Your Wolverines had a successful start to the 2013 NCAA Championships, recording a 93% hit percentage (only two missed routines). Michigan started on the Bye, which was formatted slightly differently than the Bye rotation at Big Tens; your Wolverines had the bye rotation last in the timed warm-ups, then march-in, then the bye first rotation of their competition, meaning that at least thirty minutes separated their final warm-up from their first competitive routine, but they didn’t let it bother them.
Michigan hit five-for-five on pommel horse, led-off by Freshman Nolan Novak in his first NCAA Championships competitive appearance. The rotation was highlighted by Matt Freeman’s 14.55, Adrian de Los Angeles’ 14.65 and Sam Mikulak’s 14.85. On rings Alex Bubnov turned in his best effort of the year, bringing in 15.2, and Jordan Gaarenstroom barely surpassed him, posting a 15.3 on the heels of his stuck dismount. Matt Freeman again rounded out the top three Wolverine scores with a 15.1. Again, Michigan was a solid five-for-five.
On vault freshman Konner Ackerman hit a good Kasamatsu full in his first NCAA Championships. Mikulak added half a twist to Ackerman’s vault and scored a 14.9. Stacey Ervin and Mike Strathern’s handspring double fronts claimed the top two Michigan scores on the event, 14.95 and 15.15, respectively. Your Wolverines next had a big rotation on parallel bars, led off by Ervin’s 14.85 and highlighted by a 15.35, 15.5, and 15.6 from de Los Angeles, Mikulak, and Syque Caesar, respectively. It’s far too early to tell, but Michigan could put a strong bid in for another 1-2-3 sweep in event finals.
High Bar saw the Wolverines facing their first piece of adversity as Caesar had an uncharacteristic slip on his Quast, but de los Angeles’ 14.8 (despite not being a season high, in my opinion a season-best high bar routine) and Mikulak’s 15.5, both capped off with stuck laid out double-doubles, got Michigan back on track. The Maize and Blue closed out the afternoon on floor, Mikulak posted a 15.1, Caesar a 15.25, and de Los Angeles a 15.5.
Michigan’s 443.85 easily surpassed second place Oklahoma’s 433.85 and third place Illinois’ 426.9. Adrian de Los Angeles posted an impressive 89.65 in the all-around and the Maize and Blue had individuals claiming the top score on three events, and recorded the highest team total on all six events. Michigan also posted a 28% stick percentage (that’s for you, Rich Dopp)! See below posts for complete commentary on today’s routines.
The top three teams from Session I will meet the top three from Session II (currently underway) in the NCAA Team Finals tomorrow night, where your Wolverines look to claim their fifth National Title. Stay posted tomorrow for commentary, scores and notes, and get excited for Finals!
Thanks for your continued interest in and support of Michigan Men’s Gymnastics! Go Blue!
MGoBlue Press Release available here.
Tomorrow’s goal: check off one more box…