COLUMBUS, Ohio – With alumni, friends and family gathered at Steelwood Training Facility Saturday, the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team put on its final preseason exhibition Saturday before the start of the 2011 regular season next weekend.
Interim co-head coaches Doug Stibel and Blaine Wilson were both pleased with the team’s effort Saturday and are excited to begin the regular season at the Windy City Invitational next at 8 p.m. Saturday in Chicago, Ill.
“Today was great and we had a lot of good routines in the gym this afternoon,” Stibel said. “Every day we are getting better and we are looking forward to compete at the Windy City next week in front of a real crowd in a real competition.”
“Overall today was great and I was impressed with the fight out of the guys,” Wilson said. “There are still things we need to work on but we are continuing to build off each routine. I was thrilled to see all the fans and alumni that came out today. Buckeye nation is the best and we appreciate all the support the alumni continue to show to the program.”
Competing on floor exercise for the Buckeyes were Brandän Jones, Elliott Hardy, Kris Done, Blaize Monks, Philip Onorato and Sean Regan. Monks and Regan notched the team’s best scores.
On pommel horse freshman Misha Koudinov scored the highest for the Scarlet and Gray in his first routine in front of the public since joining the team this past week. Junior Ty Echard, a 2009 All-American on the event also participated, while CJ Weir, Michael Newburger, Neil Zyburt, Mike Behles, John Laing and Done also gained experience. For the alumni, Tony Duong returned to the event he specialized on for three seasons as a Buckeye and current volunteer assistant coach Tai Lee also competed.
Moving on to rings, the Buckeyes were led by sophomore Behles and Regan. Also competing were freshman Matthew Barr, junior Joel Uptmor and Onorato. Suiting up for the alumni was Dr. Michael Canales, who participated in his 16th alumni exhibition, receiving a round of applause from the crowd with his routine.
Regan and Done made the highlight reel with their vaults, while Monks, Uptmor and Hardy also participated.
Koudinov continued his strong exhibition performance on parallel bars. Behles, Onorato and Regan also had solid performances, while Canales rounded out the event for alumni.
Koudinov also earned the team’s high score on high bar, while Laing, Jones, Uptmor and Monks also competed.
After the meet, the varsity team and alumni had a meet and greet. The Buckeyes open their 2011 season at the 41st-annual Windy City Invitational hosted by UIC at 8 p.m. Jan. 15 in Chicago.