It's here! With USAG Nationals concluding last weekend, the long-awaited postseason is underway. Before we get to previewing the upcoming Big Ten, MPSF & ECAC Championships, let's first take a look at what happened last weekend in Colorado Springs:

Air Force, Arizona State Win USAG Team Titles

Air Force on the podium following their win at USAG Nationals (photo via GoAirForceFalcons.com)

Stop me if you've heard this before -- Air Force (varsity division) & Arizona State (club division) came away with team titles at USAG Nationals this past weekend.

The Falcons secured their ninth-straight championship with a 396.4 -- their highest score since Feb. 10. In a bit of a surprise, Jonah Urlaub led the way with a second-place 79.7 in the all-around. The only reason I use the word 'surprise' is because this was the junior's first time competing all six events this season, and just the fourth time over his entire career.

Jonah Urlaub picked a good time for his best meet of the season (photo via GoAirForceFalcons.com)

It was a similar story for Arizona State, who as a team compiled a 393.35, their second-best of the season. Freshman Kiwan Watts edged Urlaub in the all-around by just three tenths of a point, putting together an even 80. His teammate, Nikita Latman, finished in third place with a 76.35.

Here's how the rest of the team standings shook out:

  1. Air Force (Varsity): 396.4
  2. Arizona State (Club): 393.35
  3. William & Mary (Varsity): 388.75
  4. Navy (Varsity): 388.7
  5. Springfield (Varsity): 371.9
  6. Washington (Club): 370.7
  7. SC United (Club): 336.5
  8. Temple (Club): 154.75
  9. NorCal United (Club): 107.3

Winners of Saturday's event finals:

  • FX: Nick Garcia (AZ State)
  • PH: Fletcher Braunton (Air Force)
  • SR: Peter Makey (William & Mary)
  • VT: Kiwan Watts (AZ State)
  • PB: Tanner West (Navy)
  • HB: Lukas Texeira (Air Force)

For full results from Friday's team final check here. For Saturday's event finals click here.

B1G Championships (@Michigan)

2017 Team Champion: Ohio State Buckeyes (418.6)

2017 Individual Champions: Alex Wittenberg (FX), Brandon Ngai (PH), Alex Diab (SR), Anton Stephenson (VT), Johnny Jacobson (PB) and Jake Martin (HB)

Illinois Fighting Illini (2018 High/Avg: 412.5/405.622)

  • What's going for them: When the Illini take the floor in Ann Arbor it will have been just under three weeks since their last competition. The debate of "rest vs. rust" is talked about in every sport when heading into the postseason, but for Illinois the time off could stand to benefit them as they're dealing with some nicks and bruises.
  • What's going against them: Bobby Baker. The senior all-arounder and 2018 MVP candidate was fantastic all year despite battling wrist issues. Unfortunately, Baker suffered an ankle injury in warm-ups prior to their final regular season meet against Oklahoma. They've fast-tracked his rehab process and hope to get him in a couple of events this weekend, but he won't be 100%.
  • X-Factor: Chandler Eggleston. We haven't gotten to see much of Eggleston in 2018 (he's competed just eight total routines) but he's a big difference-maker for Illinois when healthy. He takes their HB lineup from good to great.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (5th), PH (6th), SR (4th), VT (3rd), PB (7th) & HB (1st)

Iowa Hawkeyes (2018 High/Avg: 411.05/401.0)

  • What's going for them: The Hawkeyes have been doing their best gymnastics of late. If you average each B1G team's last three competitions, only Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska have a scored at a higher clip than Iowa. Despite still ranking 7th overall, Iowa seems to be on the right trajectory to finish better than that.
  • What's going against them: Floor Exercise. Iowa's four-score average on FX is eight whole tenths lower than the next best team in the B1G. With FX being such a strength for many in the conference, Iowa will need to find a way to stay on their feet and avoid a rotation that puts them in a hole.
  • X-Factor: Nicholas Merryman. The Hawkeyes were working Merryman hard to start 2018; the sophomore competed all-around in each of the first four meets. Since that time he's largely been a three-event competitor and has just one score below a 13.15 over his last eight routines.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (7th), PH (4th), SR (6th), VT (6th), PB (6th) & HB (t5th)

Michigan Wolverines (2018 High/Avg: 417.7/406.721)

