Wolverines to Go to Columbus, Mikulak to American Cup
Sam Mikulak

Feb. 26, 2014

Ian Makowske on WTKA Insider audio

Saturday, March 1 -- at Arnold Invitational (Columbus, Ohio), 2 p.m.
Live Scoring | Twitter Updates

The University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) returns to full competition this Saturday (March 1), traveling to the first-ever Arnold Invite at 2 p.m. at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Participating Teams: No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 8 Iowa, No. 11 Nebraska, Arizona State, Canadian National Team

Meanwhile, Sam Mikulak will take part in the American Cup, to be held Saturday (March 1) in Greensboro, N.C. The first 90 minutes (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) will be streamed live on AttAmericanCup.com. The live NBC broadcast will be from 1-3 p.m.

American Cup: Main Site | Twitter Updates | Live Stream (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) | TV: NBC (1 p.m.-3 p.m.)


Sam Mikulak • Senior • Corona del Mar, Calif.

On resting for the Nebraska meet and his overall health...
A couple weeks before Nebraska was when my back started getting progressively worse, and it came a time when I had to think about whether I wanted to focus on this week's competition or look forward to American Cup. So, I rested out that competition and made sure my training was efficient and productive and that I got all the rest and recovery I need to get ready and confident for American Cup. I think I have done just that, I have been doing a lot of routines lately. The only difference is high bar just got a little downgraded set from last year, but not by very much and other things have improved and I am ready to go.

On what being able to beat teams without you in the lineup show the rest of the country...
It shows that our team has depth. We can send out and any combination in our lineup, and we have the ability to always come out on top.

On the American Cup...
This will be my first American Cup, and fellow American John Orozco did it last year. I look forward to competing on podium again at an international meet and getting more experience. This is a more personal meet since there are eight other competitors, you get to interact with the other guys a lot. There is a smaller group, so it's a small group but you're all on the same event so you get to see how other gymnasts train, how they prepare, what they've been working on, and how they compete. It is always a learning experience when you get to mingle with different countries like that.

On training in Ann Arbor with German Fabian Hambuechen, a participant in the American Cup...
It's motivating. He is always pushing the bar; he is better than me on some things, and I am better than him at some things. It pushes him to work harder on his weaknesses and me on my weaknesses. We're both all around gymnasts and we are always trying to better each other but through competition we can find friendship. We have been going out different places to eat, I have been showing him around town. We have been having some good conversations, just as good friends would. It is very nice to be able to interact with someone from a different country and have him stay here for a week and show me what his life is like, the things he would want to improve on and the things I would want to improve on.

On focusing on NCAA Competition...
The beginning of season didn't have as much priority as American Cup did, which is why I sat out that Nebraska meet and haven't been doing all around for the beginning of season. Once American Cup passes, we're back to that five up five count format. It will be a lot more intense competition throughout the NCAA season as we edge closer to Big Ten's and NCAA's. It's going to be a lot more important to stay focused within the NCAA competition.

Mikulak Takes on the World
Senior Sam Mikulak will take part in his first American Cup competition beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday (March 1) and is one of eight participants along with fellow American John Orozco. Other competitors include Andrey Likhovitskiy of Belarus, Sergio Sasaki Junior of Brazil, Fabian Hambuechen of Germany, Sam Oldham and Daniel Purvis of Great Britain, Shogo Nonomura of Japan and Fabian Gonzalez of Spain. The event will take part in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and will utilize International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) scoring methods.

The event is an elite senior competition and is the first major competition of the world gymnastics season. An American has won the last three competitions and six of the last eight.

Head coach Kurt Golder will be coaching Mikulak.

U-M Takes Part in first Arnold Invitational
The rest of the Wolverines will take part in the first-ever Arnold Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, in an event that will take place on Saturday (March 1) beginning at 2 p.m. The Wolverines return to full-team competition for the first time since early February when the team knocked off No. 11 Nebraska (Feb. 8).

The event, held at the Columbus Convention Center, will feature the No. 2 Wolverines, the host No. 3 Buckeyes, No. 8 Iowa, No. 11 Nebraska, Arizona State and the Canadian National team.

With Golder in Greensboro with Mikulak, assistant coaches Geoff Corrigan and Xiao Yuan will be guiding the Wolverines.

Ervin, de los Angeles Take Part in Winter Cup
Juniors Adrian de los Angeles and Stacey Ervin took part in the 2014 Winter Cup finals Saturday (Feb. 23) at the Riviera Hotel. Both Wolverines excelled on vault in the two-day competition, with Ervin finishing seventh (29.85) and de los Angeles 11th (29.70). [ Recap ]

2014 GymInfo Coaches' Poll (Feb. 24)
1. Oklahoma
3. Ohio State
4. Stanford
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois
7. Penn State
8. Iowa
9. Air Force
10. Cal
11. Nebraska
12. Army
13. William & Mary
14. Navy
15. Springfield

Event Rankings
2. Team (441.900)
2. Floor (75.633)
2. Pommel Horse (73.600)
2. Still Rings (74.883)
4. Vault (73.917)
2. Parallel Bars (74.200)
6. High Bar (71.883)

Individual Rankings
Three-event averages

Floor Exercise
8. Adrian de los Angeles (15.250)

Pommel Horse
10. Matt Freeman (14.837)

Still Rings
9. Alex Bubnov (15.275)
10. Jordan Gaarenstroom (15.175)

5. Adrian de los Angeles (15.133)
8. Syque Caesar (15.025)

Parallel Bars
1. Syque Caesar (15.288)
3. Stacey Ervin (15.133)
9. Nick Hunter (14.775)

U-M to Host 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Championships
Tickets for the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, hosted by the University of Michigan, went on sale to the general public Nov. 13. The nation's top collegiate gymnasts will travel to Ann Arbor to compete for individual and team glory Thursday through Saturday, April 10-12, at Crisler Center. The host Wolverines will look to defend their 2013 NCAA crown in front of their home fans.

All-session tickets are $28 for adults and $20 for youth (age 18 and younger) and seniors (age 55 and older). Single-session passes are $10 for adults and $7 for youth and seniors.

Groups of 10 or more of any age will be eligible for a discounted single-session rate of $5 per ticket.

Tickets may be purchased online at MGoBlue.com/tickets, over the phone (734-764-0247 or toll-free 866-296-MTIX), or in person at the Michigan Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Marie Hartwig Building at 1100 South State Street in Ann Arbor.

The NCAA Championships will begin on Thursday with two qualifying sessions, scheduled for 1 and 7 p.m. The team finals and all-around competition will be held on Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday's individual event finals will get underway at 7 p.m.

This will be the third time U-M has hosted a men's gymnastics national championship. Michigan also hosted the event in 1951 and 1971, with the latter held at Crisler. Overall, the last time U-M hosted and won an NCAA championship was in 1958, as men's swimming took home the NCAA title.

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 results 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. New to the 2014 season is the teams Instagram account, @umichgym.

Friday, March 7 -- at Puerto Rico, vs. Penn State (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Contact: Scott Kemps (skemps@umich.edu)