April 18, 2017
The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan men's gymnastics team (7-13, 3-5 B1G) travels to the site of its 2010 national title for the 2017 installment of the NCAA Championships Friday-Saturday (April 21-22) at Army's Christl Arena.
Michigan, seeded No. 11, will compete in Session I of the NCAA qualifier at 1 p.m. on Friday (April 21) and will start on still rings. The group also includes No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Nebraska and No. 10 Air Force.
Sessions I and II remain NCAA qualifying events, with each session featuring six teams. The top three scoring teams in each session advance to session III for team, all-around and individual championships that will be contested on Saturday night. Individual event qualifiers from Friday will be distributed amongst qualifying teams for session III.
U-M is ranked ninth in the CGA Coaches Poll and No. 11 in the Road to Nationals standings. As a team, Michigan ranks in the top-10 in the NCAA on five events, highlighted by a fifth-place ranking on vault (71.313), sixth on floor exercise (69.863) and 10th on pommel horse (65.683), parallel bars (67.288) and high bar (67.063). The Wolverines also sit at 13th on still rings (66.463). The squad has shown the most progress on parallel bars, increasing the team mark by nearly six points and moving up the rankings seven spots since the beginning of the season when the Wolverines were first listed at 17th.
Individually, sophomore Emyre Cole is listed at sixth on vault (14.850) and eighth on floor (14.563). Defending NCAA vault champion Anthony McCallum is ranked fourth (14.888) on vault, while sophomore Ryan Dunning stands at 16th on still rings (14.088). Veteran Anthony Stefanelli comes in at 16th on floor (14.263).
U-M's top chances for individual glory rest in Emyre Cole on floor and vault, as well as McCallum on vault. Although ranked eighth on floor, Cole's season best of 14.90 is tied for the fifth-best score in the country this season, while his best vault score (15.10) is tied for the top score in the NCAA this season with Oklahoma's Tanner Justus, Minnesota's Yaroslav Pochinka, and Nebraska's Anton Stephenson. McCallum's high of 14.95 sits as the No. 4 score on the table in the country.
Michigan will begin the competition on pommel horse, moving in Olympic order to rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar and finishing on floor exercise.
Last time out at Big Tens, U-M finished seventh out of seven teams with a team score of 401.250, while sophomore Emyre Cole repeated as a first team All-Big Ten selection after taking sixth in the all-around with a mark of 80.650. At individual event finals, Cole, Anthony McCallum and Adam Dean represented the Maize and Blue. Cole started off the Wolverine effort on floor, marking a 13.950 en route to a ninth-place finish and also took part on parallel bars, where he marked a 13.875, just off his previous season best of 13.90 to give himself a fifth-place finish. He then finished off his night with a 14.275 on vault to tie for sixth. Senior Adam Dean marked a 13.475 on high bar in the first Big Ten event final, placing 10th, while sophomore Anthony McCallum was unable to repeat as Big Ten vault champion, as he scored a 14.025 to place ninth. Overall, five gymnasts made their Big Ten championship meet debuts in Mitchell Brown, Mack Lasker, Uche Eke, Thomas Paul and Justin Hopgood.
The sophomore class owns the highest scores on each event this season, as Emyre Cole has scored U-M's highest scores of the season on floor (14.90), vault (15.10) and parallel bars (14.20). Uche Eke owns the top score on pommel horse (14.15), Ryan Dunning has the top rings score with 14.50, and Justin Hopgood owns the top mark on high bar (14.40). Additionally, 19 event titles have been won by the majority of the sophomore class; Cole (8), McCallum (5, 1 tied), Dunning (2), Eke (1), Su (1), Strech (1), and Chin (1 tied).
NCAA Championship History
Last season's team competition was capped off by a fifth-place effort in session II of the NCAA Championships, good for ninth place overall. Led by NCAA vault champion Anthony McCallum, three Wolverines totaled four NCAA All-America honors, upping U-M's all-time total to 207.
Anthony McCallum became Michigan's first NCAA vault champion in 13 years and only the third in school history, joining Gil LaRose (1963) and Andrew DiGiore (2003). The win for McCallum was the 30th NCAA individual championship in school history.
A repeat for Anthony McCallum would make him first back-to-back NCAA vault winner in school history and the sixth U-M gymnast ever to win back-to-back on any event. Six gymnasts have won back-to-back vault titles at the NCAA level, with Oklahoma's Steve Legendre being the last gymnast to accomplish the feat in the 2008-09 seasons
U-M has captured two of the last four NCAA team titles, including three this decade. At the 2014 NCAA Championships, U-M became the first Michigan program to win back-to-back national championships in 44 years. Michigan or Oklahoma have won each of the last four NCAA titles.
The last time U-M competed at Christl Arena, the Wolverines reigned victorious as the 2010 NCAA champions. The win was the second for head coach Kurt Golder and the fourth NCAA title in team history at the time. Overall, Golder has won four NCAA titles during his coaching career at U-M in 1999, 2010 and 2013-14 seasons, earning CGA National Coach of the Year honors in each season.
Tweet of the Week
-- Michigan Gymnastics (@UMichGym) April 15, 2017
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Communications Contact: Scott Kemps