Jan. 17, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Led by an all-around title by freshman Tristan Burke and three first-place finishes from redshirt sophomore Sean Melton, the No. 2-ranked Ohio State men’s gymnastics team finished second at the 46th-annual Windy City Invitational Sunday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
THE SHORT STORY
All six teams showed some rust at the annual Chicago showdown, with low scores across the board on a number of events. Ohio State dug itself a hole early, falling to fourth place after three rotations after errors on pommel horse and floor. The Buckeyes turned the tide in the fourth rotation, however, posting the top overall team score on rings (72.750) before closing strong on vault (72.950) and parallel bars (top team score of 71.000).
No. 4 Illinois captured the team title with a score of 425.950, just ahead of the Buckeyes’ total of 425.700. No. 8 Minnesota led for the majority of the meet, but faltered late on pommel horse, finishing with a score of 424.500.
“We came up a bit short today, but I’m proud of how the guys continued to fight throughout the competition,” head coach Rustam Sharipov said after the meet. “We had a really rough start to the meet, making some uncharacteristic mistakes on pommel horse, but we picked things up and closed well on our final three events. We’re certainly not satisfied with the performance, but there is a lot we can build on as we head to California next weekend.”
Burke – The Royse City, Texas, native was the all-around champion in his college debut with a score of 86.000, defeating 2015 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year Bobby Baker. Burke posted the top team score on floor (14.850) and was one of two Buckeyes to post a 15.000 or higher on vault. Burke became the first Buckeye to win the Windy City all-around title since Randy Monahan in 2004. His all-around score ranks eighth in the nation so far this season.
Melton – A redshirt sophomore from Orlando, Fla., Melton finished first overall on three events: rings (15.450), vault (15.350) and parallel bars (15.100). His scores on rings and vault were personal bests, and both rank second in the NCAA so far this year. His parallel bar total is No. 4 nationally.
1) No. 4 Illinois – 425.950
2) No. 2 Ohio State – 425.700
3) No. 8 Minnesota – 424.500
4) No. 9 Iowa – 419.650
5) No. 5 Michigan – 413.700
6) No. 17 UIC – 378.450
The Buckeyes travel to Berkeley, Calif., for a tri-meet against No. 7 California and No. 3 Stanford on Sunday, Jan. 24.