March 22, 2018
Columbus, Ohio – The seventh-ranked Ohio State men’s gymnastics team will host No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday night at St. John Arena. The meet will start at 6 p.m. ET and Ohio State will honor seven seniors following the conclusion of the meet. The meet will be streamed on BTN2Go on Friday night and a tape-delay airing of the meet will take place at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday on the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State enters the meet with the seventh-best scoring average (406.417) in the nation, while Oklahoma owns the best average in the NCAA (414.267). Ohio State owns the best still rings score in the nation with a 71.750 that they recorded against Michigan (Feb. 3). The Buckeyes own the second-highest scores in the nation on the parallel bars (70.250) and high bar (69.100) that they recorded in meets against Michigan (Feb. 3) and Penn State (Feb. 9).
Individually, Alec Yoder (pommel horse) and Sean Melton (still rings) own the highest scores in the country. Yoder’s career best tally of 15.500 at the dual meet against Nebraska (Jan. 20) ranks No. 2 in school history behind Michael Newburger’s 16.250 in 2014. Melton registered his season best on the rings in his 2018 debut against Nebraska with a 15.150. Yoder also owns the No. 3 parallel bar routine in the nation with a 14.650. Yoder and Melton have combined to win 18 event titles this season.
Yoder’s national qualifying average of 15.200 on the pommel horse and 82.767 in the all-around are the top averages in the NCAA; he also ranks third on the parallel bars (14.283). Melton owns the third-best NQA on the still rings with a 14.583 average.
Big Ten Awards
The Buckeyes have competed at seven meets this year (four team meets and Winter Cup) and following five of those meets, either Sean Melton or Alec Yoder has been named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week. Melton earned the first B1G award of the season on Jan. 22 and Yoder followed that by winning back-to-back honors on Feb. 5 and Feb. 12. Melton was not only the Big Ten Athlete of the Week, but also the NCAA Gymnast of the Week on Feb. 20 following his excellent performance at the Winter Cup. Both Yoder and Melton each retained their spots on the U.S. national team after their scores at the Winter Cup. The most recent recipient was Alec Yoder on March 12 following his all-around performance in a dual meet against Stanford. He scored a season-high 84.100 in the all-around; for his efforts, he was also named the NCAA Gymnast of the Week.
Nissen-Emery Award Finalist
Melton is a 2018 Nissen-Emery Award Finalist the CGA announced. Melton is six-time All-American and nine-time Big Ten champ; he is joined by five other seniors on the list. Melton is attempting to become the first Ohio State gymnast since Jamie Natalie (2001) to garner the award. Other Nissen-Emery Award Winners in Ohio State history are Mike Racanelli (1990), Kip Simons (1994) and Blaine Wilson (1997).
Following the meet, Ohio State will honor seven of its senior gymnsats: Sean Melton, David Szarvas, Meyer Williams, Josh Hurwitz, Sam DeWitt, Seth Delbridge and Evan Bluemel.
Yoder Representing America
Junior all-around Alec Yoder will not compete for Ohio State on Friday night. The Indianapolis native is currently representing the U.S. national team at the 11th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Doha, Qatar. Yoder owns a team-leading 11 event titles this year. Every meet he has competed at has featured an event title and he owns multi-event wins at four of the meets this season. Arguably his best performance of the year came against Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. He helped the Buckeyes knock off then No. 2 ranked Stanford with event titles on the vault (14.200), parallel bars (14.250) and in the all-around (84.100).