Such ordinary Saturday matinee diversions as Old Yeller, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness and The Perfect Furlough may be attractive enough for most out-of-town towns, but they were relegated to Class D entertainment in University Park, Pa. last week. More than 6,200 overflowed Penn State's Recreation Hall to watch State and Army gymnasts try to twist, turn and outclimb each other for what should settle at least the Eastern championships.
Over the last four winters the only losses these two teams have accepted have been losses to each other. Army, the ruling Eastern champions, arrived at University Park with 18 straight victories. To add to the local Pennsylvania strain, Army out-scored State in tumbling over the mats and in the side-horse events, dropped a few points to State on the horizontal bar to lead 25-23 before the big crowd caught its breath during intermission.
Then, to make the Pennsylvania matinee almost memorably perfect, State came back to win the rope climb, the parallel bars and the flying rings and sink the Army 53½-42½. "Grace and skill," said happy Penn State (and two-time Olympic) Coach Gene Wettstone, "do have competitive attractiveness."
West pointer Dave Hastings makes one-hand-at-a-time descent of 20-foot rope after climb as big crowd watches.
February 16, 1959
Penn stater Armando Vega completes a near-perfect demonstration on the parallel bars with a flawless dismount.