  • What's going for them: Improved Health. Though it was just one event (PB), having Anthony McCallum back in the lineup last weekend is a great sign for Michigan. If things go according to plan, he could be thrust into VT lineup for B1G's. Other than McCallum, the Wolverines aren't dealing with any other huge injuries, putting them in a good spot to succeed this weekend.
  • What's going against them: Past Results. If you're an advocate of looking at recent postseason results, B1G's haven't been kind to Michigan the last two years as they finished 7th in 2016 & 2017. If I'm a betting man, I would say that streak won't continue, but it's something to consider.
  • X-Factor: Anthony McCallum. It's pretty simple: if Michigan gets the 2x NCAA champion back on VT, or even some other events, it's going to be helpful.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (4th), PH (7th), SR (3rd), VT (4th), PB (4th) & HB (t5th)

Nebraska Cornhuskers (2018 High/Avg: 416.05/407.494)

  • What's going for them: Blowup Potential On FX & VT. In postseason meets, one team can grab ahold of momentum from a big event and never let go. Not many B1G teams have two events that can potentially go 71.5+; Nebraska does.
  • What's going against them: Capped Potential On SR & HB. Herein lies the problem for the Huskers; they just don't have the firepower on these two events. Being clean and going 5/5 on both would help, but I'm not sure their difficulty is high enough to make up for any type of hiccup on their stronger events.
  • X-Factor: Griffin Kehler. Kehler was a highly-rated recruit coming out of high school, but I'm not sure many thought he'd have as large of an impact as he has. Based on RoadToNationals data, Kehler has been the second-most important gymnast for the Huskers behind Kyle King.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (1st), PH (1st), SR (7th), VT (1st), PB (5th) & HB (7th)

Ohio State Buckeyes (2018 High/Avg: 414.9/407.229)

  • What's going for them: Experience. 55% of Ohio State's roster has been a part of multiple B1G title-winning teams. Don't underestimate the power of experience once the pressure's on. The majority of this team knows what it takes to win a championship, and that's important.
  • What's going against them: Depth. This is something I've preached all year when talking about Ohio State. Alec Yoder & Sean Melton are studs, and more than likely are going to get the job done, but what will the leadoff scores look like though? The Buckeyes' chance to repeat may very well come down to the first two gymnasts up on each event.
  • X-Factor: Seth Delbridge. I'm pretty sure I put Delbridge as the x-factor last year, and he made a big difference, posting the team's second-best score on VT. Will he be able to compete that event this weekend? I'm sure the Buckeyes hope so as Melton & Sean Neighbarger are the only two who have scored above a 14.3 this year.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (6th), PH (2nd), SR (1st), VT (7th), PB (1st) & HB (2nd)

Penn State Nittany Lions (High/Avg: 417.4/405.339)

  • What's going for them: Balance. No, not literal balance. I'm talking about not having a glaring weakness. Penn State is one of two teams (the other being Minnesota) to not be ranked outside the top-five in the B1G on any event.
  • What's going against them: Last year's third-highest scoring gymnast for Penn State, Favian Valdez, will not be returning for the postseason. It's unfortunate as he can be a contributor on all six events when he's healthy.
  • X-Factor: Sam Zakutney. Zakutney hasn't competed all-around since Jan. 27 but there's a chance he could make it back on everything in Ann Arbor. He'll definitely be vying for a B1G PB title.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (3rd), PH (5th), SR (2nd), VT (5th), PB (3rd) & HB (3rd)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (High/Avg: 419.1/405.55)

  • What's going for them: Depth. This is their strength for multiple reasons. First, it's allowed Mike Burns to give guys rest days throughout the year which pays off at a time like this. Second, it takes pressure off of big guys like Shane Wiskus & Tristan Duran. They don't have to do it all themselves.
  • What's going against them: Still Rings. It's been mentioned before that SR is not a strength of the Gophers. Considering the consistency of the event, I guess it's a good one to have as a weakness. Still, only one Gopher (Yaroslav Pochinka) has been able to crack the 14-mark in 2018. Good news for the Gophers is they are coming off their season-high, a 68.9.
  • X-Factor: Shaun Herzog. From an outsiders' perspective, it seems like whenever Herzog is doing well, the whole team is doing well. He's an important piece on four events.
  • Team Rankings Within B1G: FX (2nd), PH (3rd), SR (5th), VT (2nd), PB (2nd) & HB (4th)


Team Champion: Minnesota

AA: Shane Wiskus, MINN

FX: Emyre Cole, MICH

PH: Brandon Ngai, ILL

SR: Sean Melton, OSU

VT: Yaroslav Pochinka, MINN

PB: Sam Zakutney, PSU

HB: Tyson Bull, ILL

MPSF Championships (@Air Force)

