Six Buckeyes Compete at P&G Championships This Weekend
Jake Martin (left) and Sean Melton
Aug. 20, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four current, one former and one future member of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team are set to compete at the 2014 P&G Championships Aug. 22 and 24 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Sophomore Sean Melton, juniors Jake Martin and Alex Johnson, senior Drew Moling, former Buckeye Brandon Wynn, and incoming freshman Alex Wilson will participate in the two-day competition that serves as the USA Gymnastics national championship.
Melton, Martin, Johnson, Moling and Wynn will challenge the 35-man field at the senior level, a collection of athletes featuring former national, world and Olympic medalists. Wilson is competing in the 16-18 age group at the junior level.
“As a college coach, it is an honor and a privilege to bring your guys to this level of competition,” Ohio State head coach Rustam Sharipov said. “The main goal for our athletes is to hit percentage. Execution and consistency will determine who makes the national team.”
Schedule of Events
2014 P&G Championships
Friday, August 22
Junior Competition Day 1 – 1 p.m. ET
Senior Competition Day 1 - 7 p.m. ET
Sunday, August 24
Senior Competition Final Day - 1 p.m. ET
Junior Competition Final Day – 7:30 p.m. ET
A four-event All-American, two-time Big Ten champion and the 2014 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Melton is competing at the senior level at the national championships for the second time. A native of Orlando, Fla., and a member of the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team, Melton won four medals at the Pan American Sports Festival in July. Melton is a three-time junior level competitor at the U.S. championships – he placed third in the all-around (ages 16-18) at the 2012 U.S. Championships in St. Louis, Mo., after posting Top 10 finishes on all six events, including a first-place finish on high bar.
“I’m looking forward to being out there with all my friends and teammates, many of whom will be competing at P&G for the first time as seniors,” Melton said. “It is an exciting competition with all the cameras and the crowd.”
Martin is competing at the U.S. championship for the fifth time overall and for the second time at the senior level. Martin was a two-event All-American in 2014 and the Big Ten champion on vault. In 2010, he won the high bar and finished third in the all-around in the 14-15 age group. A year later, he turned in a fourth-place all-around finish in the 16-18 age group.
“You are competing on the same playing field as world champions and Olympic champions,” Martin said. “I’m going to try and take it one event at a time.”
Johnson, a Dublin, Ohio, product, will be competing at the national championships at the senior level for the first time. A 2014 All-American, Johnson competed at the junior level in 2010 and 2011, finishing seventh in the all-around in 2011 in the 16-18 age group.
“This will be my first time competing at senior level P&G so the jump is going to be exciting,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to competing against the best of the best.”
Moling is making his first appearance at the U.S. championship at the senior level. He previously competed at the junior level in 2010, where he placed first on rings in the 16-18 age group. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Moling placed seventh on rings at the 2014 U.S. National Qualifier and 10th on rings at the 2014 NCAA Championships.
“I’m approaching the meet as a learning experience,” Moling said. “Competing against the best guys in the country is going to make me a better gymnast and help me push our guys this season as we look to achieve a national championship.”
Wynn, a member of the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team, will compete for his fourth U.S. Championship on rings. The Voorhees, N.J., native captured consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011 and added a third in 2013 along with a fifth-place finish in the all-around. Wynn finished third on rings at the 2013 World Championships and was the 2014 Winter Cup Challenge champion on rings.
Incoming freshman Wilson will challenge the competition in the junior division. The Sugar Land, Texas, native is making his first appearance at the P&G championships, having previously competed at the Junior Olympic national championships, where he placed first on the vault in 2013 and third on the vault in 2014.
The 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships will be broadcast on both NBC and NBC Sports Network. Day one of men’s competition will air on tape-delay Friday at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network followed by the second and final day of competition live at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC.