Jan. 30, 2014
Syque Caesar is in his sixth year with the U-M men's gymnastics program. A U-M graduate student, two-time NCAA champion, Big Ten team and individual champion and 2012 Olympian, Caesar will guide fans through the season and give an inside look on the trials and tribulations of a team looking to defend its NCAA and Big Ten crown. You can follow him on Twitter, @SyqueCaesar.
Hey Michigan Gymnastics fans, sixth-year senior team co-captain Syque Caesar here and welcome to the first installment of the Sixth-Year StoriesBlog!
Your defending Big Ten and NCAA champions are gearing up for an exciting home opener against rival Ohio State this weekend. We enter the weekend comingoff two huge road wins at the Windy City Invitational on Jan. 18 in Chicago as well as the Stanford Open this past weekend in Palo Alto on Jan. 25th. Your Wolverines have already taken down five top-10 ranked teams, including Illinois, Minnesota, Stanford, UC Berkeley, as well as Ohio State; but this weekend will be the Maize and Blue's first home competition of the 2014 season at Cliff Keen Arena this Saturday (Feb. 1) at 2 p.m.
It is no secret that the ultimate mission this year is to defend the national title and to recapture the championship on home soil this April as the University of Michigan will host the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships at Crisler Center. This year's team has ambitious expectations of winning every single competition leading up to the Big Ten and NCAA Championships, where we hope to repeat as conference and national champions.
I feel extremely privileged and honored to have been voted one of the team captains of one of the most incredibly talented and hard-working teams in the country. This year we have a realistic chance of doing something that no other Michigan athletic team has done since men's swimming in the 1970s, to defend the NCAA title in front of our home fans. Our team is returning near 90 percent of our 2013 national championship team, including two U.S. Senior Men's Gymnastics Team members and four 2013 NCAA All-Americans.
Everyone has put in a lot of hard work over the summer and throughout the fall preseason to increase the difficulty of routines on each apparatus by throwing in some really big gymnastics. In addition, we've added a talented group in our freshman class that has proven themselves on the competition floor already. It is easy to see why this team had a unanimous No. 1 preseason coaches' poll!
This weekend will also be particularly special as the team will have a banner-raising ceremony for our Big Ten and NCAA championship performances during the 2013 season that you will definitely not want to miss.
Come out and watch us battle the Buckeyes this Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena at 2 p.m. Follow along through social media on Facebook by "Liking" Michigan men's gymnastics and following @umichgym on Twitter and Instagram; help make #MGymDynasty a reality!
I look forward to keeping you up to date on the happenings of this season, and above all else, #GoBlue!