Categorized | Featured, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA

Sooners “Bounce Back” With NCAA’s Top Score; Michigan Splits at Home

Posted on 12 March 2017 by admin

Undefeated Oklahoma did something that caught college gymnastics fans off guard.  Coming off of a high-scoring, barnburner of a meet last weekend against Stanford, the last thing anybody thought was the Sooners coming back the following weekend to post their highest score.  Coach Mark Williams gave several of his stars some rest this weekend, but it seems like no matter whom he inserts into the lineup, they get the job done.  The Sooners got off to a torrid start, posting their season highs on FX (73.25) and PH (72.90).  They were off to the races again.  Ohio State wasn’t too far behind, hitting for their second-highest score on PH (72.10), but falling off a bit on FX (66.85).  It had the makings of another Palo Alto Brawl.  But the Buckeyes couldn’t keep up.

Oklahoma kept up the pace, putting nothing but 70s across-the-scoreboard.  The Sooners (434.55) posted their season high, adding another season best on HB (72.55) in downing the Buckeyes (417.60).  Ohio State’s score was not too shabby–It was the weekend’s second-best score, and it will certainly keep them as the nation’s third-ranked team.

The meet was a big highlight reel.  The Sooners’ sophomore Yul Moldauer, competing on just three events, compiled a 14.95 average.  His huge 15.55 score on FX is now the nation’s top score on any event.  Teammate Allan Bower continued his uncanny consistency on PH (15.10) to lead his team’s charge on that event.  Pommel Horse fans were certainly entertained, as a combined nine countable scores of 14.15 or better from both teams were recorded.  The Buckeyes’ Alec Yoder conquered the horse like nobody else this season, tallying the NCAA’s leading score of 15.40.  Teammate Sean Melton was the event winner on SR (14.95), and fellow Buckeye Jake Martin was the evening’s top AAer (85.30).  Bower was the winner on PB (15.05), and Genki Suzuki joined the 15-Club with his winning performance on HB (15.05).

Many other notable scores were posted throughout the evening.  Most notable were those from the Sooners’ Colin Van Wicklen (FX-15.30), Peter Daggett (SR-14.85) and Matt Wenske (back from injury… VT-14.70).  Van Wicklen recorded the NCAA’s top FX score, but lost it five minutes later to his teammate Moldauer.  The Buckeyes’ had many of their own from Martin (PH-14.80, HB-14.50), Brandon Jacoby (PH-14.60) and Tristan Burke (SR-14.65).

The Sooners will host Illinois next weekend, while the Buckeyes will be idle.

Stanford (417.15) took a relative breather, compared to last weekend’s slugfest, surging in their final three events to upend host Michigan (406.70) and Illinois (404.00).  The big story was Michigan scoring their season best, despite still being less than full strength.  The Wolverines rode a season high on VT (71.50), led by a trio of big scores.  Emyre Cole (15.10) set his new season standard, while teammates Anthony McCallum (14.95) and Anthony Stefanelli (14.45) were right behind him.  The youngest Wolverines set many new personal highs, led by freshmen Justin Hopgood (HB-14.40), Mitchell Brown (PH-13.60), Parker Chiapuzio (FX-13.50) and Thomas Paul (SR-13.55).

The Illini never got untracked, scoring well below their season averages on FX, PH and SR.  Illinois, likewise less than full strength, still had some highlights that included Brandon Ngai (PH-14.80), Michael Paradise (PH-14.20), Alex Diab (FX-14.20, SR-14.80, VT-14.35) and Tyson Bull (HB-15.05).  Diab (FX) and Bull (HB) won event titles outright, and Ngai (PH) shared his with Stanford’s Akash Modi.  As Coach Justin Spring said on his birthday, “We had about half of a lineup, and we also really hit routines.”  Despite Saturday’s drubbing on the road, the Illini will still have a say in the postseason as they regain strength.

The Cardinal struggled in the first three rotations, scoring well below their season averages on FX and PH.  They finally got it together in the final three rotations, scoring over 71 on VT, PB and HB.  It was their first team score below 420 since their opening-season win over Cal (418.10).  Many were surprised to see Modi compete all six events, especially after his big 3rd-place finish at American Cup last weekend.  He didn’t disappoint (87.70), scoring above his season average, and ending with a flourish on PB (15.05).  Modi won titles on PH and PB.  Teammate Robert Neff also did the AA, finishing with 82.05.  Josiah Eng (SR-15.05) earned the other event title for the Cardinal.  Illinois (at Oklahoma) and Michigan (at Penn State) will hit the road next weekend, while Stanford will be idle until April 1 (Cal).

