Posted on 16 March 2014 by admin
Coach Rustam Sharipov has his team primed for the post season, as Ohio State (446.15) prevailed over top-ranked Oklahoma (444.30) and Temple (402.85). The Buckeyes got off to an explosive start, recording their season team high on FX (75.40) and obliterating the nation’s previous top team score on PH by over a point (75.85). Led by freshman Jake Dastrup’s meet-high 15.40, the Buckeye’s lowest PH score was 14.95. Jake Martin and Michael Newburger each posted 15.25 to tie for 2nd, and Misha Koudinov garnered a 15.00. Earlier, Ohio State had another four gymnasts tally scores of 15-plus on FX. Dastrup also was the event winner (15.40), followed by Martin (15.30), Sean Melton (15.20) and Danny Steiner (15.15). The Buckeyes cooled off a bit after that, needing Drew Moling’s career-high 15.90 on SR to salvage their team score on that event. Martin then won his first of two event titles on VT (15.50), and followed up later with his winning HB routine (15.45). Freshman Melton then lit up the St. John Arena scoreboard, establishing a new NCAA record on PB (16.05). The previous mark was set last year by Sam Mikulak. Going into their final events, the Buckeyes had enough of a cushion to withstand the Sooners’ outstanding effort on VT. If not for an uncustomary low SR score (13.25), Martin would have easily cracked 90 in the AA, but he still wound up with a career high (89.45). Thanks to his record-breaking PB performance, Melton finished with a 15.30 average on four events. Once again, Dastrup put up some great numbers on four events, averaging 14.975. Alex Johnson shined again on three events (14.92 avg.), including a 2nd-place effort on HB (15.25). It was the Buckeyes’ fourth 440-plus team score of the season, and the nation’s second best in the 5-Up/5-Count format.
Koudinov, Newburger, Brandan Jones, Nick Tagliaferro, Kris Done and Will Jeffreys were honored as graduating seniors.
“As a team I was comfortable with how we did,” OU Coach Mark Williams said after the meet. In fact, the Sooners did very well on the road, matching their season high on VT (75.25) and scoring a season high in the 5-Up/5-Count format. Their high season aggregate scores will certainly help their qualifying score for the NCAA Championships. Oklahoma had four gymnasts with scores of 15-plus on two events (FX,HB), and they nearly went tit-for-tat with Ohio State on FX. Needing a 14.55 to tie for the nation’s top team score on HB, Danny Berardini suffered two unfortunate falls that still left the Sooners with a chance to win. Presten Ellsworth again had a stellar meet, averaging 14.85 on four events, including a 15.15 on VT. Jacoby Rubin was back in the lineup, providing needed scoring power on PB (14.55) and HB (15.20). His return from rehabbing his shoulder could very well prove vital in the post season. Other top scorers for Oklahoma were Raymond White on FX (15.30), Kanji Oyama on FX (15.20), Alec Robin on FX (15.15), Michael Reid on PH (15.00), Mike Squires on SR (15.35), William Clement on HB (15.15) and Stanton Rehkemper on HB (15.00). The Sooners have plenty of remarkable talent to make a serious post-season run, justifying their season-long top ranking. With four teams appearing to be relatively evenly balanced, the NCAA team final is going to be pressure-packed and well worth the cost of admission. A single non-stuck dismount could end up being the difference between first and second place.
In another of the weekend’s marquee meets, Michigan (439.20) used a balanced-scoring attack to upend Penn State (432.00). The Wolverines won five out of six team event titles, and four individual event titles in front of a home crowd. Stacey Ervin followed up last weekend’s top Big 10 performance with another big time FX routine (15.55), witnessed live by those tuning into the Big 10 Network’s broadcast. Ervin, the nation’s 2nd-ranked on FX, is starting to peak at the right time of the season, posting a stunning 15.82 average over the last three meets. Sam Mikulak competed in his first AA since American Cup, recording an 88.45, including the event title on PH (15.50), which was his first ever meet title on that event. Konner Ackerman was sterling on VT (15.15) and PB (14.90), taking first on the former. Nick Hunter had a 14.88 average on three events, including the winning score on PB (14.90). Michigan also got a couple of great SR scores from Jordan Gaarenstroom (15.30) and Alex Bubnov (15.25).
