Categorized | Featured, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA

Nebraska, Illinois, Navy, Penn State & Stanford Post Wins in Week 2

Posted on 21 January 2018 by admin

Nebraska (411.75) raised the bar in their convincing home victory over Ohio State (404.15) to remain the nation’s top-ranked team.  Two weekends into the young 2018 season, the Huskers appear to be the real deal.  A second straight qualification into the NCAA team finals not only looks like a foregone conclusion, but now many are talking about Nebraska being strong title contenders.  The home team captured four of six team event titles (FX,PH,VT,PB) and split the individual event titles with the visitors from Columbus, OH.  Nebraska’s team score is best in the nation by quite a margin… So far.

Jake Bonnay (FX-14.45), Anton Stephenson (VT-15.20) and Daniel Leal (PB-14.45) captured event wins to lead the charge.  Stephenson, in his season debut, rocked the Devaney Sports Center with the nation’s top VT score thus far.  The Huskers put the meet away by posting the nation’s top team scores on FX (70.60) and VT (72.50).  All five of their VT scores were 14.10-plus.  They joined the Buckeyes as the only teams to score 70-plus on two events this season.  Nebraska looked particularly strong, showing great production from veterans and youth alike.

Some notable production by Nebraska freshmen –> Griffin Kehler (FX-14.25, PB-13.75, HB-13.10), Josh Martin (PH-13.55, VT-14.50) and Zack Peters (FX-13.90).

The Buckeyes struggled most of the night and are still not at full strength.  On the plus side, Sean Melton’s season debut was a welcomed sight.  Melton captured two of Ohio State’s titles on SR (15.15) and HB (14.10).  He became the first this season to score 15-plus on SR.  Alec Yoder again put in a workhorse performance with a 13.90 average on five events.  He absolutely torched the horse, posting the nation’s top score of 15.50.  The Buckeye’s lone team event wins came on SR (68.75) and HB (65.75).  After two consecutive season-opening setbacks to the Huskers, this team will bounce back.  A healthy Buckeyes’ squad will spell trouble, and will undoubtedly remain title contenders.  Would love to see a late-season rematch between Ohio State and Nebraska.

Speaking of title contenders, it took a government shutdown to stop Oklahoma this weekend. Their road contest against Air Force was canceled.  The Sooners will finally make their season debut next weekend on the road against Michigan.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Pentagon was in action despite the showdown.  Penn State (407.60) continued their great start by overwhelming visiting Army (384.10).  The Nittany Lions swept all six team event titles and claimed five of six individual events.  Greg Tamargo, bouncing back from missing all of last season, won two events (SR-14.15, VT-14.00) to spark his team’s effort.  Freshman Brennan Pantazis kept it going this weekend, winning on PB (13.95) and earning his first AA title (77.40).  Fellow frosh Alex Frack notched his first win on HB (13.70), and Stephen Nedoroscik made it two straight on PH (14.30).  Eliot Herman captured Army’s lone event win on FX (14.00).

Navy (398.20) won their fourth straight Navy Open over Springfield (384.25), William & Mary (383.50) and Temple (150.30).  The Mids won in dominant fashion, earning four individual titles, led by David Toussaint (PH-13.35), Tanner West (SR-13.40), Trevor North (PB-13.60) and Ben Provost (HB-13.65).  Springfield was paced by Stephen Lewis’ winning efforts on VT (14.25) and the AA (78.15), and Jannik Haas chipped in with a share of the PB title (T1st-13.60).  The Pride swept the top-3 AA spots with Lewis, Chris Graff (78.10) and Joshua Dieker (76.05).  Tomas Palma earned the event title on FX (14.25) for William & Mary.

Illinois (407.70) is now tied for the nation’s second best team score as they outlasted visiting Arizona State (387.70).  The Illini swept all six team events and were sparked by winning efforts from three-event winner Bobby Baker (FX-13.70, SR-14.45, VT-14.90), Harry McClellan (PH-13.80) and Tyson Bull (HB-14.25).  Bull’s HB score is currently number two in the nation.  Freshman Kiwan Watts made his collegiate debut a very good one, leading the Sun Devils with winning performances on PB (14.60) and the AA (79.55).  Watts now has the NCAA’s top score on PB.

Stanford (405.75) went on the road to easily take care of Iowa (396.10) and host UIC (366.30) in a Sunday matinee tri-meet.  The Cardinal struggled early on SR and PH, but settled down the rest of the way to record team event titles on five out of six events.  Stanford’s hero-of-the day Ryan Sheppard posted his first AA (82.05) since 2016.  His score was good enough to get past teammate Robert Neff (81.70) for the title.  Sheppard now finds himself with the season’s second highest NCAA AA score.  Stanford and Iowa split the individual event titles, as Gareth Weiss (SR-13.65) and Neff (VT-T1st-14.35, HB-14.35) posted winning scores.  Neff remains the NCAA leader on HB and the AA.  Andrew Bitner was again the Cardinal’s most productive freshman with key scores on FX (14.00) and SR (13.25).  Freshmen Blake Sun (T1st-PB-13.90) and Bryan Perla (VT-T1st-14.35) both earned a share of their first event title.  Jacob Barrus, on the comeback trail himself, gave a boost to the team on PB (13.75) and HB (13.35).  Click here for the scores.

The Hawkeyes’ lone team title came on PH (66.00), as Elijah Parcells (13.90) posted the win on that event.  Freshman Bennet Huang notched his first collegiate title by tallying the top score on FX (14.25), and he also has a new personal season standard in the AA (76.65).  Rogelio Vazquez shared the top prize on PB (13.90).

Top scorers for the Flames were Asad Jooma (FX-13.15, VT-14.00), Steen Haugsted (PB-13.00) and Satchel Hudson (AA-72.45).

Week 2 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics live-scoring report card:

Overall, pretty good.  Nebraska, Illinois and Penn State had reliable real-time scoring feeds.   UIC’s feed needed to be manually updated throughout the meet.  Navy’s live scoring feed was not good.

Overall grade:  B

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