Weekly Release #1: U-M to Start 2011 with Maize and Blue Intrasquad

Dec. 8, 2010


Friday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. -- Maize and Blue Intrasquad (Cliff Keen Arena)
Live Results | Video Preview

The 2010 defending national champion University of Michigan men's gymnastics team starts the 2011 season with the annual Maize and Blue Intrasquad on Friday (Dec. 10) at 7 p.m. in Cliff Keen Arena. Catch all the excitement in the only competition of the season where fellow Wolverines are pitted against each other in a Maize versus Blue showdown.

Admission is free. Posters will be available and the team will hold an autograph session following the competition. If you cannot make it to the meet, follow along with live scoring on MGoBlue.com.

The Blue team is led by four-time All-American and senior co-captain Thomas Kelley (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville), who will be competing in all six events. Kelley highlighted the 2010 season by gathering All-America honors on parallel bars at NCAAs and finishing runner-up on high bar at the Big Ten Championships. Veteran senior Ben Baldus-Strauss (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) will also contribute heavily to the Blue team's lineup with strong routines on floor, pommel horse, vault and high bar.

Junior co-captain Syque Caesar (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Lincoln Park Academy) leads the Maize team. Caesar, who suffered a season-ending injury in 2010, is eagerly awaiting his return to the competition floor Friday competing on parallel bars and high bar. Caesar will be a strong candidate for All-American honors on parallel bars this season. The Maize team will illicit the help of seasoned competitor and 2010 NCAA all-around champion Chris Cameron (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and look for aid from newcomer Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Carona del Mar), the 2010 all-around champion in the junior division at the US National Championships.

Are you social?
Follow the Michigan men's gymnastics team on Facebook and Twitter. Also, visit the UMGym YouTube Page for weekly releases to see amazing gymnastics footage and to meet the team members. All competition footage will also be uploaded as well.

2010 Nationals Champions!
The men's gymnastics team topped off the 2010 season by capturing the NCAA title. After falling to a disappointing second-place finish in the last rotation at the Big Ten Championships, the Wolverines regrouped for nationals and won the program's fourth team title. The competition was highlighted by the Wolverines taking home 13 All-America honors. In addition, Chris Cameron won the all-around title, the second gymnast in Michigan history to do so.

New Team Captains
At the completion of last season Thomas Kelley and Syque Caesar were voted by the team as co-captains for the 2011 season. Meet the co-captains and hear them talk about the upcoming Intrasquad [ Video ].

Eleven Freshmen in 2011
The Wolverines welcome an eleven-member freshman class for the 2011 season: Mike Begin (Dearborn, Mich./Devine Child), Alex Bubnov (Fanwood, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Kevin Fraser (Austin, Tex./Cedar Park), Matt Freeman (Canton, Mich./Plymouth), Jordan Gaarenstroom (Laguna Hills, Calif./Halstrom), Dylan James (Valencia, Calif./William S. Hart), Sam Mikulak (Corona del Mar, Calif./Carona del Mar), Michael Myler (North Orem, Utah/Timpanogos), Corbett Schmitz (Novato, Calif./The Bronsan School), A.J. Schottstaedt (Petaluma, Calif./St. Vincent De Paul), Kyle Thomas (Commerce, Mich./Walled Lake Northern). [ Get to Know the 2011 Freshmen ]

Preseason Coaches Poll
The Wolverines earned a preseason No. 2 ranking in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll with seven first-place votes. With a small number of graduating seniors from last season, 2010 NCAA runner-up Stanford claimed the preseason top spot.

  1. Stanford (7)
  2. Michigan (7)
  3. Oklahoma (2)
  4. Illinois
  5. California
  6. Ohio State
  7. Penn State
  8. Minnesota
  9. Nebraska
  10. Iowa

World Championships in Rotterdam
Senior Wolverine and USA Gymnastics Senior National Team member Chris Cameron competed for the USA at the World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Cameron competed on pommel horse and rings and helped the USA to a fourth-place finish.