Posted on 10 March 2014 by admin
The scoreboard at Burnham Pavilion got quite a workout at Saturday night’s quad meet featuring host Stanford (446.45), Ohio State (442.40), Cal (432.45) and Arizona State (406.10). Three of the four teams hit their season high team scores, as Stanford prevailed with a four event high-scoring flurry. The Cardinal established a new national team standard on VT (75.65), and also posted the nation’s second-highest team scores on PB (75.70) and HB (74.95). Freshman Akash Modi, who last weekend posted the season’s best AA score (91.35), had a huge night on four events. His 15.36 average included an event title on PB (15.65). Teammate Dennis Zaremski was phenomenal, winning on SR (15.75) and placing 3rd on PB (15.45). Modi (15.35) and fellow freshman Taylor Seaton (15.35) neatly complemented event winner Sean Senters on VT (15.50). Mike Levy (FX-15.10, SR-15.55), Chris Turner (HB-15.35) and Brian Knott (PB-15.25) also contributed mightily to Stanford’s big night. Stanford’s team score, although being the nation’s second-best this season behind Oklahoma, is now the top score in the new 5-Up/5-Count format. Four seniors are graduating this year for Stanford — Chris Turner, Cale Robinson, Senters and Paul Hichwa. Senters has already announced that he’ll be returning for his final year of eligibility next year, taking advantage of a medical redshirt. That’s great news for Stanford.
Ohio State cracked the 440 mark for the third time this season, winning team event titles on FX and PH, and getting individual titles from Danny Steiner (FX-15.35) and Mike Newburger (PH-15.70). They established new team highs on those events. The Buckeyes cranked it up a bit, after resting some of their stars last weekend. Top AAers Sean Melton and Jake Martin only competed on three and four events, respectively. Still, the result was palpable, reinforcing their standing as a serious NCAA title contender. Melton finished with a three event average of 15.15, and Martin had a 15.09 average on four events. Freshman Jake Dastrup continued his consistent streak with a four event average of 14.80, including a career high on FX (15.20). Another freshman, Logan Melander, pitched in with a 14.90 on VT.
Cal also hit for a season-high team score, led by Kevin Wolting (AA-86.90) and Kyle Zemeir (SR-15.10). Wolting is currently the nation’s 8th-ranked AAer, and undoubtedly will remain in the top 10 when the new rankings come out. Zemeir continues to impress with a four event average of 14.70. Senior Donothan Bailey also competed on four events, highlighted by his 15.30 on PH. Tak Kawada’s 3rd place routine on PH (15.35) was a career high. The young Bears should be in good shape heading into the post season, with legitimate designs on a Final 6 spot. Arizona State equaled their season-high team score, and were led once again by Lee Wilkerson in the AA (81.40).
In a nationally televised meet, top-ranked Oklahoma (439.70) celebrated their Senior Day in style over visiting Nebraska (422.05). Despite faltering on PH and HB, the Sooners nearly hit the 440 mark in their first meet in the new 5-Up/5-Count format. Senior captain Presten Ellsworth had a fantastic final home meet, averaging a perfect 15.00 on four events, sticking his Kas 1 1/2 (15.45) to win the VT title. His winning VT propelled his team to their season high on that event. Freshman Allan Bower posted an 87.30 in his career first AA, adding an event title on PH (14.25). The Sooners lit it up again on FX, getting huge scores from Alec Robin (15.65), Colin Van Wicklen (15.20), senior Raymond White (15.20) and Dylan Akers (15.05). Also winning event titles were Mike Squires (SR-16.00), Sergey Reznick (PB-15.60) and senior Stanton Rehkemper (15.20). Freshman Van Wicklen (15.35) and White (15.20) added big scores on VT, while Danny Berardini (PB-15.15) and William Clement (HB-15.05) rounded out the top scores for Oklahoma. Nebraska’s Robbie Kocks set a new school record with his 2nd-place finish on SR (15.55). Grant Perdue was the Cornhuskers’ top scorer with great efforts on FX (15.00) and VT (15.25). Freshman Austin Epperson had his best meet as a Cornhusker, averaging 14.10 on four events, including a 14.70 on HB. The meet was broadcast live by FoxSports Oklahoma, and should probably be the standard by which men’s gymnastics ought to be televised by the other networks. The viewers were constantly updated with scores, which greatly complemented the broadcast. Bart Conner, Jake Dalton & Steven Legendre worked really well together, providing some great insights.
