Dec. 12, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team was voted second in the Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference announced Thursday. Sophomore Jake Martin and freshman Sean Melton were named Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch.
“Our expectations for this year are very high,” Ohio State head coach Rustam Sharipov said. “Our mindset is to go to every competition and accomplish our goals with performance, execution and hit percentage and as long as the team does that we will be satisfied. Our No. 2 ranking will motivate us to work harder every day.”
Defending NCAA National Champion Michigan was unanimously selected as the conference favorite ahead of Ohio State. Behind the Buckeyes, Illinois was chosen to finish third, Penn State was selected to finish fourth and Minnesota was voted to finish fifth. Iowa and Nebraska round out the conference preseason picks in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Martin, a native of Oviedo, Fla., competed in four meets for the Buckeyes last year, earning three first-place finishes and three second-place finishes as well as a No. 1 ranking in the all-around (Feb. 5). Martin, an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, set a program record score on high bar (15.50) during the team’s meet at Penn State (Feb. 2).
A native of Orlando, Fla., Melton joined the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team after training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A former member of the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team (2013) and the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team (2007-12), Melton is a three-time competitor at the Visa Championships and a five-time competitor at the Junior Olympic National Championships.
The Buckeyes open the season with the Scarlet & Gray Intrasquad Monday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Steelwood Athletic Training Facility.
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
2. Ohio State
4. Penn State
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTS TO WATCH LIST
Fred Hartville, So., Illinois
C.J. Maestas, So., Illinois
Jack Boyle, So., Iowa
Matt McGrath, Sr., Iowa
Adrian de los Angeles, Jr., Michigan
Dylan James, Sr., Michigan
Steve Jaciuk, Jr., Minnesota
Ellis Mannon, Jr., Minnesota
Austin Epperson, Fr., Nebraska
Travis Gollott, Fr., Nebraska
Jake Martin, So., Ohio State
Sean Melton, Fr., Ohio State
Trevor Howard, So., Penn State
Alexis Torres, So., Penn State