Seniors Tai Lee, Justin Myers and sophomore Steven Spencer enter big first-place marks
COLUMBUS Ohio – Despite posting the best event total on floor, pommel horse and high bar, the No. 6 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team placed second at a quad-meet with a 346.600 late Sunday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb. Meet host and ninth-ranked Nebraska took first with a 348.250 while No. 11 UIC scored a 339.950 for third and No. 13 Air Force had a 332.700 for fourth in front of 650 fans in Devaney Center.
On floor, the Buckeyes posted a season-best 58.55 behind senior captain Justin Myers’ 15.05, outscoring his previous career-high mark of 14.9 and claiming first. The Hinckley, Ohio, native has led the Buckeyes on floor at two of three meets this season. Sophomore Mike Behles continues to shrug off the so-called ‘sophomore slump,’ notching a career-high 14.5 while freshman Blaize Monks had a 14.7, another career high. Making his Buckeye debut was redshirt-freshman Elliott Hardy with a 13.25.
After finishing third at the Winter Cup Challenge in early February, redshirt sophomore Steven Spencer notched a season-high 15.1 to take first as the team hit its second season-best mark of the day with a 57.45 event score. Sophomore Matt Rayl hit a career-high with a 14.45 and classmate Ty Echard added a 14.250.
With just four up and four scoring on rings, Ohio State finished with a 54.75. Senior Tai Lee and sophomore Philip Onorato tied for the team-best with a 14.65 while Behles added a 13.2 and senior Shachar Tal a 12.25. The squad was missing NCAA rings leader Brandon Wynn from its normal rings lineup.
But the Buckeyes bounced back with a 62.05 on vault, their second-best event total on the apparatus this year. Ohio State received 15.0 or better marks from five gymnasts with Onorato notching a 15.8 for second. Myers added a 15.75, his second season-high on the night, while Behles contributed a 15.45, Hardy a 15.05 and Lee a 15.0.
On parallel bars, the squad notched a 54.85 behind a pair of 13.9s from Myers and Spencer before shaking off the rotation and posting a season-best 58.95 on high bar. Lee added yet another career high for the Buckeyes with a 15.3. The 15.3 also ties the Ohio State program-record high bar score first hit by Jake Bateman (2006-09) in 2009. Junior Sean Regan hit a career best himself with a 14.75 on the event as Myers added a 14.7 and Onorato a 14.05.
The squad returns to action next Saturday with a co-ed meet vs. Penn State at 4 p.m. in St. John Arena.