Chalk Talk #4: Michigan Travels to No. 9 Iowa in Road Opener

Jan. 26, 2010

This Week
Saturday, Jan. 30 -- at No. 9 Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 7 p.m. CST
Live Results

The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (5-1, 4-1 Big Ten) travels to Iowa City, Iowa, to take part it its first road Big Ten dual meet against the No. 9-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday (Jan. 30) at 7 p.m. CST in Carver Hawkeye Arena. Last season, the Wolverines met the Hawkeyes at home, recording a victory 347.900-321.550.

Wolverines Avenge Last Season's Close Loss
Last January, the Wolverines lost to the Penn State Nittany Lions on their turf in State College, Pa., by .550. On Sunday (Jan 24) in front of Big Ten Network cameras and a crowd of nearly 700 inside Cliff Keen Arena, the Wolverines took revenge, leading No. 6 Penn State from start to finish by no fewer than three points. The Wolverines were lead by the all-around winning performance of junior Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and the two event crowns (rings and high bar) captured by junior Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville). The meet is scheduled to air on Saturday (Jan. 30) at noon on the BTN.

Kelley Named Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week
Junior Thomas Kelley of the University of Michigan men's gymnastics team was named Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week following his performance against Penn State last Sunday (Jan. 24). Kelley, who shared the honor with Minnesota's Aaron Fortunato, claimed the still rings crown, with a career-best 15.200, and the high bar title, along with top-five finishes on the floor exercise and parallel bars. Despite being the 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the 2009 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, the award is Kelley's first weekly honor.

Big Stage. Big Ten. Big Vault.
On Sunday (Jan 24), senior Kent Caldwell (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin) debuted a Yurchenko half on vault with a one-and-a-half twist. The vault, the second most difficult vault being performed by a Wolverine, is the only one currently being performed by any gymnast in the Big Ten conference and carries a 16.4 degree of difficulty.

Steady Climb
The Wolverines, who started the season ranked No. 4, have improved their ranking one spot after both weeks of competition so far this season. Last Sunday's (Jan. 24) score (355.650), an NCAA season high, helped move them into second behind only 2009 Big Ten co-champion Illinois. A big score this week in Iowa could continue their rise and help lift U-M to the top spot.

Goldberg and Chan Re-elected Team Captains
For the second year in a row, seniors David Chan (Singapore/Hale School) and Phillip Goldberg (Dalton, Ga./McCallie) will captain the Wolverines. Chan and Goldberg were elected by the vote of their teammates after captaining the 2008-09 team to a share of the Big Ten title and a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Santander Earns National Gymnast of the Week Honors
The College Gymnastics Association announced that University of Michigan men's senior gymnast Mel Anton Santander (Southborough, Mass/Algonquin Regional) was named the NCAA Division I Gymnast of the Week after a national poll of gymnastics coaches. Santander won the all-around and pommel horse at the Maize and Blue Intrasquad on Dec. 12, 2009.

The Accidental All-American
Senior co-captain David Chan is currently featured on in an article about the unique circumstances that lead him to become a two-time All-America honoree and team captain for the Wolverines. [ Read the story! ]

Strong Finish
After the host Wolverines claimed a share of the team title and juniors Thomas Kelley and Chris Cameron finished 1-2 in the all-around at the 2009 Big Ten Championships, the team set season highs two days in a row to finish in second place at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. The Wolverines NCAA haul also included five All-America honorees in Cameron, Joe Catrambone, Phillip Goldberg, Adam Hamers, and Kelley.

Meet the Wolverines!
Each week, presents a video feature on a different Wolverine gymnast, allowing fans to learn more about both the athlete and the sport more broadly. [ Check out the M-Zone for all the latest features! ]

International Wolverines
Two Wolverines have competed internationally this fall, freshman Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic) and Chris Cameron. Sebastian represented Ireland at the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships in London, England, finishing in 54th place in the all-around competition with a total score of 76.800.

While Cameron finished in seventh place on the pommel horse with a 14.200 representing the U.S. national team in the finals of the DTB Grand Prix event. Competing in a field that included the top three from the 2009 World Championships, Cameron held his own, using his trademark Thomas flairs and clean execution. [ Watch the video of Cameron's DTB performance ]

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Contact: Scott Bregman (734) 763-4423

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