Columbus, Ohio – The seventh-ranked Ohio State men’s gymnastics attempted to hand the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners their first loss in nearly four years on Friday night at St. John Arena but came up just a bit short falling to the Sooners by a score of 413.650-412.700.
“I’m really happy with what I saw tonight out of our guys,” head coach Rustam Sharipov said. “We finished the regular season moving in the right direction. We’ve got a couple of weeks to prepare for the postseason meets. Our guys have been working their butts off. We will continue to do that as we prepare for the postseason.
“Our seven seniors mean so much to me and this program. They have achieved so much during their time in Columbus. They have been a large part of this program’s success. They’ve led us to two-straight Big Ten titles, a runner-up finish in 2017 at the NCAA meet. I can’t thank them enough for the time and hard work that they have invested into this program.”
Ohio State honored the careers of seven fine seniors on Friday night following the meet. David Szarvas, Sean Melton, Seth Delbridge, Meyer Williams, Josh Hurwitz, Evan Bluemel and Sam DeWitt have helped Ohio State achieve some special accomplishments during their time on campus. They led Ohio State to a runner-up finish at the 2017 NCAA meet and back-to-back Big Ten conference titles.
The Buckeyes came out of the gates firing on all cylinders and used scores of 69.050 (floor) and 68.500 (pommel horse) to hold a commanding 137.550-134.450 lead after two rotations. Szarvas, DeWitt and Trevor Cummings took the top three spots on the pommel horse with scores of 14.400, 13.900 and 13.750. All three scores were season bests for the pommel horse group. Freshman Sean Neighbarger was the top Ohio State finisher on the floor earning a second-place showing with a readout of 14.200.
Just two events later, Neighbarger threw down a 14.550 on the vault to claim a title and help Ohio State register a season-best readout of 69.250. Alex Wilson eclipsed the 14-point barrier and Jacob Gricar (13.950), Joey Bonanno (13.550) and Max Andryushchenko (13.150) helped finish out the rotation. Chris Coombs was the top Ohio State finisher on the rings with a 14.150, which was good enough for third place.
Melton became only the second gymnast in the NCAA this season to go over the 15-point mark on the parallel bars. His season-best score of 15.150 earned him the title on the parallel bars. Melton’s score paved the path for Ohio State registering a season high on the event; Andryushchenko (13.950), Neighbarger (13.950), Coombs (13.650) and Delbridge (13.600) combined to do the rest of the damage for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will now prepare for the postseason. The back-to-back Big Ten champs will look to win their third-straight conference title in Ann Arbor, Mich., on April 6.