April 8, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team continues the postseason at the 2014 NCAA Championships April 10-12 at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes open competition Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET in the second of two qualifying sessions, with the team and all-around competition held Friday at 7 p.m. ET and the individual championships held Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Big Ten Network will air the 2014 NCAA Gymnastics Team and All-Around Finals live with Lisa Byington on play-by-play and John Roethlisberger as the analyst. All four sessions will also be streamed online via NCAA.com, with Will Haskett and former Buckeye Raj Bhavsar providing routine-by-routine and color commentary.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 2 Ohio State posted an overall team score of 441.050 to secure a second-place finish at the 2014 Big Ten Championships March 28 at the Bob Devaney Center at the University of Nebraska, earning its highest finish at the conference championships since 2007. Michigan won the team title (448.200) while Penn State finished third (438.000) and Illinois finished fourth (435.350). Minnesota (429.150), Nebraska (428.150) and Iowa (425.600) rounded out the team standings.
Freshman Sean Melton and sophomore Jake Martin represented the Buckeyes in all-around competition. Melton scored a career-high 89.75 to claim second place overall while Martin scored an 88.65 to finish third.
Five other student-athletes represented the Buckeyes on the second day of competition. Junior Danny Steiner opened the meet as the first gymnast to compete on floor exercise, scoring a 14.675 to finish ninth overall. Behind Steiner, redshirt junior Jeff Treleaven competed second, tallying a 15.000 to finish sixth and earn a spot on the podium.
On pommel horse, redshirt senior Michael Newburger notched a 14.125 to place eighth, while freshman Jake Dastrup scored a 14.725 on parallel bars to finish ninth and sophomore Alex Johnson tallied a 14.925 as the last competitor on high bar to earn a fifth-place finish and place on the podium.
B1G INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS
Melton claimed Big Ten Individual Championships on parallel bars (15.60) and high bar (career-high 15.375) and Martin claimed a Big Ten Individual Championship on vault (15.10) to become the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten Individual Champions since Ty Echard won pommel horse in 2012.
The last time the Buckeyes won three individual titles at the Big Ten Championships was in 2005, when D.J. Bucher won parallel bars, Ronald Ferris won high bar and Randy Monahan won rings.
B1G FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
In addition to his individual titles, Melton was named the 2014 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming the seventh Buckeye in program history to earn the honor and the first since Philip Onorato in 2009.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes enter the 2014 NCAA Championships as the second-highest ranked Big Ten team behind No. 2 Michigan, checking in at No. 3 in the latest GymInfo national rankings with a national qualifying average of 441.888. Ohio State currently ranks No. 1 on high bar (73.550), No. 2 on pommel horse (73.463), No. 3 on floor exercise (73.663), vault (74.175), and parallel bars (73.800) and No. 7 on rings (73.463).
Individually, nine Buckeyes are ranked within the Top 20 on all six events.
On floor exercise, Melton ranks No. 15 (15.012), followed by Martin who ranks No. 16 (15.000) and junior Danny Steiner who ranks No. 18 (14.950). Newburger continues to pace the team on pommel horse, holding the No. 1 spot on the event (15.575) for the 11th consecutive week. Behind Newburger, Melton holds the No. 7 ranking (14.925), and Martin ranks No. 10 (14.862).
On rings, Moling checks in at No. 6 (15.450), while Martin paves the way for the Buckeyes on vault, as he is currently No. 1 on the event (15.250). Following Martin, Dastrup ranks No. 14 (14.869).
On parallel bars, Melton ranks No. 2 (15.512) while senior Misha Koudinov ranks No. 13 (14.883).
Four Buckeyes currently hold rankings on high bar. Martin paces the team at No. 3 (15.275), while sophomore Alex Johnson ranks No. 4 (15.156), Melton ranks No. 9 (14.962), and junior Alex Nork ranks No. 16 (14.638).
Lastly, Martin leads the Buckeyes in the all-around at No. 4 (87.088).
The Buckeyes compete against No. 2 Michigan, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 10 Air Force and No. 11 Nebraska in the second qualifying session Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET. The first qualifying session, set for 1 p.m. ET, will feature No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Illinois, No.8 Iowa, No. 9 California and No. 12 William & Mary.
The top three teams and the top three all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams, along with the top three individuals on each event not already qualified on a team or as an all-around competitor, will advance from each qualifying session to the finals session.
2013 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Five members (Jeff Treleaven, Michael Newburger, Danny Steiner, Drew Moling and Alex Johnson) of the No. 5 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team advanced to the 2013 NCAA Team and All-Around Finals after the second qualifying session at Rec Hall. The Buckeyes tallied a 421.950 team score but finished fifth behind Penn State (436.900), Stanford (435.850), Iowa (426.550) and California (426.550).
Newburger became the second gymnast in program history to win a national championship on pommel horse. Drew Durbin was the first, claiming three consecutive pommel horse titles from 1995-97. He earned his first laurel in 2012 after placing third overall on the event.
Treleaven, a native of Glen Ellyn, Ill., earned his second career All-America honor after scoring a 15.125 on vault to finish tied for fifth overall with Stanford’s Sean Senters. Treleaven collected his first All-America laurel on vault in 2011 after finishing third overall.
Steiner, a native of Mesa, Ariz., earned his second consecutive All-America honor on floor exercise after posting a 14.650 to finish seventh overall. He collected his first All-America honor on the event in 2012 with a fifth-place finish.
NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONS
The Buckeyes have won three NCAA Team Championships, with the most recent title coming in 2001 at St. John Arena. Three members of the 2001 squad notched individual event championship titles as Jamie Natalie won the all-around, Daren Lynch won on vault and Raj Bhavsar, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, won on parallel bars.
Ohio State won its second national crown at the 1996 NCAA Championships. Former Buckeye and three-time Olympian Blaine Wilson captured the all-around, rings and parallel bars titles while Drew Durbin earned a national championship on pommel horse.
The Buckeyes won the program’s first national championship in 1985. Twin brothers Noah and Seth Riskin were named co-champions on parallel bars at the event finals.
NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS
Ohio State gymnasts have earned 27 NCAA Individual Championships. Most recently, redshirt senior Michael Newburger won the 2013 NCAA Championship on pommel horse. Former Buckeye Blaine Wilson leads the Ohio State record books with six national championships, followed by Drew Durbin and Jamie Natalie who each earned three.
Since Don Perry first earned All-America status on the trampoline in 1954, Ohio State has had 53 gymnasts collect 137 honors. In Ohio State history, former Buckeyes Mike Racanelli (1987-90) and Blaine Wilson (1994-97) tallied 10 individual honors each in only three seasons. Last year, the Buckeyes garnered three All-American honors as redshirt senior Michael Newburger, redshirt junior Jeff Treleaven and junior Danny Steiner all earned All-America status at the elite collegiate competition in State College, Pa.
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.
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
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.
DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPION
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 11th consecutive week with a national qualifying average of 15.575.
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 at the time.
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. Mikulak reclaimed the NCAA record on parallel bars at the 2014 Big Ten Championships, earning a 16.10 on the event.
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, 89.75 – AA), and Martin (15.80 –HB) also set Ohio State individual records.