#NCAAMGym Week 10 Recap The Postseason Push Is On

Sooners' Win Streak Continues On Senior Night

Thao Hoang won SR with a 15.05

It's scary to think that we've still yet to see Oklahoma with a full lineup in 2017. Regardless, the team owns eight of the top nine team scores in the NCAA this season. One of those eight was recorded Saturday night against a short-handed Illinois team. The Sooners won, 433.7-417.05.

The Sooners competed without Allan Bower who was competing at the World Cup in Stuttgart. They still had no trouble compiling an impressive score on the backs of guys like Colin Van Wicklen, Matt Wenske and Peter Daggett.

Daggett seems to be breaking out at the right time after his 14.8 on SR and event-winning 15.1 on PB. Fellow underclassman Wenske seems to be feeling good following his minor knee surgery given the fact that he stuck the hardest VT being done in the NCAA.

Saturday night marked the fourth-consecutive perfect regular season for OU.

The Illini kept up a high hit percentage but still weren't able to keep up with the Sooners due to many lingering ailments. One group that's certainly doing their job for the Illini are their freshmen. Michael Paradise (PH - 14.6), Jacob Light (VT - 14.65) and Sebastian Quiana (FX - 14.85) all competed on just one event, but performed at an elite level. "When you've got freshmen in the back of lineups, that's impressive," head coach Justin Spring said.

Joey Peters, Chandler Eggleston, Bobby Baker and Matt Foster are all fighting their way back from various injuries in hopes of competing more events in postseason. Eggleston could be back in the FX lineup as early as this coming weekend and Peters should see more than the one event he competed on Saturday. As for Baker and Foster, their recoveries could take until B1G Championships after both had cortisone injections.

You can find highlights of the Illini's performance on Saturday here.

The Illini will get one more duel meet this weekend against Ohio State before taking on B1G's.

Gophers win on senior night

Liebler Being Back provides a big Boost to Gophers

Last week Minnesota dealt with the reality that multiple falls in a routine can kill you in a five-up/five-count format. This week they avoided big mistakes which paved the way to a 413.5-372.7 win over UIC.

For the most part the story was much of the same for the Gophers: Vitali Kan and Justin Karstadt provided multiple valuable routines and many others chipped in along the way. Zach Liebler scoring a season-best 14.8 to win FX had to be a welcome sight for head coach Mike Burns as well.

Tristan Duran, who has dealt with some nagging injuries this year, was only able to compete on PH. Having Duran back competing AA would be huge for Minnesota down the stretch. At last year's B1G Championships, he placed 3rd AA which proves he's among the best when healthy.

UIC was led on two events (VT & HB) by freshman Basil Szechinski. Szechinski is one of the many young Flames that head coach Charley Nelson is hoping to build the future of the program around. This year is proving to be difficult due to the lack of experience, but they will be better off in the long run.

Penn State Survives against Michigan

Leroy Clarke Jr. Was named NCAA Gymnast of the Week following an impressive four-event performance

Make that three consecutive meets of 409 for the Nittany Lions following their 409.2-405.3 victory over Michigan. Head coach Randy Jepson commented that he wasn't happy with how the meet started, but was proud of the finish. "We gave away a lot on pommel horse, we just had some problems there."

The Nittany Lions have been fighting through a lot of injuries, the biggest one being Michael Burns who suffered a torn achilles in late-February. Burns had been on a tear and was competing five events for PSU. Jepson expressed the typical frustration that comes with dealing with injuries, but still recognizes that they have to move forward.

"The exciting thing for me is it doesn't matter who you have or who you don't have. The job still needs to be done." - Randy Jepson

Two guys who really stepped up on Saturday were Leroy Clarke Jr. (B1G Gymnast of the Week) and Alex Thomason. Clarke Jr. also took home his first career NCAA Gymnast of the Week honor after placing top-three on all four of his events including victories on PH (14.25) and HB (14.3). Clarke Jr., a RS-senior who has had an outstanding career will be needed even more with all the injuries the Nittany Lions have sustained.

Thomason competed on three events (VT, PB, HB) and hit three solid routines. "Alex Thomason didn't make our team last year," said Jepson. "He made it this year and got in three events and rocked them. We're really proud of the kid."

When you suffer injuries, guys need to step up. It's simple as that. Thomason is a great example of somebody taking advantage of an opportunity and performing above expectations.

Another gymnast for PSU who had a great day was freshman Sam Zakutney (B1G Freshman of the Week) who scored an 82.1 to win the AA.