In a spring fling in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Michigan (438.80) swept all six team event titles in their big romp over Penn State (428.55). The Wolverines were led by outstanding performances by Stacey Ervin (FX-16.10), Syque Caesar (PB-15.50), Sam Mikulak (VT-15.30) and Nick Hunter (PH-14.80, HB-14.75). Ervin’s FX routine is now the nation’s best, and the first score above 16.00 all season. Mikulak, back in the lineup after his American Cup victory, had two other 15-plus scores (FX-15.60, SR-15.10). His winning VT helped his team to their highest team score this season on that event (74.70). Back in his home country, freshman Tristian Perez-Rivera shined on FX (14.90) and VT (15.20). Caesar also put up some big points on FX (15.55) and HB (14.70). Also playing roles in Michigan’s high-scoring night on VT were Paul Rizkalla (15.20) and Konner Ackerman (15.00). Ranked 9th nationally on SR, Jordan Gaarenstroom had another good outing (15.10), while Hunter added a 15.05 on PB to keep his top-10 ranking.
Team Manager Corbett Schmittz and Mike Strathern put on a great night of commentary during the team’s streaming webcast. Schmittz informed the fans that Adrian de los Angeles has delayed surgery on his torn ACL to concentrate on rehabbing it sufficiently to return to post-season competition. If that rehab stint is successful, Adrian would be able to provide the team with some substantial scoring potential on three or four events. Obviously, the team’s prime goal of repeating as NCAA champs weighed heavily on Adrian’s selfless decision to do this.
Two other Puerto Rican natives, Alexis Torres and Nestor Rodriguez played key roles in Penn State’s scoring. Torres had a 14.83 average on five events, including the winning score on SR (15.65), and Nestor Rodriguez had an outstanding night on PB (2nd-15.30) and VT (3rd-15.05). Recovering from injury most of the season, Wasef Burbar was in the lineup and tied for the top score on HB (14.75). Coming off a 440-point effort last weekend against Minnesota, the Nittany Lions were at less than full strength against the Wolverines. Next weekend they should be raring to go in their final tune-up before the post season, as these two teams will meet again in a dual meet in Ann Arbor.
The final home meet for Minnesota (427.75) went down to the wire, as the Gophers edged out Iowa (426.45) and Brockport (184.70). The Gophers and Hawkeyes split the team event titles, but it was the Gophers’ 3.4-point advantage on PH that easily provided the margin of victory. The Gophers’ Ellis Mannon won outright event titles on PH (14.75) and PB (14.70), and shared the top score on HB (14.60) with teammate Danny DiBenedetto and Iowa’s Cyrus Dobre-Mofid. Minnesota also got another great performance from freshman Zach Liebler on FX (15.00). Other top scorers for Iowa were Matt Loochtan on FX (15.65) and double event winner Matt McGrath on SR (15.30) and VT (15.35). Ron Ayello was the top scorer for Brockport, as he recorded a 14.05 on FX and 12.25 on SR. Both Minnesota and Iowa conclude the regular season on the road next weekend in Lincoln, NE, along with Air Force, Illinois and host Nebraska.
Minnesota loses a lot of talent to graduation–Zack Chase, Adam Kern, Justin Morinishi, Matt Frey, Nathan Fortunato, Sam Wright, John Scallon and Steffen Beck. All eight were honored after the meet with the Louis J. Cooke Award for their contributions to the Minnesota program.
William & Mary (427.20) once again established a new season high (school record) in their romp over Army (406.90) and Temple (401.45). The Tribe won five out of six team event titles, scoring 70-plus on every event except for PB. They also received individual titles from double-winner Landon Funiciello (SR-15.05, PB-14.45), Michael Deitz (FX-14.60), Jason Wang (14.65) and Neal Courter (14.90). Daniel Potemski (85.80) and JJ Jindra (83.45) had great outings in the AA. Potemski also was the 2nd-place finisher on SR (15.00). Jesse Glenn was Army’s top scorer, leading his team’s winning effort on HB (15.20). Temple’s Jakob Welsh was his team’s leading scorer with an 81.45 in the AA. The Owls (400.40) also had a road meet on Saturday, going down in defeat against Navy (411.40). Leading scorers in that meet were Navy’s Chris Junghans (AA-83.20), Temple’s Welsh (80.10) and Jon Rydzefski (82.20).
Illinois (427.85) won their final home meet of the season against UIC (401.90), as the Illini swept every team and individual event title. Fred Hartville (FX-14.25), Cole Smith (PH-14.90), Joey Peters (SR-14.95), Chandler Eggleston (VT-15.40), Cameron Rogers ((PB-14.95) and Jordan Valdez (HB-14.85) each won event titles. Hartville added a 2nd place finish on VT (15.15). Top scorers for UIC were Jason Gaides (AA-83.00), Lukas Adamczyk (PH-14.80) and Brett Valin (VT-14.80). The Illini are graduating five seniors from Coach Justin Spring’s first recruiting class–Andrew Margolis, Chad Mason, Cameron Rogers, Cole Smith and Alex Varga–all of whom played large roles in the Illini’s 2012 NCAA title-winning season.