Categorized | Featured, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA

Oklahoma’s Streak Continues; Nissen-Emery Award Finalists Announced

Posted on 19 March 2017 by admin

Top-ranked Oklahoma (433.70) completed their third straight meet of scoring at least 70 points on every event in their final regular season contest over visiting Illinois (417.05).  The Sooners also extended their scoring streak to 22 consecutive rotations of scoring 70-plus.  It was their second best scoring outing of the season, coming on Senior Night.  Sooners’ seniors had a big night, winning on three events.  Colin Van Wicklen celebrated the occasion in style, winning on FX (14.90) and HB (14.45).  Thao Hong took the SR title (15.05) with his season best performance.  Also winning for Oklahoma were Genki Suzuki (PH-14.70), freshman Matt Wenske (VT-15.05) and Peter Daggett (PB-15.10).  Yul Moldauer (PB-15.05) accounted for the Sooners’ fourth “15” of the night.  The timing for Wenske and Daggett couldn’t be better.  Wenske is coming off a knee injury and Daggett has become a team spark of late, which bodes well for the team leading into the post season.

Conspicuously absent from the meet was Oklahoma senior Allan Bower.  He was in Stuttgart, Germany, competing in his first international World Cup event.  Bower placed 7th in the AA event (81.699) that was won by Olympic silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev (84.899).

The Illini recorded their second highest team score of the season, keyed by their best team performance on VT (71.70).  The banged up Illini, still not at full strength, had some great routines by their freshmen.  The nation’s top freshman on FX, Sebastian Quiana (14.317 avg.), turned in his best score of the season (14.85).  Michael Paradise also had his best effort on PH (14.60), while Jacob Light continues to shine on VT (14.60).  Bobby Baker (VT-14.80), Tom Gibbs (HB-13.80) and Ross Thompson (HB-14.25) also scored season highs.  The Sooners will get two weeks of rest before the MPSF Championships.  Illinois will host Ohio State on Saturday in their regular season finale.

After being about knotted up after three rotations, Penn State (409.20) pulled ahead of visiting Michigan (405.30) in the final three events.  The Nittany Lions won four team events and tied on PH to notch their victory.  They were paced by freshman double event-winner Sam Zakutney (FX-14.30, PB-14.20), who also won the AA (82.10).  Leroy Clarke also won on two events (PH-14.25, HB-14.30) and had an outstanding 14.19 four-event average.  Dom DiFulvio picked up a victory on SR (14.40).  The Wolverines earned their highest road score of the season, showing a lot of upside potential from their younger gymnasts in the process.  Emyre Cole was the lone event winner for Michigan on VT (14.90).  He is currently ranked 4th nationally on that event (14.833 avg.).  Penn State will host their last regular season meet next Saturday against Iowa, while Michigan will host UIC in their finale.

Minnesota (413.50) firmed up their status as the nation’s 5th-ranked team with a resounding win over visiting UIC (372.70).  The Gophers came out firing, tallying their best team scores on FX (71.75) and PH (68.50).  They swept all the individual events, led by Zach Liebler (FX-14.80), Justin Karstadt (PH-14.50), double-winner Yaro Pochinka (SR-13.90, VT-14.85), Ryan Bergman (PB-14.05) and Jalon Stephens (HB-13.80).  2nd-ranked on VT, the Gophers continued to shine (72.00), with all scores of 14 or better.  Seniors Liebler and Mitch Soukup were honored after the meet.  Minnesota finishes up on the road at Nebraska next Saturday, while the Flames will visit Michigan.

In a rare Monday night meet, Iowa (408.30) wrapped up their home schedule with a win over Nebraska (400.00).  The Hawkeyes used four team event wins to prevail.  The Huskers faltered on PH (65.20) and HB (63.65) to seal their fate, in what would ordinarily have been a very tight contest.  The visitors did pick up three individual event titles, led by double winner Austin Epperson (FX-14.25, PB-13.90) and Anton Stephenson (VT-14.70).  Nebraska set a new season high on VT (71.75), led by Stephenson.  Event winners for Iowa were Austin Hodges (PH-14.50), Mark Springett (SR-13.75) and Cory Paterson (HB-14.40).  Hawkeyes’ senior Andrew Botto competed in the AA (78.70) for the 10th time this season.  He has done the AA in every single meet so far.  To end the regular season, Iowa will travel to Penn State next weekend, while Nebraska will host Minnesota.

Air Force (407.35) garnered their second best scoring effort this season in knocking off visiting Navy (382.90).  The Falcon swept all team events and won five individual titles, led by triple winner Tim Wang (FX-14.05, PH-14.35, SR-14.50).  Wang also finished with 83.10 in the AA.  Jonathon Fornoff (PB-14.30) and Chase Cannon (HB-14.30) earned event wins for Air Force.  Frank Bradley was the lone victor for the Mids, winning the top spot on VT (14.35).  Both teams have concluded their regular season slates and will head for Edmonds, WA next weekend for the USAG Championships.

Host William & Mary (401.60) had their top-scoring meet of the season in a big win over Army (393.55) and Temple (375.70).  The Tribe won five of six team events and had four individual event winners.  Earning the top marks were freshman Tomas Palma (FX-14.15), Jacopo Gliozzi (PH-14.20), Rob Meyer (SR-13.90) and Griffin Antle (13.90).  Leo Genders was a double winner for Army, capturing titles on VT (14.35) and PB (13.90).  The Tribe and Temple will compete at next weekend’s USAG Championships, while Army’s next contest is in two weeks at the ECAC Championships.

Eight Nissen-Emery Award Finalists were named this past week.  Last year’s finalist, Logan Bradley (Illinois), has a nice profile for each gymnast. 

  • Allan Bower – Oklahoma
  • Neal Courter – William & Mary
  • Zach Liebler – Minnesota
  • Jake Martin – Ohio State
  • Akash Modi – Stanford
  • Joey Peters – Illinois
  • Colin Van Wicklen – Oklahoma
  • Tim Wang – Air Force

Here’s a great shot of the Kid Zone at Oklahoma’s Senior Night meet against Illinois…

kid zone









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