Penn State got off to a bad start on PH (68.55), falling behind by a sizable margin early in the contest. They bounced back on VT (74.30), equaling their season high, and nearly matching their season best on HB (73.30). Matt Felleman had a big part on both of those events, winning on HB (15.20) and tying for 2nd on VT (15.10). Trevor Howard had another great outing, compiling 14.84 points on five events. Howard had three 2nd-place finishes on FX (15.20), SR (15.35) and VT (15.10). Alexis Torres posted a career high in winning the SR title (15.80). Freshman Leroy Clarke also recorded a career high on SR, placing in a tie for 3rd (15.30). The Nittany Lions also enjoyed 2nd place finishes by Craig Hernandez (PH-15.10) and Wasef Burbar (HB-15.05). Other top-scorers for Penn State were Nestor Rodriguez on VT (15.05) and Preston Gall on PH (14.90). Penn State’s regular season is now concluded, and they will compete next at the Big 10 Championships in two weeks. Michigan finishes up at home next Saturday (Senior Night) with a dual meet against UIC.
In a great five-team battle in Lincoln, NE, Iowa (437.25) outlasted Illinois (434.85), Minnesota (432.00), host Nebraska (428.45) and Air Force (422.00). Despite Illinois winning team titles on three events (PH,VT,PB), Iowa’s winning margins on HB and SR (ranked 3rd & 4th, respectively), provided plenty of separation to win this meet. The Hawkeyes, achieving their season highs on HB (73.75) and overall team score, were led by Matt McGrath (15.42 three-event avg) and Jack Boyle (14.76 four-event avg). McGrath won event titles on FX (15.60) and VT (15.30), and Boyle captured 2nd place on HB (15.20). Matt Loochtan (SR-15.10) and Brandon Field (FX-15.00) pitched in with their high-scoring efforts. Iowa is currently ranked 7th, and is ready for their post-season battle to earn a spot in the NCAA final six.
Illinois won team titles on PH, VT and PB, but fell below their season averages on SR and HB to seal their fate. Winning event titles for the Illini was freshman Matt Foster on PH (14.95) and Jordan Valdez on PB (15.30). Big 10 Freshman of the Year candidate Chandler Eggleston had another great outing with a three-event average of 15.02, including a career high on HB (14.95). CJ Maestas had a season high in the AA (87.90), with big scores on SR (15.25) and PB (15.20). Alex Varga (FX-15.15), Fred Hartville (VT-15.15) and Joey Peters (PB-15.05) also had big scores for the Illini.
Minnesota, ranked 3rd nationally on FX, nearly matched their season high (74.50). Three Gophers hit for 15 to lead that effort — Yoshi Morinishi (15.25), Zack Chase (15.00) and Adam Kern (15.00). Chase was the Gophers’ top performer, averaging 15.10 on three events (SR-15.20, VT-15.10), and Kern also tallied a 15.05 on VT. Steve Jaciuk and Matt Frey tied for 2nd on PB (15.25).
Robbie Kocks won the lone event title for Nebraska with his career high on SR (15.50). Wyatt Aycock posted a season high in the AA (85.65), including a 15.00 on PB to lead the Cornhuskers’ scoring. Grant Perdue (VT-15.20), CJ Schaaf (VT-15.00) and Eric Schryver (HB-15.05) were also top scorers for Nebraska. After nearly making the 440 Club two weeks ago, Air Force had quite a letdown. Mac Ritchie achieved a career high on HB (15.35) to win Air Force’s lone event title. Timmy Wang had an 84.95 in the AA to lead the Falcons.
In an emotionally charged Senior Night in Berkeley, Cal (428.55) upended Washington (380.40), as senior Donothan Bailey had his swan song at Haas Pavilion. Bailey posted another strong AA performance (87.90), including big scores on FX (15.00), PH (15.00) and HB (15.30). He is an All-American on PH (2011), and is certainly in the running to add more honors to his resume at next month’s NCAA Championships. The Bears not only eclipsed their previous season team high on FX, but they set a new school record (74.85). Led by Jeffrey Langenstein’s 15.30, Cal also received big scores from Kyle Zemeir (15.00) and Bailey. Zemeir also topped out at 14.90 to lead the SR scoring. Ryan Patterson (15.10) and Bailey (14.30) also won on VT and PB, respectively. Aaron Moss led the Huskies in scoring with 76.70 in the AA, including a 14.45 on FX. In two weeks, Cal will be competing in the MPSF Championships, hosted by Oklahoma. Langenstein and Christian Monteclaro were also honored as graduating seniors.
Springfield College (411.35) won their second meet of the year, with their victory over Navy (406.15). The big winner for the Pride was James Hennin, who won event titles on PB (14.15) and HB (14.10). Ryan Ponce took the SR title (15.20) and Jon Zirna won on PH (14.65). For Navy, Chris Junghans took the AA (81.25), while Jonny Tang (FX-14.40) and Mitch Larios (VT-14.90) won event titles for the Midshipmen. Both of these teams will compete next weekend at the USGA Championships in Annapolis, MD.