Weekly Release #2: Wolverines to Open 2011 Season in Windy City

Jan. 11, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m. CST -- Windy City Invitational (Chicago, Ill.)

The preseason No. 2-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team hits the road this weekend for the 40th annual Windy City Invitational hosted by the University of Illinois-Chicago in the UIC Physical Education Building on Saturday (Jan. 15) at 7 p.m. CST in Chicago, Ill. In addition to host UIC, the Wolverines will face off against Big Ten opponents Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State, an early indicator of how the Big Ten teams stack up for 2011.

Last year, the Wolverines placed second to Big Ten rival Illinois (353.750 points to U-M's 351.350), with Ohio State placing third. Chris Cameron led the Wolverines with four top-five event finishes.

No. 2 in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll
The Wolverines were voted by NCAA coaches as the preseason No. 2 team for the 2011 season. Stanford (2010 NCAA runner-up) claimed the top spot in this year's preseason poll. Oklahoma, Illinois, and California round out the top five, respectively. All six Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10.

Top Spot in the Big Ten Preseason Poll
The Maize and Blue took the number one seed in the 2011 preseason Big Ten poll. Last season's Big Ten champions, the Fighting Illini, took the second position and Ohio State was voted third.

Caesar, Kelley Named Captains
Junior Syque Caesar (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy) and senior Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) will represent the Wolverines as captains for the 2011 season.

2010 Nationals Champions!
Last year was a memorable one for the Wolverines. Nearly nine months ago at the 2010 NCAA Championships in West Point, N.Y., Michigan stood atop the awards stand and claimed the title of national champions. This marked the program's fourth team title, an 11-year hiatus since its last title in 1999. The championship weekend excitement was amplified by Chris Cameron's all-around victory, the only other Michigan all-around national title was in 1963. Furthermore, the Wolverines levied 13 NCAA All-America honors, hallmarked by a one-two-three sweep of the high bar by Ryan McCarthy, Ian Makowske and Mel Anton Santander. Additionally, at the NCAA awards banquet, Ben Baldus-Strauss won the Ellite 88 award for the highest cumulative GPA in NCAA men's gymnastics. Cameron, Makowske and Baldus-Strauss each return this season

Fresh 11
The Wolverines welcomed its largest freshman class ever at the start of the school year back in September. Say hello to Mike Begin (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child), Alex Bubnov (Fanwood, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Kevin Fraser (Austin, Tex./Cedar Park), Matt Freeman (Canton, Mich./Plymouth), Jordan Gaarenstroom (Laguna Hills, Calif./Halstrom), Dylan James (Valencia, Calif./William S. Hart), Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Carona del Mar), Michael Myler (North Orem, Utah/Timpanogos), Corbett Schmitz (Novato, Calif./The Branson School), A.J. Schottstaedt (Petaluma, Calif./St. Vincent De Paul) and Kyle Thomas (Commerce, Mich./Walled Lake Northern).

»  Beginning with the 2017 season, entry to regular-season home events will be free of charge.