COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 9 Ohio State University men’s gymnastics team is set to compete in St. John Arena for the last time as it hosts the No. 4 University of Illinois Fighting Illini for senior day on Sunday. The senior day festivities are set to get underway prior to the 5 p.m. start, and the event airs live on BTN.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes hit the road for a Big Ten clash with the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Five Buckeyes took event titles, but the team was narrowly defeated for the team win on the day as OSU fell by a score of 399.650-396.400.
Alec Yoder continued to prove why he’s the premier pommel horse competitor in the nation, taking his sixth title of the season on the pommel with a 14.550. Yoder wasn’t finished though, as he notched a 14.500 on the vault, tying co-captain Joey Bonanno for first place on the afternoon. Over on the rings Max Andryushchenko took his second title of the year with a 13.750. Alex Wilson brought the heat on the parallel bars, notching a 13.850, tied for first on the day. Last, but certainly not least, Jesse Tyndall took his first career win on the floor with a 13.950.
Honoring the Class of 2019
Before Sunday’s meet gets underway we’re set to honor the class of 2019, a class that’s combined to bring two Big Ten championships, an NCAA Runner-Up finish, and 10 All-American honors. This year’s class is comprised of Chris Coombs, Alex Wilson, Joey Bonanno and Alec Yoder.
Coombs, a Louisville, Kentucky native, helped the Buckeyes secure their second consecutive Big Ten championship in 2017, and his performance at the NCAA qualifier that year helped the Buckeyes take NCAA runner-up. As a junior he put up strong performances against Oklahoma, Stanford an Michigan before representing the Scarlet and Gray in both the Big Ten and NCAA Championships, and he helped the Buckeyes earn their highest score of the season this year against Penn State. Chris also earned OSU Scholar-Athlete status in 2016.
Wilson, a Sugar Land, Texas native, earned All-American status on the vault in 2016. Alex competed for the Buckeyes at the NCAA championships in 2015, 2016, and 2018, and helped the Buckeyes clinch the Big Ten championship in 2016. He took first on the vault against Stanford last season, and has claimed titles on both the parallel bars and vault this season. Wilson is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete.
Bonanno, a Fitchburg, Massachusetts native, earned All-American honors on the floor exercise in 2017. His strong performance on the floor in 2017 helped the Buckeyes secure their second straight Big Ten Championship and NCAA Runner-Up status. In the class room Joey has earned numerous honors, including three CGA First Team All-American Scholar-Athlete awards, two Academic All-Big Ten selections, three OSU Scholar-Athlete honors and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar status in 2018.
Yoder, an Indianapolis, Indiana native is an eight-time All-American, earning the distinction three times in the all-around, three times on the pommel horse and once on the parallel bars and rings each. The 2016 Big Ten Champion on the pommel, Alec is a two-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2016 and 2018, and Second Team All-Big Ten in 2017. The 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year helped the Buckeyes secure back-to-back Big Ten titles with his proficiency on the pommel. A finalist for the 2019 Nissen Emery award, Alec also earned OSU Scholar-Athlete status in 2016.
Ohio State enters the meet with the ninth-highest four score average in the nation with 402.250. The Buckeyes rank in the top 10 in multiple categories, including third place on the pommel horse (67.617) sixth place on the the parallel bars (67.150), seventh place on the rings (67.250) and vault (71.100) and 10th place on the floor (68.000).
Individually the Bucks are led by Alec Yoder and his 14.750 national qualifying average on the pommel which ranks third in the nation. Sean Neighbarger is no slouch himself as he holds the fourth-highest NQA on the vault with a 14.650.
Illinois holds the fourth-highest four score average in the country with 410.133. When it comes to specific events the Fighting Illini rank third on the floor (70.300), fourth in both the pommel (66.617) and the vault (71.567), and seventh in both the parallel bars (67.033) and high bar (66.383).
Scouting the Fighting Illini
The Fighting Illini enter the weekend ranked No. 4 in the nation and are coming off a strong performance last weekend against Michigan and Penn State. Nissen Emery finalist Alex Diab holds the top average in the country on the rings with a 14.867, and the fifth-highest average on the floor with a 14.500. Michael Paradise holds the second-highest average on the pommel with a 14.833, while Johnny Jacobson’s 80.050 all-around is good for seventh in the nation.