll (Olney, Md.) and freshman Oni Timothy (Rochester, N.Y.) each scored 9.800.

The fourth rotation featured a 49.275 score for the Nittany Lions to the vault before they headed to their second bye rotation to close out the meet. Sanabria-Robles and Sibson led the squad on the rotation with matching 9.900 scores to tie for fifth on the apparatus. A 9.850 from Timothy, a 9.825 by Welsh and a 9.800 from Tsang rounded out the scoring gymnasts for Penn State.

B1G Championships - Final Standings
1. Michigan - 197.825
2. Illinois - 197.350
3. Nebraska - 196.875
4. Penn State - 196.725
5. Iowa - 196.500
6. Minnesota - 196.450
7. Maryland - 196.075
8. Michigan State - 195.650
9. Ohio State - 195.250
10. Rutgers - 193.125

B1G Award Winners
Coach of the Year: Bev Plocki, Michigan
Gymnast of the Year: Lindsay Mable, Minnesota
Co-Freshman of the Year: Briannah Tsang, Penn State & Brianna Brown, Michigan

B1G All-Championship Team
Mary Jane Horth, Illinois
Sunny Kato, Illinois
Giana O'Connor, Illinois
Mollie Drenth, Iowa
Alie Glover, Iowa
Sydney Hoerr, Iowa
Karen Tang, Maryland
Nicole Artz, Michigan
Brianna Brown, Michigan
Briley Casanova, Michigan
Talia Chiarelli, Michigan
Sachi Sugiyama, Michigan
Rachel Haines, Minnesota
Lindsay Mable, Minnesota
Jennie Laeng, Nebraska

Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Gabriella Nguyen, Illinois
Opua Calucag, Iowa
Stephanie Giameo, Maryland
Annette Miele, Michigan
Anna Gamelo, Michigan State
Cierra Tomson, Minnesota
Desire' Stephens, Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hofland, Ohio State
Krystal Welsh, Penn State
Emma Hoffman, RutgersĀ 

Last Updated March 26, 2015