Dec. 6, 2011
Saturday, Dec. 10 -- host Maize & Blue Intrasquad (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
The University of Michigan men's gymnastics team will begin the 2012 season with the annual Maize & Blue Invitational on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 7 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena.
The Maize squad is highlighted by sophomore Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Carona del Mar), who placed third on floor, seventh on vault and fourth on parallel bar at the NCAA Championships in his freshman season en route to the all-around national title. He is joined by junior Rohan Sebastian (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness Catholic), who took fourth in the pommel horse at NCAAs in 2011. The Blue team will feature the 2011 Big Ten parallel bars champion in senior Syque Caesar (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./ Lincoln Park Academy), as well as the 2011 USA Championships all-around champion Adrian de los Angeles (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan).
Admission to the event is free for all spectators and an autograph session will be held following the meet. Live stats and Twitter updates will be available.
New Team Captains
The squad will be headed up by tri-captains: sophomore Alex Bubnov (Fanwood, N.J./ Scotch Plains-Fanwood), sophomore Kevin Fraser (Austin, Tex./ Cedar Park) and Syque Caesar. Caesar served as a co-captain a year ago, while the captaincy honor is the first of Bubnov and Fraser's careers.
Young Squad Continues to Grow
After welcoming 11 freshmen a year ago, the Wolverines will add 10 newcomers this season, making 21 of the 25 members of this season's squad underclassmen. This newcomers are: Adrian de los Angeles, Stacey Ervin (Troy, Mich./Truman), Taylor Harrower (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman), Hub Humphrey (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo), Nick Hunter (Canfield, Ohio/Canfield), Mark Panhorst (Hanover Park, Ill./Glenbord North), Paul Rizkalla (Westfield, N.J./Westfield), Vinnie Sanchez (Armonk, N.Y./Armonk), Michael Strathern (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) and Reid Swanger (Austin, Texas/St. Andrew's Episcopal).
Wolverines Ranked Third in GymInfo Poll
Michigan will enter the 2012 season ranked No. 3 in the GymInfo national poll. The Wolverines earned a pair of first-place votes. Oklahoma tops the poll at with five first-place votes, while Big Ten rival Illinois ranks second with seven first-place votes.
Stanford debuts in the poll ranked No. 4 and received a trio of first-place votes to round out the top four spots. The poll sported a strong Big Ten flavor, as conference members Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa rank No. 6-10, respectively.
6. Penn St.
7. Ohio State
11. Air Force
15. William & Mary
Big Ten teams in italics
National, International Scene Popular Over Summer
Sam Mikulak was invited to compete in the Puerto Rico Cup, along with freshman Adrian de los Angeles. However, Mikulak suffered a pair of ankle injuries but still competed in the floor exercise, pommel horse and high bar. Despite the injury, he was still selected to be a member of the United States Senior National Team and enters the 2012 season 100 percent in terms of health.
A pair of incoming Wolverine freshmen were in action at the Visa Championships, as de los Angeles won the 16-18 age division, while Stacey Ervin finished second on the floor routine in the Junior 16-18 division.
Rohan Sebastian, a 2011 All-Big Ten selection, was accompanied by assistant coach Xiao Yuan and represented Ireland at the 2011 World Championships. Senior co-captain and 2011 Big Ten parallel bars champion Syque Caesar was accompanied by assistant coach Geoff Corrigan at the World Championships, where Caesar represented Bangladesh. It marked the third straight year a Michigan gymnast has competed at the World Championships (Sebastian, 2009; Chris Cameron, 2010).
Maize & Blue Breakdown
Adrian de los Angeles
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.