April 19, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Seven members of the Ohio State men's gymnastics team advanced in the 2012 NCAA Championships Thursday afternoon during the NCAA qualifier at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Buckeyes notched a 345.350 in the first session of the team qualifier but finished fourth behind Michigan (353.450), Penn State (353.000) and Stanford (348.500) who all advanced to the NCAA team final at 8 p.m. ET Friday in Norman, Okla.
"I thought the guys fought hard through the entire competition and we started strong on pommel horse but had some mistakes on parallel bars and high bar," head coach Rustam Sharipov said. "Rings was one of our weakest events, but I thought we performed well on the rest of the events. Overall, we hit 80 percent of our routines and I'm happy with the performance of our guys. We will now concentrate on advancing as many guys as possible to the event finals."
Individually, seven Buckeyes will look to make the Top 10 in their respective events Friday to advance to the 2012 NCAA Individual Event Finals at 8 p.m. ET Saturday. Sophomore Kris Done, a 2011 All-American, claimed the high bar title in session one with a season-high 15.05 to move on. Senior captain Ty Echard, a 2012 Nissen-Emery Award Finalist, will compete on pommel horse after notching a 15.05 along with redshirt sophomore Michael Newburger who collected a 14.90. On floor exercise, freshman Danny Steiner scored a 15.00 to advance, while senior Mike Behles advanced on rings with a 14.65. On vault, freshman Larry Mayer soared his way to a season-high 15.30 to move on, while sophomore Misha Koudinov advanced on parallel bars with a 14.65 as well as high bar with a 14.45.
Ohio State began the afternoon on its strongest event at the pommel horse. Led by Echard, a 2012 Nissen-Emery Award Finalist, the senior captain notched a 15.05 for second overall in the first session. Newburger notched a 14.90, while Laing had a 14.75 on the event to help the Scarlet and Gray claim an impressive 58.800 - the second-highest team total in 2012.
On rings, Behles guided the squad with a 14.65 to tie for fifth in the opening meet. Freshman Drew Moling notched a 14.050 on the event. Overall, Ohio State posted a 54.80.
Next on vault, Mayer, a native of Carmel, Ind., finished with a solid landing on his difficult routine to collect a 15.30 to tie for third overall in the first session. The score by Mayer marks the highest vault score for the Buckeyes this season. Steiner and Behles each followed with a 14.70, while Done claimed a season-high 14.60. Ohio State collected a season-high 59.35 on the event.
On parallel bars, Koudinov, who came into the championships fifth in the nation on the event, scored a 14.65 for sixth overall in the first session. As a team, Ohio State combined for a 56.50.
Moving on to high bar, Done, who earned All-America status in 2011 on the event, soared his way to a session-best 15.05 and help Ohio State score a 56.40. Koudinov scored a career-high 14.45 on the event for seventh place.
In the final rotation, Steiner, who ranks tied for sixth in the country on floor exercise, led the pack with a 15.00 to tie for seventh followed by Monks and Koudinov with a 14.90, who both tied for 10th place in the first session. Sophomore Brandän Jones posted a 14.65, while senior Elliott Hardy scored a career-high 14.45 on the event. As a team, Ohio State tallied a 59.450.
Monks was the lone Buckeye to compete in the all-around competition and scored a 79.90 to tie for ninth in the first session.
The team and all-around final Friday will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
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