#NCAAMGym Week 4 Recap OU Undisputed No. 1, Michigan Upsets Ohio State

If there was any debate as to who the best in the country is, the Sooners put that to rest Saturday night inside of McCasland Field House. While this weekend taught us not to doubt a Sooner team with a healthy Yul Moldauer, it also brought us the first set of meets where it felt like the judging was sort of all over the place. Alas, that's the frustrating nature of our sport. We never truly know how one team stacks up against another until they go head-to-head on the same competition floor.

(photo: @NCAA on Twitter)

Now to all of the week four action...

Sooners Assert Dominance, Defeat Stanford & Nebraska At Home

Yul Moldauer Saturday night on pommel horse (photo via @wellsgymn on Twitter)

The night before one sports dynasty ended (calm down, Patriots fans, it's a joke...but maybe not...), one proved that it's still going strong. Oklahoma (418.0) defeated Stanford (410.5) and Nebraska (403.8) Saturday evening in a meet that really looked and felt personal to the Sooners.

"I feel like the guys kind of got tired of hearing about everybody else and how good they were and we just wanted to put out a lineup and see where we were," explained Mark Williams.

Now we know where they are, sitting as the best team in the country. Not only was the 418.0 the top score in the NCAA, so was their 69.7 on pommel horse. "We finally got our pommel horse team going a little better," said Williams. "Brian Schibler did a really nice, beautiful swing routine. Not a super athletic guy, he just does pommel horse, but that was key."

Brian Schibler (via West News Magazine)

The Sooners finished with three of the top-four competitors on the event with Yul Moldauer (NCAA/MPSF Gymnast of the Week) leading his team with a 14.3.

I don't think this would be much of a recap without talking a little more about what Moldauer was able to do. He absolutely smashed the previous NCAA all-around high score with his 87.15.

Moldauer at NCAA's in 2017 (photo: Jess Frankl)

"It's going to be determined the rest of his career what level of success he fits in with some of the other greats that have been here," said Williams when asked if Moldauer was the best he's ever coached. "Certainly, from an NCAA-standpoint, he's doing everything he can to help this team be successful, and Saturday night, he had one of his better gymnastics nights."

Along with winning the all-around, Moldauer was No. 1 on FX, SR and PB. His teammate, Levi Anderson, also competed all six events and wound up with an 82.2.

If there was one complaint that Williams had it was the performance by his team on high bar. "I was a little disappointed that by the end we petered out on high bar and gave quite a few things away there. I think the guys kind of felt like we already had it in hand and they didn't quite have the killer instinct there."

On another note for the Sooners, as was mentioned during the meet's broadcast, sophomore Matt Wenske is going to be out for the remainder of the year after tearing his lat in practice. A mainstay on floor and vault, Wenske's loss will certainly test the depth of Oklahoma. Look for somebody like freshman Gage Dyer to continue stepping up and take on an even bigger role.

A second-straight meet of 410+ for Stanford is certainly something for Stanford to be proud of. Robert Neff did his absolute best to put a charge in his team by securing a season-best 83.45 all-around score.

Robert Neff (photo: Jess Frankl)

The Cardinal actually won the meet on high bar with Neff winning the title (14.55) and Grant Breckenridge taking third. Stanford has done more than enough to cement themselves as one of the top-three teams in the land.

Winners of both floor and vault (the latter of which they set the NCAA-high with a huge 73.2), Nebraska just didn't have enough on SR, PB and HB to stay with OU & Stanford.

They were able to grab a pair of individual titles with Antonio Castro's 14.6 on PH and Kyle King's stuck handspring-double front on VT.

Gophers Vault To Season-High In Colorado

Tristan Duran (photo: Jess Frankl)

As the whole world turned their eyes to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, the Gophers' men's team headed out to Colorado and defeated Air Force, 413.25-400.45, without the services of Joel Gagnon.

This was Minnesota's highest score of the year by nearly eight points, and it's in complete thanks to their vault lineup. A team that churns out 2.5 twisting vaults like it's nothing, the Gophers held onto the NCAA's top-score (73.0) on the event until Nebraska competed later in the evening. The top-four places on the event belonged to Minnesota with Yaroslav Pochinka winning the title, followed by Alex Wittenberg, Vitali Kan and Shane Wiskus.

On a day where nobody did all-around, Tristan Duran stepped up to the plate with a five-event average of 13.81. That included an event-winning 14.4 on high bar.

Other Gopher titles came from Luke Aldrich (FX), Justin Karstadt (PH) and Wiskus (PB).

Justin Karstadt (photo: Jess Frankl)

Air Force used Saturday to sneak into the 400's for the first time in 2018. They did so thanks to great days from Christian Kalustian (13.41 four-event average) and Lukas Texeira (13.7 three-event average). Fletcher Braunton captured the Falcons lone title with a 14.35 on SR.

Michigan Upsets OSU In Cliff Keen Arena

(photo: Jess Frankl)

For the first time since NCAA Championship prelims in 2015, the Michigan Wolverines (411.85) have taken down the Ohio State Buckeyes (410.65).

Jake Moore (NCAA/B1G Freshman of the Week) is starting to break out as he stepped up and led the way on Saturday afternoon. Moore recorded four scores of 13.85+, but it was his floor that really stood out. The 14.95 is the highest score recorded on the event so far this season.

The other individual title for the Wolverines came from Emyre Cole on VT who made his season debut.

It looks like Dmitri Belanovski is back in business as well, the senior secured season-highs on three events, including SR, PB and HB.

