Categorized | Featured, Men's Gymnastics, NCAA

Sooners Roll On; Moldauer Hits for 88.35

Posted on 29 January 2017 by admin

2016 NCAA All-Around Champ Yul Moldauer competed his first AA of the young season and did not waste any time showcasing his full intention to repeat.  Compiling two more scores of 15 or better, he captured three event titles (FX-14.85, SR-15.10, PB-15.15) and posted the NCAA’s second highest AA score (88.35).  In a season where scores of 15 are a rare commodity, Moldauer has now achieved that mark five times — Three times on PB and twice on SR.  He and his teammates hit the 430 mark for the second time in three tries, as the Sooners (430.05) rolled over a young Michigan squad (400.80).

Freshman Tanner Justus captured his second consecutive VT title (15.00), earning his second tally of 15 for the season.  His slightly older brother, Hunter, won his first-ever event title on PH (14.10) from the lead-off spot!  HB scores keep ratcheting up, with a new leader every week.  This week’s new leader is Levi Anderson, who notched the NCAA’s top mark (14.90).  All five countable scores for the Sooners exceeded 14 on that event–Four of them were an astounding 14.40 or better.  Michigan’s Emyre Cole tied for the VT title and kept his status as the NCAA’s top-ranked man on FX (14.75).  The Sooners established new team highs on VT and HB.  Despite being the NCAA’s top scoring machine, Oklahoma still has not hit for at least 70 on all six team events in a single meet.  Sooner or later, that fact might become a pet peeve for Coach Mark Williams.  Michigan travels to Ohio State next weekend and Oklahoma will be idle.

Banged-up Minnesota (413.75) continued their upward trajectory in the rankings in their road loss to Illinois (416.50).  The Gophers led most of the way, but succumbed to the Illini in the final rotation.  Illinois, the 2nd-ranked team on HB, lived up to their reputation and came through with their best team score of the season on that event.  Tyson Bull and Chandler Eggleston enjoyed a short-lived stint at having the NCAA’s best score (14.70), and they were joined by Alex Diab (14.20) to provide the winning margin at the buzzer.  The Illini are showing glimmers of the team makeup they had in their NCAA title-winning season in 2012.  If they can heal up and put it all together, this team is going places.  The fact they are still the only team to score 70 on every event in one meet should not be ignored.  Freshman Sebastian Quiana won his first event title on FX (14.65), which shows this team has upside on that front.

Vitali Kan led the Gophers’ scoring with a 14.03 avg. on four events, including his event winning effort on VT (14.85).  Minnesota is showing no signs of letting up.  They are a very strong team that is struggling with injury challenges.  The fact their team scores are improving every week is indicative of success dealing with those issues.  The Gophers will host Nebraska in next weekend’s marquee meet, while the Illini will stay home to host Penn State.

Host Air Force (409.15) defeated Army (389.25) in a Pentagon matchup in Colorado Springs.  The Falcons hit for a season high and were led by Aaron Nubine (FX-14.25), Timmy Wang (PH-14.20), Fletcher Braunton (SR-14.15), Eric Klein (VT-14.55) and Casey Brannin (PB-14.60).  In Week 4, Air Force will host Stanford and Washington, while Army will battle it out with Navy at home.

Jonny Tang (AA-83.05, FX-14.60) and Tanner West (AA-82.25, FX-14.25) led Navy (409.40) to a home victory over William & Mary (401.30).  Both teams achieved season-high team scores.  Aria Sabbagh was the top scorer for the Tribe (AA-79.80).

Cal (407.30) also hit for a new season high in their road win over ASU (397.40), Temple (375.35) and host SoCal United (350.05).  The Bears with three scores of 14.60 or better established a new team standard on HB led by Yordan Aleksandrov (14.65), Gagik Gharibyan (14.65) and Capri Sano (14.60).  Their score on that event is now ranked No. 4 in the NCAA.  Aaron Mah chipped in with an 81.80 AA effort and a meet/season high on FX (14.75).

In Sunday’s matinee, Penn State (408.10) overwhelmed Springfield (384.55) on the road.  Highlights for the Nittany Lions included hitting a season team high on PH (70.30), behind freshman Stephen Nedoroscik’s meet high (14.50).  Dom DiFulvio (VT-14.50, SR-13.85, FX-13.80), Leroy Clarke (PB-14.60) and freshman Sam Zakutney (PB-14.90, HB-13.40, AA-82.65) were the standout performers for Penn State.  Stephen Lewis was the leading scorer for the Pride (AA-78.90).

After three weekends of competition, it’s now readily apparent that 425 is the new 440… The 425 Club!  Thus far, there is only one member, but that will certainly change as the season progresses.

Still no word on hiring decisions for the High Performance Director and the OTC Head Coach positions.  Interviews were held last week.

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