It really has been impressive what Michigan has done without their star, Dmitri Belanovski. Some of their younger team members have picked up the slack and Emyre Cole & Anthony McCallum continue to produce.

Cole grabbed another VT title (14.9) while McCallum shared the PB title (14.2) with PSU's Zakutney.

Iowa continues to improve; wins on senior night

Cory Paterson Won HB with a 14.4

It was a happy senior night in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were able to continue a great second half of their 2017 campaign by defeating Nebraska, 408.3-400.0.

PH has gone from an absolute weakness to arguably the strength of this team in the span of about a month. They recorded five hit routines and the event was capped off by an event winning 14.5 from Austin Hodges. Not only was Hodges great on PH, he also contributed scores of 13.4 on PB and 13.9 on HB.

Another story for the Hawkeyes is the emergence of freshman Andrew Herrador. Herrador has really come on as of late on three events: FX, VT and HB. Monday night he put up season-highs on two of those, FX (13.95) and VT (14.4).

It certainly wasn't the night that Nebraska was hoping for. SR is an event the Huskers will need to be much better on if they want to continue showing they're in the hunt for the B1G title.

There was a scary moment on FX where Kyle King landed short on his dismount, but it sounds as if he just shocked his ankles a bit. Chmelka elected to keep him out of the rest of his events.

Nebraska has one more B1G duel meet against Minnesota before the B1G Championships in Champaign.

Air Force Downs Navy

Tim Wang won AA, FX, PH and SR titles.

On Friday night, Air Force took down a Tang/West-less Navy Midshipmen, 407.35-382.9.

For the Falcons, it was their second-highest score of the year. Tim Wang (MPSF Gymnast of the Week) did his thing in the AA with an 83.1 and also won titles on FX, PH and SR. Jonathon Fornoff continued to have a great year on PB as he won the event with a 14.3. Fornoff ranks t9th in the NCAA -- he's the only Falcon besides Wang ranked top-10 individually on an event.

Also coming up with a nice day was senior Chase Cannon. Cannon won his signature event, HB (14.3) but also had nice showings on VT (14.0) and PH (13.35).

It was a tough day for Navy, but it's hard to take too much stock into the result as neither Jonny Tang nor Tanner West competed. The Mids did head home with one title: Frank Bradley (ECAC Rookie of the Week) on VT (14.35).

Both teams will see each other again this weekend at the USAG Collegiate Championships in Washington.

Tribe Back to winning ways; Takes down Army & Temple

Aria Sabbagh won the AA with a 78.2

As postseason looms, William & Mary's score continues to increase. This week they set a new season-high (401.6) as they took down Army (393.55) and Temple (375.7).

It was a big win for the Tribe considering the fact that it was senior night and a banquet was held to honor recently-retired head coach Cliff Gauthier. "Beyond the competition there was a lot going on," said interim head coach, Mike Powell. "The guys did a really good job dealing with all of that and focusing on their gymnastics and doing their job at the meet even when there's a lot of distraction going on."

Tribe seniors from L-R: Rob Meyer, Neal Courter, Mat Turnansky, Nick Van Dyke and Aria Sabbagh

A pair of seniors, Rob Meyer (ECAC Gymnast of the Week) and Aria Sabbagh, picked up titles for the Tribe. Meyer won SR (13.9) to go along with good performances on PH (13.3) and PB (13.8). Sabbagh won the AA with a 78.2, his second-best score of the year.

Another gymnast who had a nice day for the Tribe was Griffin Antle (ECAC Specialist of the Week) who won PB (13.9) and was solid on PH (13.2).

Heading into postseason, Powell knows his Tribe squad is right in contention to win meets like USAG Championships and ECAC's. "The field is really strong and really tight," described Powell. "It's going to depend on who hits on which days. That makes it really fun and really exciting."

Even though Army couldn't take down W&M, they have to like where they're at as a team as well. For the third straight meet, the Black Knights exceeded 391. The event where Army really fell behind in this one was PH, which has generally been a strength for them this year. Their score of 63.0 was their second-lowest of 2017. Nobody needs reminding, but that's the event every team must hit if they want to win in the postseason.

Leo Genders took home VT & HB titles

For Temple it was AA workhorse Casey Polizzotto who led the way with a 75.55, his second-best score of the year. His 13.4 on PB marked a season-best for him.

Created By
Logan Bradley


Photo credits: Jess Frankl

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