It was a fitting bookend to a spectacular Big Ten gymnastics career.
Following Saturday's Big Ten Championships, Penn State senior Brandi Personett -- the 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year -- was honored as the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year for the second time in as many years.
Personett, who was selected to her fourth consecutive All-Big Ten first team on Friday, is one of the best gymnasts in Penn State history. The Katy, Texas, native scored two perfect 10s on the vault this year -- the eighth and ninth in program history -- making her just the second Lion gymnast to record multiple perfect marks in the vault.
In a 2010 campaign clustered with highlights, Personett posted a 39.700 all-around score against West Virginia on Feb. 20, a career best and third-best score in Penn State history. Entering Saturday's meet, she was No. 1 in the conference in the all-around -- No. 5 in the nation -- and in the vault, the balance beam and the floor exercise.
"It means a lot," Personett said. "There are a lot of great girls out there that were nominated. Every girl from every team I could've seen winning because they all put up such great performances throughout the year, and because they're such great competitors, they made me keep myself on my toes, add new skills, get sharper in my routines, just to stay ahead of the game."
Penn State coach Steve Shephard said Personett has done a great job representing Penn State and has increased the level of Penn State gymnastics in her four years in Happy Valley.
"She's been a godsend for our program," Shephard said. "She has been the heart and soul of this team for four years, and one of our major contributors throughout her career, and I feel very blessed to have her as part of our program."
The senior gymnast was not the only Lion to be recognized Saturday for an outstanding season. Freshman Sharaya Musser was just the third Lion gymnast to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year since Penn State joined the conference in 1992.
Musser and Michigan's Natalie Beilstein had been battling for the honor all season. However, Musser was named to the All Big Ten first team and Beilstein made the conference's second team on Friday, foreshadowing Saturday's honor.
Though Musser did not compete in the all-around on a consistent basis until Feb. 27, the freshman finished the 2010 regular season strong, highlighted by a Penn State freshman record 39.600 all-around score against rival Michigan on March 7. Musser, who is the conference's No. 2 vaulter behind Personett, said the award is a big honor, and she is really thankful for it.
"The future looks bright for Penn State gymnastics with her," Shephard said.