Chalk Talk #7: Wolverines Face No. 2 Oklahoma at Home
MGOBLUE Ian Makowske
MGOBLUE
Ian Makowske
MGOBLUE

Feb. 16, 2010

THIS WEEK
Saturday, Feb. 20 -- vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
Live Results

The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (7-1, 5-1 Big Ten) takes on the No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (6-0 overall, 3-0 MPSF) on Saturday (Feb. 20) at 2 p.m. inside Cliff Keen Arena. The last time the Wolverines faced OU, U-M left the Sooners stunned, moving ahead of them in the final rotation at the NCAA Championships to claim second place.

PROMOTIONS
Women's Gym Redemption -- The men's gymnastics team will be handing out free vouchers for this meet during the women's gym meet the night before.

Professor Appreciation Night -- Gymnastics team members have the opportunity to invite their favorite professors to be recognized during the match. Professors and their families asked to be recognized will receive free admission to the match.

Elementary School Night -- Local elementary schools in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti Township and Dexter are invited to attend tonight's meet. For more information, or to sign your class up for a field trip, please contact Chris Chew at ctchew@umich.edu.

Gymnastics Club Night -- Area recreation department and youth gymnastics clubs will be invited to this night's meet. A mailing will be conducted to all gymnastics clubs in the state of Michigan.

Camper Reunion Night -- All 2009 Michigan gymnastics campers will be sent a special invitation to attend this meet free of charge!

Kids Go Blue Vacation Night -- The Kids Go Blue Club will have a Vacation Night at this night's meet. The theme of the night will be Australia in honor of David Chan, who attended high school in Western Australia. The Vacation Day will include Australian themed trivia questions and prizes. For more information, please contact Chris Chew at ctchew@umich.edu or visit www.kidsgoblueclub.com.

High School Team Night -- High school gymnastics teams are invited to attend this match FREE of charge! All members of the team and up to three coaches are eligible to receive FREE admission by faxing (734-615-1567) or emailing (ctchew@umich.edu) a roster at least two days prior to the meet.

QUICK FLIPS
Wolverines Put Out No. 11 UIC Flames
Led by an all-around winning performance from freshman Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic) and two event titles (floor, high bar) from junior Ian Makowske (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow), the No. 1 team in the country beat the No. 11 UIC Flames, 339.250-328.800. The competition saw the collegiate debuts of senior/junior Joe Levine (Springfield, N.J./Columbia) and sophomore/freshman Douglass Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola).

Sebastian Wins U-M's First-Ever Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award
After taking the all-around crown in his first collegiate appearance in the event against UIC (Saturday, Feb. 13), Rohan Sebastian was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week to become the first Wolverine to claim the award. Sebastian also collected three top-three finishes, including second on the vault (15.700) and parallel bars (13.600) and third on the still rings (14.000).

The award is Michigan's fourth Big Ten gymnastics weekly honor in a row after juniors Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) combined for three straight honors prior to Sebastian's first-ever Freshman of the Week honor.

Cameron Finishes Third All-Around, Named to U.S. National Team
Junior Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) finished third place in the all-around at the Winter Cup Invitational held Thursday and Saturday (Feb. 4-6) in Las Vegas, Nev. Cameron's third-place finish is the highest finish ever for a Wolverine and the highest finish of any current NCAA competitor. Senior Mel Anton Santander (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) also had a strong showing in Las Vegas, hitting all 12 routines he competed and finishing 10th in the all-around.

Big Stage. Big Ten. Big Vault.
On Jan. 24, senior Kent Caldwell 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.

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 MGoBlue.com 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, MGoBlue.com 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 MGoBlue.com 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 ]

Social Gymnasts
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Contact: Scott Bregman (734) 763-4423