2017 Team Champion: Oklahoma Sooners (432.2)

2017 Individual Champions: Yul Moldauer (FX, SR & PB), Tim Wang (PH), Matt Wenske (VT) & Levi Anderson (HB)

Air Force Falcons (2018 High/Avg: 403.85/394.489)

  • What's going for them: Momentum. Not that Air Force is a stranger to winning USAG Nationals, but a W and a near-400 score doesn't hurt. The other good news is they even have room to improve on their best event (PH) after scoring a 64.4 last weekend.
  • What's going against them: They're missing a guy like Tim Wang. For the last four years Tim Wang was the all-around stud that Air Force could rely on to help keep up with stronger teams. Of the varsity teams, only Oklahoma, Michigan & UIC have MVP's (according to RoadToNationals.com) with less total points than the Falcons.
  • X-Factor: Lukas Texeira. Texeira is one of the best in the NCAA at one of Air Force's weakest events, HB. He's also been a consistent contributor on SR & VT.
  • Team Rankings Within MPSF: FX (4th), PH (2nd), SR (3rd), VT (3rd), PB (3rd) & HB (4th)

California Golden Bears (2018 High/Avg: 398.95/392.886)

  • What's going for them: Yordan Aleksandrov & Aaron Mah. These two have been the team's backbone all year and that won't change in the postseason. They combine for four top-15 NCAA rankings at the moment, including Mah checking in at No. 5 in the all-around.
  • What's going against them: Inconsistency. Here's the last four meets for Cal: 384.65, 397.25, 388.55 & 398.95. Which Cal team will show up at MPSF's?
  • X-Factor: Michael Rauchwerger. Rauchwerger is a senior for Cal who has flown a bit under the radar during his career. He's capable of posting good numbers on FX, VT & HB.
  • Team Rankings Within MPSF: FX (3rd), PH (4th), SR (4th), VT (4th), PB (4th) & HB (3rd)

Oklahoma Sooners (2018 High/Avg: 429.55/416.3)

  • What's going for them: Yul Moldauer. We'll keep it simple here. The Sooners have Moldauer, one of the best all-arounders in the world. Anytime that he's out on the floor competing 3+ events, Oklahoma is going to have a great chance to win.
  • What's going against them: Injuries. OU has not gone through 2018 unscathed. They lost Peter Daggett prior to the season, 2017 MPSF VT champion Matt Wenske mid-season and have dealt with other lingering issues along the way.
  • X-Factor: Gage Dyer. Dyer has proved himself as one of the best freshman across the NCAA. He's a big piece on the Sooners' weakest event, FX, and can contribute big scores on other events too.
  • Team Rankings Within MPSF: FX (2nd), PH (1st), SR (1st), VT (1st), PB (1st) & HB (1st)

Stanford Cardinal (2018 High/Avg: 414.1/406.807)

  • What's going for them: Robert Neff. Neff gives Stanford a chance. He's competed all-around seven times this season and not once has he scored below an 81. Catch him on a day where he goes 84 and the Cardinal might have a shot at OU.
  • What's going against them: Pommel horse. Stanford & Cal are the only MPSF teams who have failed to eclipse the 68-mark on PH this season. Neff, David Jessen and Joey Ringer are the only Cardinal athletes to score a 13.6+.
  • X-Factor: Grant Breckenridge. Stanford really missed Breckenridge's presence during the 2017 postseason. As one of the cleanest gymnasts in the NCAA, he can form a formidable 1-2 punch with Neff.
  • Team Rankings Within MPSF: FX (1st), PH (3rd), SR (2nd), VT (2nd), PB (2nd) & HB (2nd)


Team Champions: Oklahoma

AA: Yul Moldauer, OU

FX: Moldauer, OU

PH: Moldauer, OU

SR: Moldauer, OU

VT: Tanner Justus, OU

PB: Moldauer, OU

HB: Robert Neff, STAN

ECAC Championships (@Navy)

2017 Team Champion: William & Mary Tribe (404.7)

2017 Individual Champions: Jonny Tang (FX), Jacopo Gliozzi (PH), Peter Makey (SR), Neal Courter (VT), Tanner West (PB) & Leo Genders (HB)

Army Black Knights (2018 High/Avg: 399.55/389.506)

