Feb. 14, 2012
The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (4-4, 1-1 Big Ten) returns to full-squad competition Saturday (Feb. 18) at 7 p.m. from Cliff Keen Arena, hosting the Ohio State Buckeyes as well as the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles. The event will be shown on a tape-delayed on the Big Ten Network on Saturday (Feb. 25) at 1 p.m.
This is just U-M's second home meet of 2012, the other being a dual win over a No. 1-ranked Penn State team.
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About Ohio State, SUNY Brockport
Ohio State was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country this season, the highest ranking for the Buckeyes since 2007. The Wolverines and the Buckeyes have met once already this season at the Windy City Invite on Jan. 14, where the Buckeyes won the event with a team score of 344.50. In the Big Ten preseason poll, the Buckeyes were tabbed to finish fourth.
The SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles, a club team, will face off with the Wolverines for the first time ever. The team returned to action in 2004 after being dropped from the NCAA in 1984, and is a perennial contender at the NAIGC National Championships. So far this season, SUNY Brockport has competed at the Navy Open, West Point Open and at Penn State. They are led by Brian Gildemeyer, who holds the school record in the floor exercise (13.6) and on vault (14.1).
Mikulak, de los Angeles earn Big Ten Honors
For their efforts at the Winter Cup, Sam Mikulak collected Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week for the first time of his career; Thomas Kelley was the last Wolverine to collect the honor last season. Adrian de los Angeles was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the first time in his career; Mikulak was the last Wolverine to take the honor after earning the plaudit on four occasions last year.
Mikulak, de los Angeles Named to U.S. National Team
Michigan had a pair of gymnasts earn spots on the United States National Team after their performances at the Winter Cup Challenge, held Feb. 3-5 in Las Vegas. Mikulak earned his spot on the squad after placing in the top 10 in three of his four events, as he scored a 15.10 on parallel bars for a second-place finish. Additionally, he tied for seventh on rings (14.70) and marked a 13.95 on high bar for a seventh-place finish. Working his way back from injuries, he sat out floor and vault, two of his top events.
De los Angeles finished 10th in all-around competition with a finals score of 85.05. The freshman placed fifth on vault with a 15.75 and eighth on pommel horse (14.40) en route to earning one of three wild-card selections to the squad. Lastly, he placed 11th on parallel bars with a 14.35 tally.
Another freshman, Stacey Ervin, led all Michigan competitors with a 14.55 on floor, which tied him for sixth place on the exercise. He followed up with a 15.45 on vault, which tied him for 13th place. Additionally, current administrative assistant Ian Makowse (2008-11) took part in the floor exercise (13.30, 27th) and the high bar, where he earned a 13.75 for a 13th-place finish.
Back after a Layoff
U-M will compete as a full squad for the first time since competing at Illinois against Oklahoma on Jan. 28. In the meet, U-M placed third against the top two teams in the country with a team score of 339.100 and was led by Sam Mikulak's second pommel horse title of his career with a 15.00. Sophomore Matt Freeman also placed in the top three on the event, scoring a 14.00 for a third-place finish. On vault, freshman Stacey Ervin scored a then-career best 14.70 and tie for fourth place on the event. Additionally, U-M earned season-high scores on the pommel with a 55.80 and high bar (56.00).
From a Historical Standpoint
Last season on Senior Night, the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes, 353.350-336.900, on March 19 at Cliff Keen Arena. The margin was Michigan's highest scoring margin over the Buckeyes since the new scoring rules were adopted in 2008. Mikulak (87.05) and Thomas Kelley (86.90) took the top two spots in the all-around. Mikulak took the floor, vault and parallel bars titles, while Kelley won the still rings with a 15.05. Saturday's matchup with the Golden Eagles will be the first in program history.
Michigan Knocks Off No. 1 Penn State
U-M claimed three event titles and the all-around -- senior Syque Caesar (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy) in the parallel bars, sophomore Dylan James (Valencia, Calif./William S. Hart) in the pommel horse, and freshman Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) in the vault and his first career all-around title (83.700) -- en route to knocking off No. 1 Penn State, 340.30-338.45, in the home-opening dual meet of the season. The event titles marked the first event titles in the careers of James and de los Angeles, while the parallel bar win was the fourth in Caesar's career.
