March 2, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 5 Ohio State men's gymnastics team fell at No. 3 Illinois, 355.100-341.300, Friday night at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill. The Buckeyes (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) soared their way to a season-high 59.100 on vault in the meet vs. the Illini, while senior co-captain Ty Echard shared the pommel horse title with a season-high 15.2.
"I thought the first four events were good for us," head coach Rustam Sharipov said. "We didn't count any misses, but on the last two events we counted four misses. I think we could have easily hit 80 percent or more of our routines. I thought Mike Carney stepped up for us tonight with a 14.5 on parallel bars."
The Buckeyes began the evening on pommel horse and posted a 58.500 team total - .300 off their season-high set Feb. 25 vs. Penn State in Columbus. Echard, a two-time All-American, guided the Buckeyes with a season-high 15.2 to tie for first overall on the event with Yoshi Mori of Illinois. The event win was Echard's 10th career pommel horse title and second first-place finish of 2012. Freshman Alex Nork followed with a season-high 14.7 for third overall, while sophomore Brandän Jones notched a career-high 14.4 to tie for fourth place. John Laing rounded out the Buckeyes on the event with a season-high 14.2. The team defeated the Illini on the event, 58.500-57.900.
Next on floor exercise, Ohio State collected a 57.300 team total highlighted by Jones who posted a team-best 14.6 to tie for fourth overall, while freshman Danny Steiner notched a 14.5 for sixth place. After two rotations, the Scarlet and Gray trailed Illinois, 117.600-115.800.
On the third rotation, the Buckeyes traveled to the vault and scored a season-high 59.100 team total. Freshman Larry Mayer led the charge when he was awarded with a season-high 15.2 for second overall. Steiner, a native of Mesa, Arizona, followed Mayer with a season-high 14.8 to tie for third overall, while junior co-captain Blaize Monks tied his season high on vault with a 14.6.
On rings, the Scarlet and Gray combined for a 56.700 team total. Freshman Drew Moling led the way with a 14.9 for fifth place - just .200 off his season-high set vs. Oklahoma Jan. 21. Senior Philip Onorato followed with a 14.5, while sophomore Misha Koudinov collected a 14.2.
On the fifth rotation, Ohio State competed on high bar, notching a 54.2 team total. Monks collected a 14.1 on the event for fifth overall.
The Buckeyes concluded the meet on parallel bars, collecting a 55.500 team total. Competing in his first meet as a Buckeye, senior Mike Carney collected an impressive score of 14.5 for fourth overall in the competition. Monks tied his career-high with a 13.8, while Moling and Koudinov each collected scores of 13.6.
Ohio State closes out the 2012 home schedule next weekend, hosting Stanford at 7 p.m. March 9 at St. John Arena. The 2012 senior class will be recognized before competition as part of Senior Night.