Colorado Springs, Colo. – Junior Alec Yoder claimed two individual titles on Saturday evening at the Cadet West Gymnasium on the still rings and pommel horse to help No. 3 Ohio State to a second-place finish with team score of 404.450. No. 6 Nebraska claimed the team title with a readout of 407.700.
"I was really proud of Alec (Yoder) and the leadership he showed for us this evening," head coach Rustam Sharipov said. "We faced some adversity tonight and we will learn from it.
"Several of our guys had to do unexpected routines due to an injury early in the meet. Our freshmen showed a lot of bright signs and we are going to count on them this year. They are talented and skilled enough to make an impact for us at a high level."
Yoder put together the only pommel horse routine that eclipsed the 15-point barrier out of 43 competitors tonight; the Indianapolis native scored a 15.050 to edge U.S. Olympic Training Center members Donothan Bailey (14.800) and Sam Mikulak (14.550). Following his excellent pommel horse routine, Yoder turned right back around and dropped a 14.700 on still rings to edge Fletcher Braunton of Air Force who scored a 14.650.
Fifteen Buckeyes competed in the season opener, five of which donned the Scarlet and Gray at a regular season meet for the first time in their career. Ohio State started the meet out on the high bar with a score of 67.450 and followed that scores of 66.950 (floor), 62.300 (pommel horse), 70.450 (rings), 69.200 (vault) and 68.100 (parallel bars).
Sean Junior Neighbarger posted a pair of second-place finishes in his Buckeye debut. He scored a 14.500 in his first-career collegiate vault for a second-place showing, and then three rotations later he scored a 14.300 to place second on the floor. Seth Delbridge (13.850) and Michael Chan (13.700) performed well on the high bar to register second and third-place finishes, respectively.
Chris Coombs was the trendsetter for the Scarlet and Gray on their final rotation of the evening. Coombs smacked down a 14.150 on the parallel bars for the best collegiate routine of the night in a field of 42 athletes to finish behind two U.S. Olympic Training Center members. Coombs also registered the fourth-best collegiate score on the rings with a readout of 14.300. Freshman Trevor Cummings debuted nicely in the Scarlet and Gray with a third-place finish on the pommel horse (13.000).
Ohio State will take on Nebraska next Saturday (Jan. 20) in Lincoln, Neb.
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