Facing No. 1 in Back-to-Back Weeks
The win over Penn State on Jan. 21 marked the first time since 2005 that the Wolverines squared off against a No. 1 ranked opponent in the regular season, and there was no let-up for U-M, as the squad will took on new No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Illinois the following week.
Eight Wolverines Make Collegiate Debut
At the Illinois Tri-Meet, freshman Reid Swanger (Austin, Texas/St. Andrew's Episcopal) became the eighth U-M freshman to debut in Maize and Blue, as he competed on vault. At the home-opening dual against No. 1 Penn State, freshman Paul Rizkalla(Westfield, N.J./Westfield) and freshman Taylor Harrower(Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman). At the Windy City, five Wolverines made their collegiate debuts. Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) appeared in the all-around, while Stacey Ervin (Troy, Mich./Truman) took part in the meet on floor, vault, and parallel bars. Mark Panhorst (Hanover Park, Ill./Glenbord North), took part in the pommel horse and parallel bars, while Nick Hunter (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield) participated in parallel bars and high bar. Hub Humphrey (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo) took part in the floor exercise, where he notched a 13.90.
Top 10 Individually
A list of Wolverines in the Top 10 nationally based on three score average
10. Adrian de los Angeles, 14.833
5. Adrian de los Angeles, 14.971
2. Sam Mikulak, 15.083
6. Adrian de los Angeles, 83.933
Wolverines Ranked Seventh in GymInfo Rankings
Michigan enters week three of the regular season ranked No. 7 nationally after tallying a team score of 339.100 against No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Illinois. Michigan is ranked No. 3 in the country on floor and No. 2 on parallel bars. Additionally, U-M is eighth on rings and seventh on vault.
2. Penn State
9. Air Force
14. Arizona State
Caesar Earns Quartet of Medals at South Asian Championships
Syque Caesar made history for his native Bangladesh Dec. 31 at the fourth Central South Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championships, earning the first gold medal in Bangladesh international history.
Caesar won the parallel bars competition with a mark of 14.60, and took silver in the vault with a 14.25. He followed up his silver performance with a 13.525 on floor to collectively earn a bronze in the all-around competition.
New Team Captains
The squad will be headed up by tri-captains: sophomore Alex Bubnov (Fanwood, N.J./ Scotch Plains-Fanwood), sophomore Kevin Fraser (Austin, Tex./ Cedar Park) and Syque Caesar. Caesar served as a co-captain a year ago, while the captaincy honor is the first of Bubnov and Fraser's careers.
National, International Scene Popular Over Summer
Sam Mikulak was invited to compete in the Puerto Rico Cup, along with freshman Adrian de los Angeles. However, Mikulak suffered a pair of ankle injuries but still competed in the floor exercise, pommel horse and high bar. Despite the injury, he was still selected to be a member of the United States Senior National Team and enters the 2012 season 100 percent in terms of health.
A pair of incoming Wolverine freshmen were in action at the Visa Championships, as de los Angeles won the 16-18 age division, while Stacey Ervin finished second on the floor routine in the Junior 16-18 division.
Rohan Sebastian, a 2011 All-Big Ten selection, was accompanied by assistant coach Xiao Yuan and represented Ireland at the 2011 World Championships. Senior co-captain and 2011 Big Ten parallel bars champion Syque Caesar was accompanied by assistant coach Geoff Corrigan at the World Championships, where Caesar represented Bangladesh. It marked the third straight year a Michigan gymnast has competed at the World Championships (Sebastian, 2009; Chris Cameron, 2010).
Ways to Follow U-M Gymnastics
For fans not able to attend meets this season, there are several ways to follow the Wolverines action this year. Your primary source for all things Michigan is MGoBlue.com, where recaps, features, schedules, and statistics can be found. Live stats will be provided for all home meets, as well as select away meets.
Additionally, follow @umichgym for live updates at meets, and 'like' Michigan men's gymnastics on Facebook where special content can be found throughout the season.