Chalk Talk #12: Wolverines Conclude Season at NCAA Championships

April 13, 2010

Thu-Sat., April 15-17 -- at NCAA Championships (West Point, NY), 7 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 (tape delay - Friday, April 23, 1:30 pm)
Live Stats | Championships Information

The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team concludes its season at the NCAA Championships in West Point, NY, this week (Thu-Sat., April 15-17). Michigan begins its quest for the program's fourth NCAA title on Thursday with the National Qualifier, where the Wolverines will face No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 6 California, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa at 7 p.m. The Wolverines must finish in the top three to advance to the NCAA Team Championships on Friday night.

Last year at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., U-M claimed a runner-up finish to the Stanford Cardinal. Five Wolverines -- Chris Cameron, Joe Catrambone, Phillip Goldberg, Adam Hamers and Thomas Kelley -- claimed All-America honors by virtue of top-eight finishes on an apparatus in the event's finals.

Chan Named Nissen-Emery Award Finalist
Senior co-captain David Chan was named one of eight finalists for this year's Nissen-Emery Award. The award is the highest honor in collegiate men's gymnastics, presented annually since 1966 to an outstanding senior gymnastics competitor for not only athletic accomplishments but also academic performance. The award is based upon the motto, "The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially and morally."

Wolverines Claim Second at Big Ten Championships
The Wolverines fell just short of their bid to defend the Big Ten team championship in Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten's second-ranked team could not pull off the upset over No. 1 Illinois, losing 359.700- 358.150. Junior Chris Cameron and senior Mel Anton Santander led Michigan's charge with a 1-2 finish in the all-around competition. In addition to his all-around victory, Cameron was named the 2010 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year.

Goldberg Weds Longtime Girlfriend
Senior co-captain Phillip Goldberg wed his long time girlfriend, Emily Mashburn, in a small ceremony in Ann Arbor on Saturday, March 27.

Santander Earns U-M's Sixth Big Ten Weekly Award, National Gymnast of the Week
After setting a Michigan school record in the all-around (90.650), Mel Anton Santander was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on March 22. Five Wolverines have combined for six Big Ten weekly honors this season, including freshman Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic), who earned the program's first-ever Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.

Santander's record-breaking performance also earned him his second NCAA National Gymnast of the Week award of the 2010 campaign, as named by the College Gymnastics Association. Santander previously earned the award for his all-around winning performance at the team's intrasquad meet on Dec. 12.

Cameron, Sebastian Named to Spring International Competitions
Cameron was recently named as one of three senior U.S. national team members to compete at the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne, Australia. The competition, scheduled to take place April 23 to May 2, features countries bordering the Pacific Ocean including 2008 Olympic Gold and Silver teams, China and Japan.

Irish national team member Sebastian will compete in the 2010 European Championships in Birmingham, England. Sebastian and head coach Kurt Golder, who will serve as the Irish team head coach, will fly directly from the NCAA championships to England to take part in the competition, which begins April 21.

Someone to Lean On
Justin and senior Torrance Laury (Marietta, Ga./McEachern) never expected to compete together at the University of Michigan since they were five years apart, but an injury to older brother Justin allowed them to share one season together. Torrance helped his older brother return from injury and the two propelled Michigan to a fourth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships. Together, the Laurys have been shining examples of hard work, determination and brotherhood. [ Read More ]

Cameron Finishes Third All-Around, Named to U.S. National Team
Chris Cameron 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 twelve routines he competed and finishing tenth in the all-around.

Big Stage. Big Ten. Big Vault.
On Jan 24, 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.

The Accidental All-American
Senior co-captain David Chan is currently featured on 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! ]

International Wolverines
Two Wolverines competed internationally last 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 ]

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Contact: Scott Bregman (734) 763-4423

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