March 13, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team hosts No. 1 Oklahoma and Temple Saturday at St. John Arena at 4 p.m. in its last home meet of the season. The Buckeyes will honor seniors Will Jeffreys, Brandän Jones, Misha Koudinov, Michael Newburger and Nick Tagliaferro in a ceremony prior to the meet.
Admission to the meet is free, and live results can be found on the men’s gymnastics schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Fans can also follow the team on Twitter (@OhioState_MGYM) for live updates.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State posted its second-highest team score this season March 8 at Burnham Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif., earning an overall score of 442.40 en route to a second-place finish against No. 2 Stanford, No. 10 California and Arizona State.
Two Buckeyes claimed individual event titles at the quad meet. Junior Danny Steiner won floor exercise with a season-high 15.35 and Newburger claimed his third individual event title this season on pommel horse with a 15.70.
In addition, Ohio State posted a season best score of 74.05 on floor exercise and a program best score of 74.25 on pommel horse to win both team events.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS
Oklahoma comes into St. John Arena Saturday ranked No. 1 in the nation in the latest GymInfo poll with a four score average of 443.283.
The Sooners rank within the Top 5 on all six events. The team is No. 1 on floor exercise (75.983) and rings (74.833), No. 2 on pommel horse (73.383) and No. 4 on vault (73.683), parallel bars (72.667) and high bar (72.467).
Individually, Oklahoma holds No. 1 rankings on floor exercise and rings as junior Alec Robin claims the top spot on floor exercise with an average score of 15.467 and junior Michael Squires claims the top spot on rings with an average score of 15.983.
Additionally, junior Sergey Resnick ranks No. 3 on parallel bars (15.117) and No. 4 on pommel horse (14.917), while freshman Colin Van Wicklen ranks No. 5 on floor exercise (15.217) and senior Stanton Rehkemper ranks No. 5 on high bar (15.017). The Sooners are led by junior Danny Berardini in the all-around as he holds the No. 8 spot with an average score of 84.033.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes rank No. 4 in the nation in the most recent GymInfo poll with a four score average of 439.750. Ohio State ranks No. 1 on pommel horse (73.417) and high bar (73.200), No. 3 on vault (73.700) and parallel bars (72.917), No. 7 on rings (73.450) and No. 10 on floor exercise (72.283).
Individually, eight Buckeyes are ranked within the Top 20 on all six events.
Newburger continues to pace the team on pommel horse, holding the No. 1 spot on the event (15.483). Behind Newburger, freshman Sean Melton holds the No. 4 ranking (14.917), sophomore Jake Martin ranks No. 11 (14.700) and freshman Jake Dastrup rounds out the top Buckeyes with a No. 16 ranking (14.617).
On rings, junior Drew Moling comes in at No. 5 (15.400), while Martin paves the way for the Buckeyes on vault, as he is currently No. 2 on the event (15.133). Following Martin, Dastrup ranks No. 12 (14.867) and freshman Logan Melander ranks No. 16 (14.817).
On parallel bars, Melton ranks No. 4 (15.050) while senior Misha Koudinov ranks No. 12 (14.800) and Dastrup ranks No. 18 (14.717).
Four Buckeyes currently hold rankings on high bar. Martin paves the way at No. 5 (15.000), while sophomore Alex Johnson ranks No. 4 (14.967), Melton ranks No. 9 (14.817), and junior Alex Nork ranks No. 13 (14.700).
The Buckeyes have collected four Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors and three Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this year, earning seven out of a possible 18 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
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
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 University of Michigan during the CGA Awards Banquet which is being held at the Jack Roth Stadium Club on Wednesday, April 9, at 8 p.m. EST, in Ann Arbor, Mich., the site for this year’s NCAA Championships.
FIVE UP, FIVE COUNT
Through the last day of February, six gymnasts were allowed to perform on each event with the top five scores counting toward the team score. As of Saturday, March 1, only five gymnasts are allowed to perform on each event with all five scores counting toward the overall team score.
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.
POMMEL HORSE SPECIALIST
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. The defending national champion on pommel horse, Newburger 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 eighth consecutive week with a three score average of 15.483.
NCAA RECORD HOLDERS
Two Buckeyes set or tied NCAA records at the 2014 Windy City Invitational. 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 junior Larry Mayer tied the all-time best record on vault with his career-high and Ohio State record score of 15.800.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 Buckeyes have a bye week before opening the postseason at the 2014 Big Ten Championships March 28-29 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb. The team and all-around competition will be held Friday while the individual event championships will take place Saturday. Competition is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Friday and 5 p.m. ET Saturday.