Ohio State finishes fourth; Brandon Wynn takes third in all-around

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second-consecutive weekend, historic St. John Arena played host to a Big Ten Gymnastics Championships. After welcoming the women’s conference contingent last week, the Ohio State Department of Athletics welcomed its counterparts for the men’s league championships Friday night.

The Buckeyes finished in fourth place with 346.950 points. Illinois won the title (359.700), followed by Michigan in second place (358.150). Penn State rounded out the Top 3 with a 347.300. Junior captain Brandon Wynn finished third in the all-around, tallying a score of 87.700 in a closely contested all-around competition. Backed by his first-place 15.950 on rings, Wynn, the nation’s top-rated competitor on the event, outdistanced his nearest competitor (Michigan’s Phillip Goldberg) by .800 points. Chris Cameron (89.800) surpassed his teammate Mel Anton Santander (88.450).

“We had a rough start but it didn’t kill our spirits,” Wynn said. “We trained the best we have ever trained for this meet but it didn’t happen for us tonight.

“It’s frustrating for me personally because I have compete on five events all season and I know if I had done what I did during the regular season I would have finished better in the all-around. But I slipped on parallel bars and it was just one of those nights.”

The Buckeyes began the evening on floor, recording a 56.9. Wynn paced the Scarlet and Gray with a 14.950 for sixth place overall. Earning a 14.200, sophomore Philip Onorato posted the second highest team score on floor, while senior Justin Myers recorded a 13.900.

Wynn will compete for the individual title on floor, rings and vault at 7 p.m. Saturday in St. John Arena. Also joining Wynn in the individual finals will be Ty Echard (pommel horse), Mike Behles (rings and vault), Philip Onorato (vault) and Justin Myers (parallel bars). Senior Shachar Tal is an alternate for parallel bars while sophomore Matt Rayl is an alternate for pommel horse.

Ohio State moved to pommel horse in the second rotation. Lancaster, Ohio, native Ty Echard tallied a 14.800 to lead the Buckeyes and finish fifth among more than 36 entrants on the apparatus. Matt Rayl also received a mark above 14.0 with his 14.100, which also was good for 10th (tie). Rounding out the Top 3 for the team was John Laing. The freshman from North Reading, Mass., captured a score of 13.600. Also of note was Wynn’s 13.350, which served as a 2010 personal best for the Voorhees, N.J., native.  

Up next, the Buckeyes competed on rings where they posted a 59.650. With Wynn leading the charge on the event, Mike Behles, a sophomore from Wayne, Ill., was second on the team and seventh overall, tallying a 14.950. Not far behind was senior Tai Lee’s 14.500.

The Scarlet and Gray excelled on vault with three Buckeyes surpassing or tying season or career highs. As a team, Ohio State posted a 63.650. Onorato, who hails from Plano, Texas, secured a 16.050, a score that tied his all-time high of 16.05 and placed him second among his conference peers. Coming in second (fourth overall) for the Buckeyes was Behles, who bettered his career-best of 15.9 with a 16.00.  Wynn rounded out the Top 3 for Ohio State with his mark of 15.950. Wynn’s  15.950 also served as the fifth-best overall. An Orlando, Fla., native Lee posted a 2010 best by .100 of a point with his 15.100.

Myers, who hails from Hinckley, Ohio, owned a 14.400 on parallel bars which was good for first on the team. That score also was seventh-best.  Senior Shachar Tal’s 14.200 was second, while junior Sean Regan’s 13.600 was third. Collectively, Ohio State recorded a 55.500.

A 55.250 on high bar finished out Ohio State’s evening. Just like he began the evening, Wynn ended the night leading Ohio State as he posted a 14.300 on high bar. There were two-way ties for both second and fourth place. Myers and freshman Blaize Monks recorded 13.950s and Echard and Lee notched 13.050s.  

2010 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships
April 2, 2010
St. John Arena
Final Team Standings
1. Illinois – 359.700
2. Michigan – 358.150
3. Penn State – 347.300
4. Ohio State – 346.950
5. Minnesota – 346.500
6. Iowa – 337.800

Final All-Around Standings (Top 5)
1. Chris Cameron (Michigan) – 89.800
2. Mel Anton Santander (Michigan) – 88.450
3. Brandon Wynn (Ohio State) – 87.700
4. Paul Ruggeri (Illinois) – 86.600
5. Aaron Fortunato (Minnesota) – 86.150

11. Tai Lee (Ohio State) – 81.750

Ohio State Individual Event Competitors
Mike Behles – Rings, Vault
Ty Echard – Pommel
Justin Myers – Parallel Bars
Philip Onorato – Vault
Matt Rayl – Pommel (alternate)
Shachar Tal – Parallel Bars (alternate)
Brandon Wynn – Floor, Rings, Vault ###