Wolverines Advance to NCAA Team Finals

April 14, 2011

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Site: Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
Event: NCAA Qualifier
U-M Team Result: 3rd of 6 Teams (360.650)
Records: U-M (15-7)
Next U-M Meet: Friday, April 15 -- at NCAA Championships - Team & All-Around Finals (Columbus, Ohio), 7 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team placed third in session two of the NCAA Qualifier on Thursday night (April 14), advancing to tomorrow's (Friday, April 15, 7 p.m.) team and all-around finals hosted by Ohio State in St. John Arena. No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 Cal placed first and second, respectively, to join the Wolverines as team qualifiers.

The nation's top 12 teams participated in the qualification round of the NCAA Championships. Six teams along with individual event and all-around qualifiers competed in each session. The teams competing with Michigan in session II were No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 California, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa. The top three teams from tonight's prelims advance to the team and all-around finals.

Michigan began the competition starting in the bye rotation before pommel horse. Keeping its cool as the crowd cheered in a warm St. John Arena, the team moved to the pommel horse for the second rotation. The team began a strong campaign with four superbly hit routines. Fourth up, freshman Michael Myler (North Orem, Utah/Timpanogos) swung with high amplitude and clean lines to score a 14.40. Last up, senior Adam Hamers (Salem, Ore./South Salem), ranked fourth in the nation on the apparatus, posted the top score for the team with a 15.20.

The team moved to the rings for the third rotation. After the first and third athletes completed solid routines, the back three Wolverines rocked the house, with third-up senior Andrew Vance (Plymouth, Mich./Catholic Central) posting a career-high 15.50 with a strength-packed routine. Fourth up, senior Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) continued the momentum with a 15.35, throwing his fists into the air after his full twisting double layout dismount. Senior Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) anchored the event, holding strong positions and sticking his front double pike dismount to score a 15.25. The rings squad broke 60 for the first time this season, posting a season-high 60.80.

Moving on to the parallel bars for the fourth event, second-up redshirt junior Steve Crabtree (Perrineville, N.J./ Notre Dame Prep) nailed his routine to post a career-high 14.70. Cameron followed with a low difficulty but extremely clean routine, flying high above the bars on his dynamic Morisue (a double back between the bars catching on the biceps); Cameron posted a 14.90. Competing an upgraded routine for the first time -- final competitor, freshman standout and Big Ten all-around champion Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar) -- posted the top score for the team with a season-high 15.50, besting his previous high by six tenths.

With the Michigan fan section on its feet cheering "Let's Go Blue!" the team moved to the fifth event, the high bar. After two hit and one missed routine all with mediocre scores, the back three took on the pressure like a matador at a bull fight. Fourth up, Kelley rocked his set, flying gracefully over the bar during his layed out Tkachev and going on to post a 15.55, just one tenth shy of a career high. Next, Mikulak hit a dynamic routine with his double Tkachev release combination spot on, sticking his layed out double double dismount like a toothpick in a club sandwich. Last up, senior Ian Makowske (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow) cleaned up the rotation with another incredible routine, sticking his dismount and going 15.10.

In the seventh and final rotation, the floor exercise, the Wolverines needed a decent rotation to secure a berth in the finals with Ohio State, seated in fourth, still within reach. The Maize and Blue began strong with two hit routines, then third-up sophomore Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic), with a smarter re-worked routine, landed clean on all his passes and finished off the set with a sky-high triple full dismount, scoring a career-high 14.95. Fifth up, Makowske, feeding off the team energy, rocked his set, scoring a season-high 15.25. The gem of the night was last up Mikulak flipping and twisting through a masterful and extremely difficult routine, sticking almost every pass and ending with a team- and career-high 15.65.

Team StandingsFXPHSRVTPBHBTotal
Ohio State59.15054.85061.10063.65057.40057.600353.750

Event-By-Event U-M Individual Scores

Kevin Fraser          14.40
Ben Baldus-Strauss    14.30
Rohan Sebastian       14.95
Thomas Kelley         14.85
Ian Makowske          15.25
Sam Mikulak           15.65
Alex Bubnov           13.75
Devan Cote            14.20
Sam Mikulak           13.70
Michael Myler         14.40
Chris Cameron         13.40
Adam Hamers           15.20
Alex Bubnov           14.60
Rohan Sebastian       13.90
Sam Mikulak           14.70
Andrew Vance          15.50
Chris Cameron         15.35
Thomas Kelley         15.25
Alex Bubnov           15.30
Thomas Kelley         15.30
Rohan Sebastian       15.35
Steve Crabtree        15.55
Ben Baldus-Strauss    15.75
Sam Mikulak           15.70
Rohan Sebastian       14.40
Steve Crabtree        14.70
Chris Cameron         14.90
Syque Caesar          14.70
Thomas Kelley         14.80
Sam Mikulak           15.50
Devan Cote            13.85
Chris Cameron         13.80
Syque Caesar          13.20
Thomas Kelley         15.55
Sam Mikulak           14.85
Ian Makowske          15.10