Sweet 16! Maize & Blue Captures Big Ten Championship

April 5, 2013

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Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Sports Pavilion)
Event: Big Ten Championships (Team & All-Around Finals)
U-M Team Result: 1st Place of 7 Teams (438.900)
Record: U-M (17-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Meet: Saturday, April 6 -- at Big Ten Championships - Individual Event Finals (Minneapolis, Minn.), 7 p.m. CDT

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Behind an NCAA record-setting 15.95 performance on parallel bars from junior Sam Mikulak (Corona del mar, Calif./Corona del mar) and a 1-2 all-around competition finish from Mikulak and sophomore Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan), the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team captured its 16th Big Ten championship by defeating No. 1 Penn State 438.900-434.050 on Friday (April 5) inside the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.

Additionally, eight Wolverines qualified for 18 different spots for individual event finalists, which are to be held Saturday (April 6) at 7 p.m. CDT.

For the first time this season, U-M began the night on a bye rotation and started off the quest for the 16th Big Ten Title on pommel horse. Freshman Nolan Novak (Albuquerque, N.M/Valley) led off on the apparatus, scoring a 14.10, the second-best Wolverine score in his first Big Ten Championships and advanced to the event finals. Sophomore Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) also qualified for the second night and led the way for U-M with a 14.20. As a team, Michigan began the night with a 69.60.

On still rings in rotation two, senior Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./ Bishop McGuinness Catholic) and junior Matt Freeman (Canton, Mich./Canton) made the event finals, as Sebastian scored a 15.05 to take fifth, while Freeman tallied a 14.95 to take ninth as the Wolverines scored a 73.45.

Four Wolverines advanced to competition on Saturday night on vault, as U-M hit a season-best team score of 75.65 that was led by a season best from Ervin (15.45), which was good enough for second, while freshman Konner Ackerman (Des Moines, Wash./ Mount Rainier) and Mikulak scored 15.25s on the event to tie for fourth. All five Wolverines surpassed the 14.80 mark on the table, as de los Angeles scored a 14.90 to earn a berth on Saturday, while sophomore Michael Strathern (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) hit a 14.80 and tied for 13th.

Led by Mikulak's record-setting performance on parallel bars, U-M collected a 74.65, as de los Angeles got second (15.25), senior Syque Caesar (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy) took fourth with a 15.00, and Ervin took sixth with a 14.95. The performance for both Ervin and Mikulak served as career highs.

On high bar in the fifth rotation, Caesar placed second with a 14.85, while Mikulak took third with a 14.75, positioning himself to defend his Big Ten title from a year ago on the event. Strathern rounded out U-M's trio of event qualifiers, as he tied for eighth 14.30 as the Wolverines scored a 70.10.

Leading by nearly five points heading into the final rotation on floor, Sebastian led off with a 14.30. Three of the final four Wolverines surpassed the 15-point mark to earn event final berths, as Caesar scored a 15.10 in the No. 2 position. The No. 3 spot saw Ervin tally a 15.50 for second, while Mikulak marked a 15.40 to take third.

The event-by-event breakdown for Saturday's individual event finals is as follows:

Floor: Syque Caesar, Stacey Ervin, Sam Mikulak
Pommel Horse: Nolan Novak, Adrian de los Angeles
Rings: Matt Freeman, Rohan Sebastian
Vault: Adrian de los Angeles, Sam Mikulak, Konner Ackerman, Stacey Ervin
Parallel bars: Stacey Ervin, Syque Caesar, Adrian de los Angeles, Sam Mikulak
High Bar: Michael Strathern, Sam Mikulak, Syque Caesar

The top 10 individual finishers in each of Friday's events advance to Saturday's finals, which will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

Team StandingsFXPHSRVTPBHBFinal
Penn State72.50071.95074.70074.60071.10069.200434.050
Ohio State73.90068.05068.45073.45073.10069.650426.600

Event-by-Event Finishers

Nolan Novak            14.10#
Dylan James            13.65
Adrian de los Angeles  14.20#
Sam Mikulak            13.65
Matt Freeman           14.00
Rohan Sebastian        15.05#
Jordan Gaarenstroom    14.35
Alex Bubnov            14.25
Sam Mikulak            14.85
Matt Freeman           14.95#
Adrian de los Angeles  14.60*
Konner Ackerman        15.25#
Michael Strathern      14.80
Adrian de los Angeles  14.90#
Sam Mikulak            15.25#
Stacey Ervin           15.45#
Stacey Ervin           14.95#
Michael Strathern      13.50
Syque Caesar           15.00#
Adrian de los Angeles  15.25#
Sam Mikulak            15.95#$
Nick Hunter            12.95
Michael Strathern      14.30 #
Syque Caesar           14.85#
Adrian de los Angeles  13.85
Sam Mikulak            14.75#
Rohan Sebastian        14.30
Syque Caesar           15.10#
Stacey Ervin           15.50#
Adrian de los Angeles  14.55
Sam Mikulak            15.40#
Sam Mikulak            89.85 (1)
Adrian de los Angeles  87.35 (2)
* score counts only for all-around
$ NCAA Record
# Individual Event Qualifier