Quartet of Event Titles Not Enough in Loss to No. 3 Oklahoma
Michael Strathern

March 9, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #3 Oklahoma 432.100, #2 Michigan 431.250
Records: Michigan (9-1), Oklahoma (11-1)
Attendance: 1,046
Next U-M Meet: Saturday, March 16 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.). 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team, competing without (rest) the top all-arounder in the country in sophomore Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) and the nation's No. 2 parallel bar man in senior Syque Caesar (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy), fell to the No. 3-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 432.100-431.250, on Saturday (March 9) at Cliff Keen Arena. The meet was the first of the season for U-M against a ranked opponent where a five-up, five-count scoring system was utilized.

Michigan began the night on floor, where junior Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar) tallied a 15.45 for second place, and sophomore Stacey Ervin (Troy, Mich./Truman) scored an event-winning 16.00 as U-M notched a 74.10 on the event.

On pommels in rotation two, where Mikulak was the top Wolverine in runner-up (14.60), U-M scored a 69.90 and followed in the third rotation (rings) by collecting a season-best 76.25, as all five competitors surpassed the 14.75 mark. The charge was paced by a pair of career highs -- from junior Jordan Gaarenstroom (Laguna Hills, Calif./ Halstrom) with a 15.45 and a 15.15 from senior Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./ Bishop McGuinness Catholic). However, it was junior Matt Freeman (Canton, Mich./ Plymouth) who took the event title with a 15.55.

In the fourth rotation, vault, both sophomore Taylor Harrower (Dublin, Ohio /Dublin Coffman) and freshman Konner Ackerman (Des Moines, Wash./ Mount Rainier) scored 14.55s, while sophomore Michael Strathern (Bartlett, Ill./ Bartlett) marked a 14.75 to win his first event title on the night as the Maize and Blue scored a 71.70.

Strathern contributed his second event title of the night on parallel bars, where he marked a 15.00. In the fifth rotation, Mikulak, the 2012 NCAA high bar champion, suffered a slight injury to his hand during his parallel bar routine that forced him out of the rest of competition. Ervin stepped into his place as an injury substitute and marked a 13.60 to help U-M tally a 69.60 on the event and gain a narrow 361.55-361.40 lead heading into the sixth and final rotation on high bar.

Oklahoma used a team score of 72.50 on high bar, led by a 14.95 by Stanton Rehkemper, to surpass the Wolverines, sans Mikulak, in the final rotation as U-M scored a 69.70. Strathern, who took third on the event, scored a 14.80 to lead the Wolverines.

Michigan returns to action Saturday (March 16), when the squad travels to State College, Pa., to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions, currentlty No. 1, from Rec Hall, site of the 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships. The dual meet is slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Team StandingsFXPHSRVTPBHBFinal
Hub Humphrey           14.25
Konner Ackerman        14.10
Taylor Harrower        14.30
Sam Mikulak            15.45 (2)
Stacey Ervin           16.00 (1)
Nick Hunter            14.15
A.J. Schottstaedt      14.10
Sam Mikulak            14.60 (2)
Matt Freeman           13.55
Dylan James            13.50
STILL RINGS (76.25)   
Rohan Sebastian        15.15
Jordan Gaarenstroom    15.45
Alex Bubnov            14.75
Sam Mikulak            15.35
Matt Freeman           15.55 (1)
VAULT (71.70) 
Taylor Harrower        14.55
Konner Ackerman        14.55
Michael Strathern      14.75 (1)
Stacey Ervin           13.90
Sam Mikulak            13.95
Stacey Ervin           13.60
Michael Strathern      15.00 (1)
Nick Hunter            13.85
Jordan Gaarenstroom    13.85
Mark Panhorst          13.30
HIGH BAR (69.70)
Taylor Harrower        14.50
Rohan Sebastian        11.65
Nick Hunter            14.70
Michael Strathern      14.80 (3)
Konner Ackerman        14.05


A.J. Schottstaedt set a career high on pommel horse (14.10)

• The injury replacement rule used on Sam Mikulak on parallel bars is a new NCAA rule this season. When he was replaced with Stacey Ervin, a .20 deduction is implemented. When an injury replacement is used, the gymnast in ineligible to return to competition.

Michael Strathern finished in the top-three on vault, parallel bars, and high bar.


Michigan Head Coach Kurt Golder
On the meet ... "I thought we got off to a great start and of course we were holding some of our top guys out so that we could get them healthy. That provided a good challenge for the rest of the team, and we had a good first half of the meet. Then, unfortunately, I thought we would nail vault, and things didn't go our way. The highest scoring guys, the most reliable guys, had some problems tonight, and that seemed to carry over into p-bars, but I'm really happy about high bar. That's been the one that's been troublesome to us, and we were without three of our top five, and the guys came through off of the bench, and I thought they did a great job."

Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423

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