Weekly #1: Wolverines to Kick Off Season with Saturday Intrasquad
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MGOBLUE

Dec. 4, 2013

2014 Men's Gymnastics Promo Video (YouTube)

THIS WEEK
Saturday, Dec. 7
-- host Maize & Blue Intrasquad (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
Live Results

The University of Michigan men's gymnastics team will begin the 2013 season with the annual Maize & Blue Invitational on Saturday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena. Admission to the event is free for all spectators.

The Maize team, captained by senior Matt Freeman, is led by classmate Sam Mikulak and junior Adrian de los Angeles, who placed 1-2 in the all-around competition at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Additionally, the squad features sophomore Konner Ackerman and promising freshmen Tristian Perez-Rivera and Jonathan Chin.

The Blue side is led by graduate student captain Syque Caesar, and features United States National Team member in sophomore Stacey Ervin, as well as All-American senior/junior Dylan James.

The meet format will consist of a traditional dual meet format, with 'blast' competition, as both teams will compete simultaneously.

TEAM ROSTERS

Maize
Konner Ackerman
Mike Begin
Jonathan Chin
Adrian de los Angeles
Adam Dean
Kevin Fraser
Matt Freeman
Taylor Harrower
Colin Mahar
Sam Mikulak
Mark Panhorst
Tristian Perez-Rivera
Corbett Schmitz
Reid Swanger

Blue
Alex Bubnov
Syque Caesar
Stacey Ervin
Jordan Gaarenstroom
Garrett Hamers
Hub Humphrey
Nick Hunter
Dylan James
Nolan Novak
Paul Rizkalla Jr.
Michael Strathern
A.J. Schottstaedt
Anthony Stefanelli

New Team Captains
The 2014 squad will be headed up by co-captains in graduate season Syque Caesar and senior Matt Freeman. Caesar will captain the squad for the third-consecutive season, while the honor is the first of Freeman's career.

Overview of the Wolverines Squad: Loads of Firepower, Upper Class Heavy
After consecutive years of welcoming double-digit recruiting classes in 2011 and 2012, the Wolverines now have 18 of 25 members of this season's squad being either a junior or senior. Three freshmen and three sophomores comprise the underclassmen, while the squad features 11 juniors, seven seniors and one graduate student.

With junior Michael Strathern redshirting and the graduation of lineup mainstay Rohan Sebastian for a year ago, U-M returns 26-of-30 (in a six up, six count format) routines in terms of lineup regulars from the powerhouse 2013 squad.

Wolverines Ranked Unanimous No. 1 in Gyminfo Poll
Michigan will enter the 2014 season as the unanimous choice for the top spot in the 2014 Preseason GymInfo Poll. Michigan earned all 11 first-place votes to mark the first time in the history of the poll (since 2002) that a team has been tabbed a unanimous No. 1. Oklahoma and Stanford hold the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Big Ten foes Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois hold the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, while Iowa (No. 8), Minnesota (No. 9) and Nebraska (No. 10) are the other ranked Big Ten teams.

The Wolverines will host No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 1, as well as No. 5 Penn State on Saturday, March 15. The marquee road matchup for the Wolverines will be against No. 3 Stanford in Palo Alto on Jan. 25.

2014 GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Michigan (11)
2. Oklahoma
3. Stanford
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State
    Illinois
7. California
8. Iowa
9. Minnesota
10. Nebraska
11. Air Force
12. Temple
13. William & Mary
14. Navy
15. Army

Big Ten teams in italics
First-place votes in parentheses

Mikulak, Ervin, De los Angeles Represent Team USA at USA Training Center
A trio of Wolverines participated in the USA Gymnastics Training Camp this week in Colorado Springs in Mikulak, Ervin, and De los Angeles. Both Mikulak and Ervin earned United States National Team status for their performances at the P&G United States Championships. Mikulak, who took home the all-around U.S. championship, was joined by Ervin who took 11th in all-around competition. De Los Angeles, a former Team USA member, took 14th at the championships in the all-around and was invited to the camp via special invitation.

Mikulak Earns World Finalist Distinction in Antwerp
Mikulak took sixth in the all-around competition at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, scoring a 88.548. His top score on the night came on floor with a 15.366, while also nailing a 15.200 on parallel bars. Due to his nearly flawless performance on high bar during day one of qualifying (15.366), he earned a berth on high bar event finals on the final day in Antwerp, where he took fourth overall after scoring a 15.566.

Mikulak Striving for Best Ever
With 13 All-America citations and five NCAA individual championships to his name heading into his senior season, Mikulak is prepared to stake his claim for the best NCAA gymnast ever. The senior trails Illinois great Joe Giallombrado (seven), as well as Ohio State's Blaine Wilson, Oklahoma's Jonathan Horton and Steve Legendre (six) for the most NCAA titles in a single career. He trails Horton (16) in terms of All-America citations, while Giallombardo owns 14 All-America citations.

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 and NCAA Championship was in 1958, as men's swimming took home the NCAA title.

2013 In Review
The 2013 Michigan men's gymnastics team captured the fifth NCAA championship in program history and 16th Big Ten title en route to a 27-2 overall record on the season. The NCAA title is the third for Michigan head coach Kurt Golder, who was in his 17th season at the helm of the Wolverine program.

Led by 2012 United States Olympian Sam Mikulak, who compiled six NCAA All-America citations and a trio of NCAA titles (all-around, high bar, parallel bars), U-M earned a total of 13 team All-America citations to tie the most in program history. Along with Mikulak, Rohan Sebastian, Syque Caesar (3), Dylan James, Adrian de los Angeles (2) took home citations.

The six citations are the most in a single championship for any Wolverine ever, highlighted by the third-highest high bar score in NCAA history in the event finals (16.10). He also became the first Wolverine in program history to win both parallel bars and high bar in the same season. The margin of victory of 443.200-440.100 over second-place Oklahoma is the largest victory margin in 29 years.

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.

NEXT UP
Saturday, Jan. 18 -- at Windy City Invite (Chicago, Ill.), 7:30 p.m. CST

Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423