No. 4 Ohio State Set to Open Regular Season at Windy City Invitational

Jan. 16, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 4 Ohio State men's gymnastics team is set to open the 2014 regular season at the 44th-annual Windy City Invitational Saturday at the UIC Physical Education Building in Chicago, Ill. The meet is slated to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and includes competition from No. 1 Michigan, No. 5 Illinois, No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Minnesota and host institution UIC.


Last season, No. 8 Ohio State tied for second place with No. 1 Illinois, tallying a team score of 427.750 to finish the season opening meet tied with the defending national champions. Jake Martin earned a first-place finish on high bar and a second-place finish on pommel horse for the Buckeyes, while Drew Moling tied for third on rings and Jeff Treleaven and Larry Mayer finished second and third on vault, respectively.


Ohio State enters the season ranked No. 4 in the CGA Preseason National Rankings, the first time the Buckeyes have received a Top 5 ranking in the poll since the 2009 season. The Buckeyes represent one of seven Big Ten schools ranked within the Top 10 as Michigan, Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska also received votes.

Ohio State is the second-highest ranked Big Ten team in the poll, behind No. 1 Michigan (11) but ahead of No. 5 Penn State and Illinois (tie), No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Minnesota and No. 10 Nebraska.


Ohio State was voted second in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches' Poll, behind defending NCAA National Champion and Big Ten Champion Michigan, who was unanimously selected as the conference favorite. Behind the Buckeyes, Illinois was chosen to finish third, Penn State was selected to finish fourth and Minnesota was voted to finish fifth. Iowa and Nebraska round out the conference preseason picks in sixth and seventh place, respectively.


Sophomore Jake Martin and freshman Sean Melton were named Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch for the 2014 season.

Martin, a native of Oviedo, Fla., competed in four meets for the Buckeyes last year, earning three first-place finishes and three second-place finishes as well as a No. 1 ranking in the all-around (Feb. 5). Martin, an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, set a program record score on high bar (15.50) during the team's meet at Penn State (Feb. 2).

A native of Orlando, Fla., Melton joined the Ohio State men's gymnastics team after training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A former member of the U.S. Senior Men's National Team (2013) and the U.S. Junior Men's National Team (2007-12), Melton is a three-time competitor at the Visa Championships and a five-time competitor at the Junior Olympic National Championships.


Redshirt senior Michael Newburger and junior Drew Moling have been named team captains for the 2014 season.

Newburger claimed the 2013 NCAA Pommel Horse title, becoming the second gymnast in program history to win a title on the event and the first since Drew Durbin won three consecutive titles (1995-97). A two-time All-American, Newburger also claimed the 2013 Winter Cup Pommel Horse title in addition to winning four individual event titles and ranking No. 1 on pommel horse for four consecutive weeks (Feb. 18 - March 11) throughout the 2012-13 regular season.

Moling, a native of Canal Winchester, Ohio, earned 14 Top 5 finishes throughout the regular season last year, including an individual event title on high bar (15.05) against defending national champion Michigan and an individual event title on rings (15.50) against No. 15 UIC. The 2013 Ohio State Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree, Moling advanced to the individual event finals on parallel bars at the Big Ten Championships, finishing in eighth place.


Three All-Americans return to the squad this year in Newburger (pommel horse), Treleaven (vault) and junior Danny Steiner (floor exercise). In addition, seniors Kris Done and Misha Koudinov, who earned All-American honors in 2012 on high bar and parallel bars, respectively, return to the team for their final season.


Ohio State welcomes the addition of five freshmen to the team this season after losing seniors Blaize Monks and John Laing to graduation last year. Jake Dastrup, Logan Melander, Melton, Andrew Rickly and Bryce Sampson all signed national letters of intent to compete for Ohio State starting in 2014.


Ohio State head coach Rustam Sharipov announced the signing of two gymnasts to National Letters of Intent during the November early signing period. Meyer Williams (Dallas, Texas) and Cody Teaney (St. Petersburg, Fla.) each signed NLIs with Ohio State for the 2015 season.


Scarlet defeated Gray for the first time in three years at the Buckeyes' annual intrasquad, 178.400 - 176.050.

Three of six events were won by freshmen as Dastrup claimed first place on pommel horse and Melton claimed first place on rings and parallel bars. Of the remaining three events, junior Larry Mayer took first place on vault, junior Alex Nork earned first place on high bar and Martin won floor exercise and the all-around title.


Dastrup competed at the DTB World Cup - Team Challenge Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Stuttgart, Germany as a member of the U.S. Men's National Team. The Lindon, Utah, native competed on pommel horse and vault. The U.S. team comprised of Akash Modi, Dastrup, Paul Ruggeri and Donnell Whittenburg finished fifth in the qualification round (173.850), narrowly missing an opportunity to qualify for the finals as only the top four teams from the qualification round advanced to the finals.


Newburger, Steiner, Dastrup and Rickly represented the Buckeyes at the 2013 P&G Championships in August. Newburger placed third overall on pommel horse while Steiner finished the meet in 25th place, earning Top 25 finishes on two events, floor exercise and parallel bars. Dastrup finished the meet in 17th place, placing seventh overall on pommel horse while Rickly concluded the competition in second place in the junior division, including Top 5 finishes on five events. At the conclusion of the USA Gymnastics meet, Dastrup and Rickly were named to the U.S. Junior Men's National Team.


The Buckeyes return to action Sunday, Jan. 26 at Illinois in the first of two Big Ten regular season dual meets. The meet is slated to start at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by BTN.