April 22, 2017

Ohio State Registers Highest Finish at NCAAs Since 2005


April 22, 2017


West Point, N.Y. – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics used a season-best score of 423.700 to earn a second place finish at the NCAA Championships on Saturday night at the Christl Arena. The second place finish is the highest for Ohio State since it placed second in 2005.

“This week has been a bit of a roller coaster with the all that we’ve dealt with {the loss of former teammate Larry Mayer}, but our guys took each day in stride and stuck together,” head coach Rustam Sharipov said. “The tragedy made us come together even closer as a team, and this whole weekend was dedicated to Larry.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how our seniors led us on this journey. They showed tremendous leadership all season long, and for them to go out like this is very special. We went out there this evening and put it all on the line, gave it the best shot we had, and for that, I’m proud of our guys.”

For the third straight year, Oklahoma came away with the team title with a score of 431.950. Illinois (422.100) finished third, Stanford placed fourth (421.500) and Minnesota (414.200) and Nebraska (412.900) rounded out the competition.

Five Buckeyes earned All-America honors on the evening, led by Sean Melton who earned the award on three different events. Melton bested his all-around performance from two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships by more than a point and placed fourth with a score of 86.400. Melton missed out on national titles in the rings and high bar by the smallest of margins. On the rings, Melton used a routine of 14.900 to earn silver, and he finished in a tie for third on the high bar with a score of 14.500.

Alec Yoder completed his first all-around performance of his sophomore campaign at the biggest meet of the season and came up clutch. Yoder finished sixth in the all-around with a season-best readout of 84.950. Yoder’s best finish of the evening came on his bread and butter event, the pommel horse. Yoder performed some acrobatic skills to score a 14.800, which earned him a tie for fourth. 

Jake Dastrup and David Szarvas joined Yoder as pommel horse All-Americans. Dastrup scored a readout of 14.550 to finish tied for seventh, and Szarvas worked his way into a tie for eighth with a career-best tally of 14.500. Joey Bonanno made the most of his first trip to the NCAA Championships with the two best floor routines of his life. In the qualifying session, Bonanno scored a 14.350 and he followed that up this evening with a career-high of 14.400 to finish in a three-way tie for sixth.

The backbone of the team all year long has been the reliability of fifth-year senior Jake Martin. The senior placed ninth in the all-around with a score of 84.050. Martin completed the all-around six times this season, a feat in and of itself. Martin had his highest finish on an event on the high bar (11th), his go-to event, with a score of 14.250. Fellow senior Andrew Rickly closed out his career with a tie for 13th on the high bar with a score of 14.150.