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Midweek Musings - Let’s Take a Quick Minute for the Less Well Known Sports

Penn State is a lot more than football

Penn State is a football school.

You know this. I know this. Most of the country knows this.

Still, despite football being the sport that Penn State is best well known for, it’s not the only sport the school partakes in.

Shoot, it’s not even the sport that the school is best in.

That distinction - at this point in time - has to go to the wrestling team. Winners of seven of the past eight national championships, the Lions will look to make it eight-of-nine this weekend in Pittsburgh. The word dynasty has not-so-lightly been tossed around (not unlike Bo Nickal’s opponents).

Then there’s the men’s hockey team. In just six seasons, Penn State has gone from a club team to a real threat in the Big Ten. The team made the NCAA tournament the past two years, climbing to the regional finals in 2017, and the regional semifinals in 2018. A win this weekend over Notre Dame would make it three years in a row the team has made the tournament.

The baseball team is off to a blistering start, currently sitting at 13-3, and considered a quadrant 1 team. Given the cold climate of State College, that they can compete with warm weather teams like UCF and Duke is a testament to the players.

The softball team has had an up-and-down season, but currently sit over .500 and will look to build on momentum after spring break.

The women’s lacrosse team currently sits #23 in the country, and is poised to take on the #2 Maryland Terrapins today. In a first for Panzer Stadium, the lacrosse venue, the showdown against the Terps will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

Meanwhile, the men’s lacrosse team has quietly taken over the #1 ranking in the country, after defeating #3 Cornell and Jacksonville in the Crown Lacrosse Classic in Charlotte, NC. The team leads the country in points per game, scoring margin, and scoring offense.

In men’s golf, JD Hughes was named the Big Ten Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week after his showing at the Linger Longer Invitational.

Another team for which the word dynasty has been bandied about is the fencing team, and they show no sign of slowing down. Penn State has qualified 12 fencers - the maximum allowed - for the national championships set to take place this weekend at Cleveland State.

The women’s gymnastics team currently sits at #24 in the country, and recently had two competitors earn All-Big Ten Honors. Congrats ladies!

Meanwhile, Stephen Nedoroscik has advanced to the World Cup Finals for the men’s gymnastics team. Stephen is also a member of the 12-man roster for the US Men’s Senior National Team.

For the women’s swimming team, Ally McHugh and Maddie Hart are both poised to represent Penn State at the NCAA championships starting today.

For the men’s swimming team, Gabe Castano and Michael Daly were both invited to the NCAA championships. Meanwhile for the men’s diving team, Hector Garcia Boissier won the 3-meter event at the NCAA Zones, while teammate Jack Crow also advanced to the NCAA championships. The swimmers and divers will head to Texas next week for the championship event.

Both the women’s and men’s tennis teams are currently ranked, with the women sitting at #49 nationally, and the men at #42. Constant De La Bassetiere, a Penn Stater by way of Reims, France, earned consecutive Big Ten Athlete of the Week awards, and moved up to #44 nationally.

For the women’s indoor track and field team, Alexis Holmes has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Holmes was also given All-American honors, along with teammate Danae Rivers. Rivers placed first in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships. For the men’s indoor track and field team, David Lucas and Morgan Shigo were also named All-Americans.

Lastly, while the men’s volleyball team has had an up-and-down season, currently sitting at 9-12 overall, they did defeat rival Ohio State in straight sets just two days ago.

All in all, there are a plethora of sports that go on at Penn State. While certain teams will always be associated with Dear Old State first and foremost, hundreds of student athletes are honing their skills and repping the blue and white across the nation. Thank you, student athletes, for doing your part for the Nittany Lions!