Dmitri Belanovski (left) at NCAA's (photo: Jess Frankl)

A bit of bad news did come from Saturday for Michigan as national champion Anthony McCallum looked to land awkwardly on floor and had to be helped off. He was later seen walking under his own power, though with a boot.

For the Buckeyes, an NCAA-best 71.75 on rings wasn't enough to overcome season-low scores on VT and HB.

Alec Yoder's (B1G Gymnast of the Week) impressive 83.6 stood as the best in the country until late Saturday night. Along with winning all-around, Yoder was No. 1 on PB and HB as well. You can check out full highlights of his day here.

(via @bigten on Twitter)

Outside of Yoder, it was the usual suspects stepping up for the Buckeyes. Max Andryushchenko and Sean Neighbarger, both freshmen, contributed a handful of solid routines while Sean Melton won titles on PH and SR.

It's been a rocky start to the season for OSU, but it'd be wrong to dismiss them at this point.

Illini Top Iowa In B1G Dual

Sebastian Quiana on FX at Windy City (photo: Jess Frankl)

Despite resting Bobby Baker, the Illini (404.7) were still able to hold off Iowa (401.85) in a closer-than-expected meet. Illinois didn't have a ton of standout performances; however the best day probably came from sophomore Sebastian Quiana.

As a freshman, Quiana competed almost primarily on floor, though this season we've seen him step up for the Illini on multiple other events. Along with winning FX, Quiana finished top-five on his three other events, those being VT, PB and HB.

"It was not a great score, but that's to be expected with a 65-percent hit ratio," said Justin Spring to fightingillini.com. "We will continue to prepare our healthy guys as we push toward a full lineup in early March, where I think we can put up some of the best gymnastics when it matters most."

Other winners were Brandon Ngai (PH), Alex Diab (SR) and Tyson Bull (HB).

Iowa huddles at Windy City (photo: Jess Frankl)

Winners of three events as a team (SR, VT & PB), Iowa squeezed into the 400's in their first home meet of 2018. Bennet Huang continues building on a solid freshman campaign another improvement in AA score (79.45) -- it's the third weekend in a row he's done that. That score was good enough to top his teammate, Nick Merryman (77.3), for first.

Seniors Austin Hodges (PB) and Dylan Ellsworth (VT) were the other two Hawkeyes to come out Saturday as event winners. Check out full highlights of Iowa's day here.

Navy Becomes First ECAC Team To Reach 400-Mark, Defeats Rival Army

(photo: navysports.com)

Coming into this season, Kip Simons outlined the No. 1 goal for his Navy team: beat Army. After Saturday's 402.9-391.7 win, they're 2-0 on the season against the Black Knights.

"This victory over Army is everything," Simons told navysports.com. "Today almost went completely by the script. I told the guys all along that we weren’t going to be perfect, but we were definitely good enough today. They leaned on each other and if there was a mistake along the way the next guy stepped up and stopped the bleeding; even if the next guy up was a plebe in his first Star Meet. That’s a tough spot to be in. They all collectively worked together and got the job done."

Altogether, Navy collected three team-high scores on PH, SR and HB. Individual highlight performances came from Frank Bradley who placed top-five on all three of his events including a title on vault with a 14.3. Freshman Ryan McVay (ECAC Rookie of the Week) upped his all-around score this weekend, posting a 78.3 which moved him up to No. 14 in the NCAA.

Other individual titles for the Mids came from David Toussaint (PH), McVay (SR), Tanner West (PB) and Noah Beeman (HB).

Army hung tough with their rivals on three events, but just couldn't keep up on PH, SR or HB. Individually, the lone title came from Elliott Herman on FX with a 13.95. Nathan Goff was barely edged out on high bar (13.75) by half of a tenth.

Tribe Drops Springfield As Both Teams Grab Season-High Scores

Jacopo Gliozzi (photo: Jess Frankl)

Not to be outdone by the Super Bowl, William & Mary (398.2) went to Springfield (391.05) and took down the Pride. Along with both teams securing new high scores, they combined for seven new season-high event scores (W&M: 3, Springfield: 4) as well.

It was a consistent day for the Tribe all around as they only failed to produce a 66+ on one event, high bar. Their 66.25 on pommel horse represented a gigantic leap forward as they had yet to record a 61+ prior to this weekend. W&M went home with the top-four scores on that event with Griffin Antle (13.8) leading the way.

Griffin Antle put up season-best scores on PH & PB Sunday (photo: Tribe Athletics)

Two other highlight performers for W&M were Jeremiah McReynolds and Jack Hasenkopf. McReynolds took home another rings title (14.2) and also contributed a 13.5 & 13.2 on parallel bars and high bar, respectively.

For the second week in a row, Hasenkopf has increased his top all-around score by (almost) two-and-a-half points. After losing some all-arounders from last year's team, Hasenkopf is an important player for the Tribe.

David Watkins who finished runner-up on rings with a 14.0 was named ECAC Specialist of the Week.

Other William & Mary titles came from Tomas Palma (FX) and David Allen (HB).

On a day where their team broke into the 390's for the first time in 2018, Springfield had three all-arounders score 77.5+. Stephen Lewis (79.1 - ECAC Gymnast of the Week), Joshua Dieker (77.85) and Chris Graff (77.5) finished 1-2-3. All three sit within the top-26 all-arounders in the NCAA at the moment.

(photo: Jess Frankl)

Lewis also won the vault title while Jannik Haas continues having success on parallel bars with his fifth-straight score of 13.2+; his 13.85 put him atop the podium.

Created By
Logan Bradley


Photos otherwise noted are from Jess Frankl

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