Women’s Gymnastics Earns Best Big Ten Championships Score Since 2015 in Session I Competition

CORALVILLE, Iowa. — The Penn State women’s gymnastics team (10-9, 3-6 Big Ten) posted a 196,200 in Session I of the 2023 Big Ten Championships Saturday afternoon at the Xtream Arena. The result is the Nittany Lions’ best since 196,725 at the event in 2015.

“The B1G conference is so strong and I’m really proud of the amount of fighting that we should have throughout the meeting today,” said the head coach Sarah Brown. “This was our first chance for the podium this year and I’m very happy with the team’s reaction. We still need to tweak some details to continue through the postseason, but overall I’m very happy with our team’s performance.”

The team scored 49+ points in three out of four events en route to their fantastic overall score. Penn State finished Session I in fourth place behind Minnesota (197,250), Illinois (196,800) and Nebraska (196,275) and ahead of Maryland (195,900) and Rutgers (195,125).


Penn State started the afternoon on vault, scoring a 49,000 and earning their fifth straight 49+ on apparatus as a team. A pair of 9.85s from Ava Piedrahita And Jessica Johanson (matched best of the season) led the way, followed by a 9.825 from Maddie Johnstonher fourth 9,825+ of the year.

After the first of Penn State’s two bye rotations, the Nittany Lions showed up at bars. With 9,925 bars anchor and senior leader Cassidy Rushlow earned her fifth 9.925 of the season on apparatus to lead her team. Rushlow took Penn State to 49,250, their highest scoring at the Big Ten Championships since 2019 and their third-best of the 2023 season. Gabbie Gallentines 9.875 and a 9.85 from Johnston supported a fantastic rotation for the Nittany Lions.

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On the balance beam, Penn State shrugged off the struggles of previous seasons to record 48.925, good for the team’s best beam result at the Big Ten Championships since 2016. The Nittany Lions were led by 9.875 Isabella Salcedo, her fourth 9,875+ of the season. Johnston (9.825) and Haleigh Gibble (9.8) rounded out Penn State’s top three scorers on device.

The Nittany Lions finished strongly on the floor, finishing the contest in Session I with a 49,025. Salcedo and Johanson each clocked 9.85 seconds, followed by a 9.8 from Piedrahita.

The Nittany Lions once again had four all-rounders, with Johnston and Piedrahita leading the way with 39.250 and 39.175, respectively.


The 2023 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship teams, all-around competitors and individual event specialists will be announced on Monday, March 20, 2023 prior to the start of regional competitions on March 29. The top 36 teams based on National Qualifier Score (NQS) will be selected for the regional competition. The NCAA selection committee determines the top 16 teams and places them in the group. Teams 17-36 will be geographically placed at one of four regional locations. All host teams remain at home to compete regardless of whether they are seeded in the top 16 or not. The top 12 all-around competitors and the top 16 event specialists will be selected based on national qualifying results and placed geographically to keep people from the same team together.


Follow the team on our social media pages on Facebook (PennStateWomensGymnastics) and Twitter/Instagram (@pennstatewgym).

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History will be updated tonight following the conclusion of Session II of the Big Ten Championships.

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