  • What's going for them: They've been better on the road than at home. Weirdly enough, getting away from home might be a good thing for Army. On the season, they're averaging 4.8 points more on the road than at West Point.
  • What's going against them: Navy has their number. Army came ohhh so close to taking out Navy at the All-Academy Championships, falling short by just .65. The Black Knights will hope to defeat their arch-rival for the first time since Feb. 4, 2017.
  • X-Factor: Seth Cannon. It's been an up-and-down year for the senior but when he's good, he's a big part of Army's success. He's competed anywhere from two events to all six in 2018, topping out at a 78.9 in the all-around.
  • Team Rankings Within ECAC: FX (3rd), PH (2nd), SR (3rd), VT (2nd), PB (3rd) & HB (2nd)

Navy Midshipmen (2018 High/Avg: 402.9/394.923)

  • What's going for them: Motivation From USAG's. I think it's safe to assume that Navy was disappointed by their fourth-place finish at USAG Nationals. Prior to last weekend, the Mids hadn't lost to a single conference opponent in 2018. With this meet being at home, there will be no lack of motivation.
  • What's going against them: Parallel bars. Last season, PB was the event Navy would count on as a consistently high score. This year, not so much. They've only scored above a 67 one time after doing it five times in the regular season last year.
  • X-Factor: David Toussaint. What an impressive freshman year Toussaint has had. He ranks top-five in the conference on both FX & PH and will be the favorite to win the latter.
  • Team Rankings Within ECAC: FX (2nd), PH (1st), SR (2nd), VT (1st), PB (2nd) & HB (1st)

Springfield Pride (2018 High/Avg: 391.05/381.75)

  • What's going for them: Three Experienced All-Arounders. Joshua Dieker, Chris Graff (both seniors) & Stephen Lewis (MVP candidate) have been Springfield's reason for success all year. USAG Nationals was a tough meet for all three, which explains why it wasn't a great meet for the Pride. If they're on, the Pride could have a chance at their first top-three finish at ECAC's since 2012.
  • What's going against them: Pommel Horse Consistency. Springfield hit their stride on PH in meets two through five, scoring between a 61.85 and 62.55 each time out. In the four meets since that stretch they've averaged a 57.1. They'll need to get back to their old ways in order to stay with the rest of the field.
  • X-Factor: Jannik Haas. Haas, a junior, is Springfield's top-ranked competitor on both PB & HB. He's been a rock on both, having scored under a 12.45 just one time in twenty-one routines this season.
  • Team Rankings Within ECAC: FX (4th), PH (4th), SR (4th), VT (4th), PB (1st) & HB (4th)

UIC Flames (2018 High/Avg: 372.25/363.6)

  • What's going for them: Better On The Road. UIC has enjoyed competing on the road much more than home in 2018. As they travel to the Naval Academy they can take solace in the fact that they've scored, on average, 7.5 points higher away from Chicago.
  • What's going against them: Missing Top Competitor From 2017. Lost amongst things this season for UIC is the fact that they've been missing Basil Szechinski, their third-highest scorer in 2017.
  • X-Factor: Colin Schwartz. Schwartz has been the Flames' top competitor this season on PH and is coming off a career high 13.65 on the event.
  • Team Rankings Within ECAC: FX (5th), PH (5th), SR (5th), VT (5th), PB (5th) & HB (5th)

William & Mary Tribe (2018 High/Avg: 398.85/387.583)

  • What's going for them: Momentum. Here's what William & Mary can carry into ECAC's: they just beat the conference front-runner (Navy) last weekend. Sure, it was only by a half tenth, but a win's a win. They've now proven they have what it takes.
  • What's going against them: It's Not Easy To Repeat. Winners in 2017, the Tribe will have the pressure of being looked at as the defending champions. Of the three conferences, the ECAC has seen the longest drought of not having a repeat champion. The last team to do it was Temple who went back-to-back in 2012 & 2013.
  • X-Factor: Pommel Horse Team. In 2018, the Tribe have scored anywhere from a 59.05 to a 66.25 on PH. What happens on this event might ultimately decide their fate.
  • Team Rankings Within ECAC: FX (1st), PH (3rd), SR (1st), VT (3rd), PB (4th) & HB (3rd)


Team: Navy

AA: Cole Casanova, Army

FX: Frank Bradley, Navy

PH: David Toussaint, Navy

SR: Jeremiah McReynolds, W&M

VT: Tanner West, Navy

PB: Jannik Haas, Springfield

HB: Nathan Goff, Army

Created By
Logan Bradley


Cover Photo: Jess Frankl

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