March 26, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team opens the postseason at the 2014 Big Ten Championships March 28-29 at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. The team championships are scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Friday followed by the individual event finals at 5 p.m. ET Saturday.
LIVE ON BTN
The Big Ten Network will air the 2014 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships live with Lisa Byington on the play-by-play and John Roethlisberger as the analyst.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 4 Ohio State posted a program record 446.15 team score to earn an upset win over No. 1 Oklahoma in a tri-meet on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at St. John Arena. The Sooners posted a 444.30 to place second while Temple scored a 402.85 to finish third.
The Buckeyes claimed every individual event title against Oklahoma and Temple. Sophomore Jake Martin posted three first-place finishes, winning the all-around title with a career-high 89.450 while also posting a win on vault with a career-high 15.500, and a win on high bar with a 14.450. Freshman Jake Dastrup won both floor exercise and pommel horse, earning a career-high 15.400 on both events. Lastly, junior co-captain Drew Moling posted a career-high 15.900 to win on rings while freshman Sean Melton won parallel bars with a career-high 16.050.
Melton set new NCAA and Ohio State records on parallel bars with his career-high score. The previous NCAA record on the event (15.95) was set by 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak (Michigan) in 2013.
Ohio State also posted team wins on four events, claiming first place on floor exercise (75.400), pommel horse (75.850), parallel bars (74.450) and high bar (72.750). The team scores on floor exercise, pommel horse and parallel bars set new program records.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes enter the 2014 Big Ten Championships as the highest-ranked Big Ten team, checking in at No. 2 in the latest GymInfo national rankings with a four score average of 442.167. Ohio State currently ranks No. 1 on high bar (73.200), No. 2 on pommel horse (73.900), vault (74.317) and parallel bars (73.733), No. 4 on floor exercise (73.467) and No. 6 on rings (73.850).
Individually, eight Buckeyes are ranked within the Top 20 on all six events.
On floor exercise, Melton ranks No. 16 (15.067) to lead the Scarlet and Gray. Newburger continues to pace the team on pommel horse, holding the No. 1 spot on the event (15.717) for the 10th consecutive week. Behind Newburger, Martin holds the No. 4 ranking (15.083), and Melton ranks No. 5 (15.000).
On rings, Moling checks in at No. 4 (15.650), while Martin paves the way for the Buckeyes on vault, as he is currently No. 1 on the event (15.317). Following Martin, Dastrup ranks No. 18 (14.900).
On parallel bars, Melton ranks No. 2 (15.467) while senior Misha Koudinov ranks No. 13 (14.883).
Four Buckeyes currently hold rankings on high bar. Martin paces the team at No. 3 (15.217), while sophomore Alex Johnson ranks No. 8 (15.000), Melton ranks No. 12 (14.850), and junior Alex Nork ranks No. 16 (14.700).
Lastly, Martin leads the Buckeyes in the all-around at No. 4 (86.567).
2013 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
The No. 5 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team totaled a 426.600 to finish in fourth place at the 2013 Big Ten Championships in the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota. Michigan won the team title (438.900) followed by Penn State in second place (434.050) and Minnesota in third place (430.350). Illinois finished fifth (424.450), Iowa placed sixth (422.500) and Nebraska placed seventh (416.250).
Five Buckeyes qualified to compete in the individual event finals. Danny Steiner, a native of Mesa, Ariz., opened the meet as the first competitor on floor exercise, setting the standard by tallying a 15.475 to finish in second place overall behind Michigan’s Stacey Ervin. In just his second Big Ten championship event finals, Steiner earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors.
John Laing, a native of North Reading, Mass., closed out pommel horse as the last competitor on the event. He scored a 14.400 to finish in sixth place overall and earn a place on the podium. On vault, Mayer tallied a 14.125 to finish the competition in eighth place, while Moling notched a 14.300 and Misha Koudinov scored a 14.200 to finish in eighth and ninth place, respectively, on parallel bars.
Ohio State has won 12 Big Ten Championships, most recently claiming the team title in 2007. The Buckeyes also won titles in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006.
In addition, Ohio State has earned 75 All-Big Ten laurels and won 71 Big Ten Individual Championships. Former Buckeye Blaine Wilson owns the most titles with 11, while Drew Durbin claimed five and Raj Bhavsar and Kip Simons each earned four. Most recently, former Buckeye Ty Echard claimed the 2012 Big Ten Individual Title on pommel horse.
