April 16, 2010
Site: West Point, N.Y. (Christl Arena)
Event: NCAA Team & All-Around Finals
Scores: #3 Michigan 360.500, #4 Stanford 359.800, #2 Oklahoma 357.050, #1 Illinois 353.150, #6 California 353.150, #5 Ohio State 347.350
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 17 -- at NCAA Championships - Individual Event Finals (West Point, N.Y.), 7 p.m.
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team upset the field at the NCAA Championships on Friday night (April 16), taking home the first NCAA title for the program since 1999 and the fourth in its history inside Army's Christl Arena. Michigan posted a 360.500, while defending champion Stanford recorded a 359.800 and Oklahoma rounded out the top three with a 357.050.
Michigan was led by junior Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and senior Mel Anton Santander (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional), who posted all-around totals of 90.500 and 88.900 to finish first and third. Cameron's total represents a career best and the duo's finish earns both of them All-America honors, the first of Santander's career.
The Wolverines took to their last competitive event, the vault, in third place but posted a 62.700 behind matching marks of 15.600 from leadoff freshman Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic) and Santander. Senior Kent Caldwell (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin) nailed down a 15.900 effort to secure the fourth NCAA team title in Michigan gymnastics history.
As the top seed entering tonight's competition, Michigan had first pick of event rotation. Head coach Kurt Golder selected to start on the parallel bars, the same rotation the Wolverines used in Thursday's qualifying competition. Cameron and Santander led the way, recording 15.150 and 15.000, respectively, to lead Michigan to a 59.550, three tenths of a point better than its total in the qualifying round.
In rotation two, Michigan posted a 58.650 on the high bar. Junior Ian Makowske (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow) soared through the air, sticking his double twisting double back flip dismount. He received Michigan's highest score, a 15.050. Santander added a 14.900. Fifth-year senior Ryan McCarthy (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), who posted a 14.650 on the parallel bars, caught a full twisting double back flip catch-and-release move to earn a 14.750.
Cameron, who only has one score below 15.000 on the floor exercise all season, led the Wolverines in rotation three with a 15.600, dazzling the crowd with his intricate Thomas flair work. Caldwell posted a 15.450, junior Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) turned in a season-best performance with a 15.350, and junior Ben Baldus-Strauss (Wheaton, Ill/Wheaton Warrenville South) was .050 away from his career best with a 15.250, giving Michigan a 61.650 season-best total on the event.
As the Wolverines moved to a bye, the competition came to a grinding halt as one of the rings broke during Tyler Williamson's (Illinois) routine. Equipment officials took nearly 40 minutes to bring in an entirely new set of rings. Michigan sat out of the competition for over an hour but came back to the competition on fire.
Senior co-captain Phillip Goldberg (Dalton, Ga./McCallie) started the rotation off strong, but it was the grit of Cameron and junior/sophomore Adam Hamers (Salem, Ore./Salem South), who added 15.050 and 14.400, respectively, that gave the Wolverines a 58.050 total. The Wolverines improved their team total on the pommel horse by .600 from the qualifier.
The Wolverines moved to the rings, site of many slips and delays through out the meet but looked unfazed, bettering their qualifying rings total by nearly eight tenths a point with a 59.550. Cameron posted a career-best 15.450, while Goldberg added a 15.250, electrifying the Michigan faithful.
Kelley slipped off the rings in the anchor spot and elected to take part in an additional rotation following the conclusion of the competition due to the equipment errors. Michigan moved to the vault trailing defending champ Stanford, 300.45-297.400. In an additional rotation following the conclusion of the meet, Kelley repeated his routine, earning a 14.750.
The Wolverines continue in Saturday's (April 17) NCAA Championships individual apparatus finals, which begin at 7 p.m. in Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y.
Ben Baldus-Strauss 15.250
Rohan Sebastian 13.450
Ian Makowske 14.550
Kent Caldwell 15.450
Thomas Kelley 15.350
Chris Cameron 15.600
Mel Anton Santander * 14.600
*indicates exhibition all-around performance
Michigan Event Final Qualifiers
Floor: Thomas Kelley, Chris Cameron, Kent Caldwell
Pommels: Chris Cameron
Rings: Chris Cameron, Phillip Goldberg
Vault: Kent Caldwell
Parallel Bars: Thomas Kelley, Ryan McCarthy, Mel Anton Santander, Chris Cameron
High Bar: Mel Anton Santander, Ryan McCarthy, Ian Makowske
Contact: Scott Bregman (734) 763-4423