April 19, 2012
Site: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center)
Event: NCAA Qualifier (Session 1)
Records: U-M (15-8)
U-M Team Result: 1st Place of 6 Teams (353.450)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 20 -- at NCAA Championships - Team and All-Around Finals (Norman, Okla.), 7 p.m. CDT
NORMAN, Okla. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team won the first session of the NCAA Qualifier on Thursday afternoon (April 19) with a season-high team score of 353.450. The performance advances the squad to tomorrow's (Friday, April 20, 7 p.m. CDT) team and all-around finals hosted by Oklahoma in the Lloyd Noble Center.
The Wolverines scored a season high on vault with a 60.85, while sophomore Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar) won floor, parallel bar and all-around titles, and placed second on high bar. Freshman Michael Strathern (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) added a runner-up finish on vault.
Michigan got off to a rough start on pommel horse, where three of U-M's six competitors fell. The Wolverine effort was paced by sophomore Michael Myler (North Orem, Utah/Timpanogos), who equaled a career best with a 14.90 on the apparatus, while classmate Dylan James (Valencia, Calif./William S. Hart) scored a 14.40 to aid in U-M scoring a 56.25 on the event.
Still rings followed in the second rotation, where junior Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic) and sophomore Jordan Gaarenstroom (Laguna Hills, Calif./Halstrom) each scored 14.45s on the apparatus. Sebastian executed his backward rise to upward swallow skill, while Gaarenstroom hit his Pineda cross to perfection.
U-M found the big score it was looking for in the third rotation on vault, as the team scored a season-best 60.85. Three Wolverines broke the 15.00 plateau, led by Strathern, who scored a career-best 15.35 after nailing his tucked front handspring double salto. Mikulak hit a 15.25, while freshman Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) closed out U-M's rotation with a 15.30 on the event.
The Maize and Blue continued its hot streak on parallel bars, with yet another team season best (59.85). Mikulak equaled a career best with a 15.45. In addition, de los Angeles notched a 15.15, while Strathern chipped in a 14.85, which was yet another career high.
Following a 58.40 on high bar, the Wolverines closed out the qualifier event on floor, where Mikulak blew away the competition with a 15.80 to claim first place on the exercise. Freshman Stacey Ervin (Troy, Mich./Truman) scored a 15.30, while sophomore Kevin Fraser (Austin, Tex./Cedar Park) collected a 14.90.
Mikulak led all competitors with an 89.30 in the all-around, while de los Angeles took third with a 86.30. Sebastian rounded out the Wolverine all-arounders with an 84.95 to take fourth.
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 I were Penn State, Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa. The top three teams from tonight's qualifier also advance to the team and all-around finals.
Event-By-Event U-M Individual Scores
Pommel Horse Matt Freeman 13.45 Michael Myler 14.90 Adrian de los Angeles 13.10 Sam Mikulak 13.50 Dylan James 14.45 A.J. Schottstaedt 12.40 Still Rings Matt Freeman 14.05 Alex Bubnov 14.10 Jordan Gaarenstroom 14.45 Adrian de los Angeles 13.35 Rohan Sebastian 14.45 Sam Mikulak 14.35 Vault Taylor Harrower 14.90 Michael Strathern 15.35 Stacey Ervin 14.95 Rohan Sebastian 14.35 Adrian de los Angeles 15.30 Sam Mikulak 15.25 Parallel Bars Nick Hunter 14.40 Stacey Ervin 12.95 Rohan Sebastian 14.30 Michael Strathern 14.85 Adrian de los Angeles 15.15 Sam Mikulak 15.45 High Bar Michael Myler 14.50 Rohan Sebastian 14.10 Taylor Harrower 13.35 Adrian de los Angeles 14.65 Michael Strathern 14.30 Sam Mikulak 14.95 Floor Exercise Kevin Fraser 14.90 Hub Humphrey 14.50 Rohan Sebastian 14.05 Adrian de los Angeles 14.75 Stacey Ervin 15.30 Sam Mikulak 15.80
Q U O T E S
U-M Sophomore Sam Mikulak
On his floor performance ... "I was actually pretty tired after high bar, and skipped my one-touch period and regrouped and kind of got my breath back. I just went one pass at a time and made sure to breathe throughout the whole set and did the triple-fold for the first time in competition today, so I was pretty thrilled I hit that. The whole competition today was just so much fun."
On the team heading into tomorrow ... "We're feeling pretty confident. We're just going to have to keep on rolling into tomorrow and keep the fire going and hopefully we can finish really well."
N O T E S
Sam Mikulak's 15.45 on parallel bars was a season high. Additionally, Mikulak has duplicated the score the past two meets, as he matched the score at the Big Ten team and individual finals.
Michael Strathern had career bests on both parallel bars (14.85) and vault (15.35) in his first NCAA event.
Michigan won the qualifier with a 353.450 after placing third last season with a 360.650.
Michigan's 60.85 on vault was the highest team event score of the qualifying session and was one of only three events that eclipsed the 60-plus score (Stanford on floor, Penn State on rings, Michigan on floor).
Michigan earned scores of 60-plus on multiple events for the second time this season, as the feat was accomplished against Oklahoma on March 10.