Five Buckeye gymnasts have earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Year honors and six Buckeye gymnasts have earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades, while three coaches have received Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
The Buckeyes have collected four Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors and four Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this year, earning eight out of a possible 20 Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Week awards throughout the 2014 season.
Big Ten Gymnast of the Week (Jan. 20) – Michael Newburger
Big Ten Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 3) – Jake Martin
Big Ten Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 17) – Jake Martin
Big Ten Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 24) – Sean Melton
Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Feb.17) – Sean Melton
Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Feb. 24) – Sean Melton
Big Ten Freshman of the Week (March 10) – Sean Melton
Big Ten Freshman of the Week (March 17) – Sean Melton
Three Buckeyes have also earned Division I CGA (College Gymnastics Association) Gymnast of the Week Awards this season.
CGA Gymnast of the Week (Jan. 23) – Michael Newburger
CGA Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 16) – Jake Martin
CGA Gymnast of the Week (Feb. 27) – Sean Melton
Newburger became the 12th Buckeye in 16 years to be named a Nissen-Emery Finalist when the College Gymnastics Association announced the final candidates Wednesday.
Four Buckeyes have won the esteemed award, including Mike Racanelli in 1990, Kip Simons in 1994, Blaine Wilson in 1997 and Jamie Natalie in 2001. Since the award inception in 1966, only Oklahoma and Penn State have had more gymnasts garner the recognition with seven and six wins, respectively.
The winner will be announced at the 2014 CGA/NCAA Annual Awards Ceremony and Men’s Gymnastics Championship Banquet in Ann Arbor, Mich., the site of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships.
Melton was named to the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team at the conclusion of the 2014 Winter Cup. The freshman makes his second appearance on the team, as he was also a member of the U.S. Senior National Team in 2013. Melton joins former Buckeye Brandon Wynn in representing the Ohio State program.
In addition, Dastrup and classmate Andrew Rickly represent Ohio State as current members of the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team.
POMMEL HORSE SPECIALIST
Newburger has collected three event titles on pommel horse this season, bringing his career total to eight. The Austin, Texas, native earned his first title at the Windy City Invitational with an NCAA record 16.250, his second title against the Illini with a 16.200 and his third title against Stanford with a 15.700. Originally a walk-on to the team, Newburger, the defending national champion on pommel horse, is the only gymnast in the past three years to score a 16.000 or above on pommel horse in NCAA competition, and currently ranks No. 1 on the event for the 10th consecutive week with a four score average of 15.717.
NCAA RECORD HOLDERS
Three Buckeyes set or tied NCAA records during the regular season. Newburger scored a career-high and Ohio State record 16.250 on pommel horse to earn the all-time best record on the event while Mayer tied the all-time best record on vault with his career-high and Ohio State record score of 15.800 at the 2014 Windy City Invitational.
In addition, Melton set a new NCAA record on parallel bars against No. 1 Oklahoma and Temple, scoring a career-high and Ohio State record 16.05 on the event to earn the all-time best score.
The previous NCAA record on pommel horse (16.00) was set by Daniel Ribeiro (Illinois) in 2009, while Mayer is now tied for the NCAA record on vault with Jake Dalton (Oklahoma), who originally set the current record in 2011. The previous NCAA record on parallel bars (15.95) was set by Sam Mikulak (Michigan) at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
PROGRAM RECORD HOLDERS
Ohio State set program records (team and individual) on all six events during the 2013-14 regular season. The Buckeyes posted a program-best 446.15 team score against No. 1 Oklahoma and Temple, as well as team bests on floor exercise (75.40), pommel horse (75.85), rings (74.65), vault (75.10), parallel bars (74.45) and high bar (75.10). The team scores on pommel horse and high bar are the highest in the nation this season.
In addition, Dastrup (15.40 -FX), Newburger (16.25 -PH), Moling (15.90 -R), Mayer (15.80 -V), Melton (16.05 -PB), and Martin (15.80 -HB, 89.45 -AA) also set Ohio State individual records.
The Buckeyes have a bye week before continuing the postseason at the 2014 NCAA Championships April 10-12 at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Qualifying sessions will be held Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m. ET, while the team and all-around competition will be held Friday at 7 p.m. ET and the individual event finals will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.