Feb. 16, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio -The Ohio State men's gymnastics team faces No. 7 Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena. Along with the Buckeyes (5-1, 4-0 Big Ten) and Wolverines, SUNY Brockport also will be competing this weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The tri-meet will be televised by BTN on tape-delayed basis and will broadcast at 1 p.m. ET Feb. 25. BTN also will be covering the 2012 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships April 6-7 in Iowa City, Iowa.
A link to live stats for the meet at Michigan Saturday can be found on the Ohio State men's gymnastics schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
WYNN SELECTED TO U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
Former Buckeye Brandon Wynn (2008-11), a two-time NCAA rings champion, was selected to the U.S. Senior Men's National Team following his performance in the finals at the 2012 Winter Cup Challenge. Wynn has now made the U.S. national team four-consecutive years. The two-time defending U.S. rings champion, Wynn notched a 175.000 two-day all-around total, including an 88.000 in the finals for third overall at the elite national event. On rings, Wynn won the national title with a 30.950 two-day total with a meet-high of 15.60 in the finals. In addition to his rings victory, Wynn placed in the Top 10 on parallel bars with a third-place finish (29.70) and two eighth-place marks on vault (31.45) and high bar (28.70).
LAST SEASON AGAINST THE WOLVERINES
In the conclusion of the 2011 regular season, Ohio State fell to Michigan, 353.350-336.90, in Ann Arbor. Ty Echard and Kris Done claimed event titles on pommel horse (15.2) and high bar (15.0), respectively. Overall, the Buckeyes had seven Top 3 finishes in the meet.
WINTER CUP CHALLENGE
The Scarlet and Gray had a strong performance at the Winter Cup Challenge with one current and two former members of the Ohio State gymnastics team qualifying for the finals. Senior co-captain Ty Echard finished third overall on pommel horse with a 30.25 two-day total. The OSU co-captain posted the second-highest score in the finals on pommel horse with a 15.5. Former Buckeye Tai Lee had three Top 20 finishes on rings (27.600), high bar (27.100) and vault (30.450). Former Buckeye and two-time NCAA rings champion Brandon Wynn, who won the rings competition and had three Top ten finishes, was selected for the U.S. Senior National Team. Former Buckeye Sean Regan also performed at the competition in the preliminary round.
LOSS TO OKLAHOMA
Despite posting season highs on floor exercise (60.30), rings (57.75), parallel bars (56.40) and high bar (58.00) the Buckeyes fell to then-No. 3 Oklahoma, 353.150-347.750, Jan. 21 at St. John Arena. On pommel horse, senior co-captain Ty Echard posted a 15.05 to win the competition. Freshman Larry Mayer tied for first on vault with Oklahoma's Jacob Dalton with a score of 15.0.
WINDY CITY CHAMPS
The Buckeyes began the 2012 campaign with great success, winning the Windy City Invitational Jan. 15 in Chicago, Ill., with a team total score of 344.500. The Buckeyes, which included five freshmen making their collegiate debuts, won the pommel horse (59.700) and vault (58.600) events en route to their first Windy City title since the 2006 season.
The team claimed 13 Top 10 finishes including a first-place victory for senior Philip Onorato on vault with a 15.10. Sophomore Brandän Jones set career highs on both floor exercise (14.7) and pommel horse (13.8). Sophomore Misha Koudinov rang in a career-high 15.1 on floor, while redshirt sophomore Michael Newburger earned a career best on pommel horse with a 14.4.
A FEW MOMENTS WITH SHARIPOV, ECHARD AND NORK
Head coach Rustam Sharipov, first season
On preparing for Michigan
"In the past three weeks, we've tried to increase our start values and some of the guys successfully did this in the gym, including freshman Alex Nork, who improved dramatically. The main goal like I said in the beginning of the season is to show a clean gymnastics execution Saturday."
"It's tough to compete at Michigan. But I think we've done a good job of preparing our guys mentally for a meet like this. I think the key events for us will be floor exercise and pommel horse. We are going to put our best guys on pommel and I think if they all execute, we can put together one of the best scores in the nation Saturday."
Ty Echard, senior co-captain
On the team having three weeks off
"It's an advantage because it allows us to have more time to practice on what we are doing. We don't have to worry about doing constant routines every day, but we also haven't had as much practice in a meet situation like other teams have had this season. I think in the end though, it will pay off for us."
Blaize Monks, junior co-captain
On the next four weeks of competition
"These meets are really important as a confidence booster. I think if you do well during the regular season, the judges will remember your name in the postseason and that will help. I'm hoping to compete on all-around at Big Tens and maybe NCAAs, so these next four weeks are important."
Alex Nork, freshman
On early success this season
"It's great to be a part of a team and I think it makes it easier to compete as an individual. I definitely think the hard work is paying off and we all stayed focus leading up to the season. We are all really excited about this weekend to compete at Michigan."
The Buckeyes will continue its Big Ten schedule, hosting Penn State at 4 p.m. Feb. 25 in St. John Arena.