Minnesota (411.20) enjoyed a home victory over Iowa (406.85) and Arizona State (391.70).  The Gophers scored a season best 70.20 on SR to spark their win.  They won five out of six individual event titles, led by double winner Yaro Pochinka (SR-14.30, VT-14.80).  Alex Wittenberg had his season high on FX (14.75), while Vitali Kan and Justin Karstadt shared the top score on PH (14.35).  Shaun Herzog won his first career title on HB (14.20).  Karstadt also won the AA (82.55) for the third time this season.  Zach Liebler was back in the lineup to record top-3 finishes on FX (14.55) and VT (14.65).

Iowa came away with two team titles (PH, HB) and one individual title.  Austin Hodges was the Hawkeyes’ top performer, earning the top score on PB (14.05) and leading his team’s effort on PH (14.00).  Also posting key scores for Iowa were Mark Springett (FX-14.45), Andrew Botto (SR-14.00, VT-14.50, AA-79.85), Josh Zeal (VT-14.60) and Andrew Herrador (VT-14.20).  Arizona State had another big day on VT (71.15), led by Daniel Bronnenberg (14.75), Nick Garcia (14.45) and Anthony Mills (14.30).  Minnesota will host UIC next Saturday, while Iowa will host Nebraska the following Monday.  Arizona State will be idle until the USAG Championships on March 24.

Navy (404.10) posted their season best in their final home meet over Air Force (396.30) and William & Mary (396.25).  Jonny Tang, the nation’s 7th-ranked AAer, won for the sixth time this season (82.00), and his teammate Noah Beeman helped carry the load with his season high (80.25).  Tang (14.40) and freshman Lucas Beltran (14.15) combined for the two highest scores on FX.  The Mids captured three team event titles enroute to their impressive win.

Air Force dominated on five of six individual events, enjoying a three-event conquest by Timmy Wang (PH-14.30, SR-14.50, VT-14.90) and wins by Jonathon Fornoff (PB-14.50) and Chase Cannon (HB-14.25).  Top scorers for the Pride were Neal Courter (FX-13.90, VT-13.80, HB-13.80), Nick Van Dyke (VT-14.20) and Rob Meyer (PB-14.10).  Navy will travel to Air Force next weekend, while William & Mary will host Army and Temple.

Cal (397.00) won their road dual meet over Washington (387.10).  The Bears won four team events, led by event winners Michael Rauchwerger (FX-14.40, VT-T1st-14.00), Mitch Awisus (PH-13.15), Nathaniel Ramil (VT-T1st-14.00), Yordan Aleksandrov (PB-14.15) and Gagik Gharibyan (HB-13.80).  The Huskies were sparked by event winners Nick Kano (SR-14.25) and Justin Rowen (VT-T1st-14.00).  Cal’s Aaron Mah (79.40) won a close contest in the AA over Nathan Tsuji (79.05).  Cal is idle until April 1 (at Stanford), and Washington’s next meet is at the USAG Championships (March 24-25).

Army (395.30) won a Sunday matinee hosted by Springfield (387.45).  The Black Knights captured five of six team events, and split the individual honors equally.  Event winners for Army were Seth Cannon (T1st-14.25) and Ryan Wilson (T1st-14.25) on VT, Nathan Goff (PB-13.90) and Leo Genders (HB-14.05).  Stephen Lewis (FX-13.65), Chris Graff (PH-13.90) and Josh Dieker earned the top spots for the Pride.  Graff was also the top man in the AA (80.20) with his season high.  Army has a tune-up meet next weekend against Temple and William & Mary, while Springfield is idle until the USAG Championships (March 24-25).

Air Force (378.80), competing for the second time this weekend, won Sunday’s matinee over host UIC (371.70).  The Falcons won four out of six team events, and took four individual event titles.  Taking event honors for Air Force were Ryan Girouard (FX-13.30), Fletcher Braunton (PH-13.70), Christian Kalustian (VT-T1st-14.15) and Timmy Wang (HB-13.40).  The Flames were led by event winners Keith Kohn (SR-13.20), Victor Bello (VT-T1st-14.15) and Steen Haugsted (PB-13.60).


  • FX- Yul Moldauer – 15.55
  • PH – Alec Yoder – 15.40
  • SR – Josiah Eng – 15.05
  • VT- Emyre Cole – 15.10
  • PB – Akash Modi, Allan Bower – 15.05
  • HB – Tyson Bull, Genki Suzuki – 15.05



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