University Park, Pa. – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team pulled out a six-rotation thriller on Saturday evening against Penn State inside of Rec Hall. The Buckeyes, who trailed entering the sixth and final rotation, edged the Nittany Lions 419.150-417.750.
“I’m really proud of how this team kept battling tonight,“ head coach Rustam Sharipov said. “It didn’t always go as planned, but we never looked back, we just kept focusing on the next opportunity and that is what I think helped us pull it out.
“We got great performances this evening from Sean [Melton] and Alec [Yoder]. Each of our athletes just have to keep developing their skill sets as we progress through the season and we will be fine.”
The Buckeyes got the meet started on the pommel horse where they set a season-team high with 70.050 points. Sophomore Alec Yoder threw down the second-best pommel routine in the nation with a readout of 15.300 to win the event.
Ohio State then progressed to the floor. Team captain Sean Melton captured the event title while registering the nation’s best score on the floor with a tally of 15.050. The score of 15.050 is a personal record for Melton, and it ranks as the fifth highest in program history.
On the vault, OSU registered the top three scores in the competition. Tristan Burke paced the way with a season-best score of 14.500 to finish in first place. Jake Dastrup (14.400) and Yoder (14.300) were just behind Burke on the scoreboard to finish in second and third, respectively.
Ohio State only scored 69.200 points on the rings, and once again, they were led by Melton who awed the crowd with a season-best performance of 14.750 for gold. On the high bar, Jake Martin claimed the individual title with a solid routine of 14.600.
The Buckeyes entered the final rotation, the parallel bars, knowing that they needed some quality scores. Andrew Rickly, who competed in only two events this evening, got the scoring started with a score of 14.300 and Jake Dastrup followed with a huge score of 14.500. Yoder popped in a 13.250 before Melton scored a season best of 14.700 on the bars for the event title. Burke secured the win for the Buckeyes with a score of 13.400.
A select few Buckeyes will make the trip to Las Vegas for the Winter Cup that will take place next Thursday and Saturday (Feb. 16 and 18).