March 6, 2013
The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (8-0) returns to action Wednesday (March 6) as the Wolverines trek to Chandler, Ariz., to compete against Arizona State University at 7:30 p.m. MST from Aspire Kids Center. The trip is part of the annual Maize and Blue spring break trip, and it will conclude before U-M hosts the No. 3-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (13-1) on Saturday (March 9) at 7 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan enters the meet ranked in the top two in three team events, as the squad is No. 1 on parallel bars, No. 1 on floor and No. 2 on vault. Individually, Sam Mikulak and Syque Caesar rank No. 1 and No. 2 on parallel bars, while Stacey Ervin is No. 3 on floor exercise. Adrian de los Angeles once again tops the all-around rankings, as he holds a three-event average of 88.683.
Caesar holds down the top spot in parallel bars (15.333), while Ervin is No. 1 on vault (15.10) and No. 2 on floor (15.25). De los Angeles tops the all-around rankings with an 87.983.
Oklahoma enters the meet as the No. 3 squad in the country with a 441.717 team score average. Much like U-M, OU boasts a balanced lineup of events and is ranked in the top three in five events. The Sooners are No. 2 nationally on floor exercise (75.40) and pommel horse (73.70) and is No. 3 on still rings (75.27), parallel bars (72.23) and high bar (73.03). Ray White leads the team on floor and is No. 6 in the country with a 15.317, while Mike Squires is No. 5 on still rings with a 15.50. Danny Beradini is No. 4 on vault (15.267), while Alec Robin is No. 4 in the all-around rankings with an 85.83.
U-M went up against the Sooners on two occasions last season, the first occasion being during a tri-meet on Jan. 28, as No. 1 Oklahoma defeated U-M, 347.700-339.100, in a meet that also featured No. 2 Illinois, which won the meet with a 349.800. On March 10, U-M traveled to Norman of an NCAA Championships primer and was knocked off by a 355.500-348.950 tally. The mark was a then-season-high team score and featured four event titles for Sam Mikulak.
Stacey Ervin was named Big Ten co-Men's Gymnast of the Week Monday, Feb. 18, after setting a school record on the floor exercise Saturday, Feb. 16, at No. 5 Ohio State. It is the first Gymnast of the Week award of his career. Ervin's 16.15 on floor exercise is the Michigan record on the apparatus, the top score in the nation on the event this season and the third-highest collegiate floor score since the scoring changes in 2008. In addition to winning the fourth floor title of his career, Ervin placed third on parallel bars (14.70) as U-M secured a season-high score to beat the Buckeyes, 446.150-435.650. Michigan's 446.150 is the third-highest tally in the country this season behind two scores by conference foe Penn State.
On Feb. 9, de los Angeles was named to the United States National Team for the second time in his career for his performance at the Winter Cup Challenge, In the two-day scoring, de los Angeles was second in all-around competition (172.400) and was second on floor (31.10), ninth on pommel horse (27.80), third on still rings (28.60), sixth on parallel bars (28.95) and tied for eighth on high bar (27.35). Following the competition, de los Angeles, along with several others, was named to the U.S. national team, along with all eight members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
U-M National Ranks (Average)
Floor, 1st -- 75.51
Pommel Horse, 5th --72.53
Still Rings, 4th -- 74.62
Vault, 2nd -- 74.317
Parallel Bars, 1st -- 74.75
High Bar, 7th -- 70.52
NCAA INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS (TOP 10)
3. Ervin (15.475)
7. de los Angeles (15.263)
2. Ervin (15.013)
1. Mikulak (74.750)
2. Caesar (15.367)
10. de los Angeles (15.000)
1. de los Angeles (88.683)
2013 GymInfo Coaches' Poll
1. Penn State
4. Ohio State
11. Air Force
13. William & Mary
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q: How has the season been going so far?
A: So far the season has been going well. We have a very talented team and have put in a lot of hard work and hours in the gym, and I think it is paying off.
Q: Is the team poised to peak at Big Tens/NCAAs?
A: Yes, all of the coaches have very detailed workout plans for us that are broken down week by week, preparing us to peak at Big Tens and NCAAs.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most about Spring Break?
A: What I am looking forward to most about spring break in Arizona is the warm weather. I am ready to get away from the snow for a week, relax and have a break from classes.
Q: High bar has been going really well for you this year (career high against Cal of 15.00). What have you been doing to achieve the high marks?
A: This year we have been doing lots of sets and have spent a lot of time on the small details like angles and sticking dismounts. I am feeling very comfortable with my high bar routine, and I think the scores reflect all the hard work.
Q: This team seems to get along with each other really well. What do you attribute that to?
A: I think the team gets along well with each other because we practically have the same team as we did last year and have had a lot of time to build the team's chemistry. I also think that having a lot of the same interests and goals aids in our team's chemistry.
Q: Following Arizona State, the team is going up against two the top teams in the country, Penn State and Oklahoma. Is there any added pressure knowing the toughest part of the season is approaching?
A: I wouldn't say there is added pressure but more so added excitement. Competing face to face with the top teams in the country will really help gauge where our team is at, rather than looking at the rankings on paper.
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.
Saturday, March 16 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 7 p.m.
Season tickets now on sale. » Learn about 2016 Michigan men's gymnastics ticket opportunities.