Musto earns second consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week nod

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the second-straight week, Penn State women’s gymnastics standout Samantha Musto (Mays Landing, N.J.) has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday (Jan. 14).

Musto finished first in the all-around and placed in the top six in all four of her events to help Penn State to a dual meet victory over UIC on Saturday. Musto earned the floor exercise title with a score of 9.750, placed second on vault (9.825), tied for third on bars (9.775) and tied for sixth on balance beam (9.675). She totaled an all-around score of 39.025 to claim first place.

"Sammie had an incredible meet this past weekend – winning the all-around in just her second meet as a freshman – but, she didn’t do it alone," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "She had a lot of support from all sides. The coaches noticed most of her teammates talked to her at different times, kept her calm and encouraged her throughout the entire competition. It was also nice that her parents were able to make the trip to Chicago to see her compete for the first time for Penn State."

"I imagine that, the feeling of knowing that her teammates and her coaches trusted her to do her job plus the fact that her parents were in the stands, must have made the competition seem a little easier for her," Thompson continued. "She just seemed a lot calmer during warm-ups this weekend and, because of that, was able to compete with a lot of confidence during the meet. She is very deserving of the award and we hope that she will enjoy it this week."

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