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#NCAAMGym Week 11 Recap Just One Regular Season Meet Remains On The 2018 Slate

Week eleven acted as a proverbial grand finale to what can only be described as an all-over-the-place regular season. We had Oklahoma and Ohio State going down to the wire, Penn State winning in Ann Arbor for the first time in years, a shootout in Lincoln and Cal-Berkeley standing out with a season-high score. A perfect ending to eleven weeks worth of unpredictability.

(graphic via @RoadToNationals on Twitter)

Minnesota Wins High-Scoring Affair In Lincoln

Joel Gagnon (photo: Jess Frankl)

"You get a high score! You get a high score! Everybody gets a season-high score!"

That's what the judges were saying on Saturday afternoon during a tri-meet which saw all three teams cruise to their highest team totals of the year. Minnesota (419.1) got the win taking down Nebraska (416.05) and Iowa (411.05).

Now, let's not get this confused: all three teams were definitely clicking and have reason to be extremely excited by their performance. If they have the same type of meet in the postseason will they be scoring as high as they did this weekend? No.

Regardless, try to tell me that the Gophers aren't a favorite for the B1G Championship being held in Ann Arbor in two weeks. I talked earlier in the year about Minnesota possessing multiple high-caliber all-arounders, and two of them showed up Saturday.

Tristan Duran (B1G/NCAA Gymnast of the Week) won the crown with an 84.15 while his teammate, Shane Wiskus (B1G/NCAA Rookie of the Week), followed suit with an 83.05.

Duran (left) & Wiskus (right) shared the spotlight (photos: Jess Frankl)

On a highly-competitive day, the two combined for "just" three titles. Wiskus put on a show on FX, securing the first 15 of the season and barely edged out Duran for the title on PB.

Another Gopher coming on late in the season is senior Yaroslav Pochinka. His signature handspring double-front is clicking as he earned another title there to go along with a second on SR.

I have a feeling Minnesota is ready for the postseason to start.

Nebraska was no slouch either, coming within three points of beating the Gophers. I mentioned the Huskers' recipe to success is nailing FX & VT, then eliminating mistakes on other events; they did just that. They even came a half-tenth shy of breaking the 70-mark on PH where Antonio Castro tied Iowa's Austin Hodges for the title.

Antonio Castro sits No. 4 nationally on PH (photo via Huskers.com)

It was a productive day as usual for Anton Stephenson. The junior put together a 14.33 five-event average.

Nothing like scoring a 411 and barely getting talked about, right, Iowa? Take FX out of the picture and the Hawkeyes were neck-and-neck with their two B1G rivals.

Two crucial pieces to the puzzle were the previously mentioned Hodges (who won PH & HB) and freshman Bennet Huang. Huang came within one little tenth of matching fellow first-year competitor, Wiskus, in the all-around.

Had it not been for some magic from Minnesota's Pochinka, Dylan Ellsworth would've earned yet another VT title with a 14.95. Those two sit 2 & 3, respectively, in the NCAA VT rankings.

Sooners Earn Comeback Victory Over Ohio State

Levi Anderson did it all for OU, winning all-around with an 83.7 (photo via Sooner Sports)

There was no Yul Moldauer or Alec Yoder, but the matchup between Oklahoma & Ohio State did not disappoint. After dealing with struggles on their opening event, PH (65.05), the Sooners rallied to get a road win over the Buckeyes by a score of 413.65-412.7.

Undoubtedly, the MVP of the day was junior Levi Anderson (MPSF Gymnast of the Week) who did his best Moldauer impression with an 83.7 all-around score. He was a large part of the late charge by OU as he placed top-three on both PB & HB.

"It was about doing what I can to secure the best possible score for the team," Anderson said to SoonerSports.com. "When we came to the end, I just knew I did everything I could have done to contribute to our team score."

(graphic via @OU_MGymnastics on Twitter)

Title winners included Tanner Justus (FX), Reese Rickett (SR) and Genki Suzuki (HB). Check out some highlights of OU's night here.

Ohio State was certainly up to the challenge. Following a good, not great FX rotation, the Buckeyes headed to PH without the No. 1 horse swinger in the NCAA, Alec Yoder. Despite his absence, OSU went for a 68.5 on the event, their third-best of the season. Buckeyes secured the top-three spots on the event, led by 2017 All-American David Szarvas (14.4).

A late mistake on HB ultimately cost Ohio State, but it wasn't before an out-of-this-world PB routine from Sean Melton that earned a 15.15. Moldauer's still got a slight edge, but Melton should be able to give him a run for his money on the event at NCAA's.

The other individual winner included freshman Sean Neighbarger on VT.

Penn state Rallies On PB/HB To Defeat Michigan

Stephen Nedoroscik tied for the lead on PH, capturing another title (photo via GoPSUSports.com)

Following four rotations on Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines owned a comfortable 3.85-point lead over Penn State. Unfortunately, that lead wouldn't hold as PB & HB were a completely different story. Once the dust settled, PSU left Ann Arbor with a 2.3-point victory (407.35-405.05).

The Nittany Lions looked steady over the final two events, taking advantage of mistakes from their counterpart. Nobody was better than Sam Zakutney who has been killing PB & HB (the two events he's limited to due to injury). The sophomore won both events with scores of 14.15 (to tie Wyatt Tyndall) & 14.6. He has potential to win B1G's on PB and place high at NCAA's as well.

Winning other events for PSU were Stephen Nedoroscik (PH -- tied with Michigan's Mack Lasker) and Noah Roberson (SR).

Noah Roberson (graphic via @PennStateMGYM on Twitter)

What a day it nearly was for Michigan. The high point came on VT where two Wolverines, Marty Strech & Jacob Moore, were able to stick landings. Those two, along with Emyre Cole who won with a 14.75 (to go along with a FX title), rounded out the top-three.

Another bright spot was freshman Cameron Bock who competed all-around for the first time in his career. He broke the 80-barrier (80.35) while competing watered-down sets on FX & VT.

Michigan will get one more regular season meet against UIC before gearing up for B1G's.

Cal Dominates Sun Devils, Huskies In First Home Meet Since EArly-January

Aaron Mah won three individual titles, including PH (photo via The Daily Californian)

Some home cooking never hurt anybody. A well-deserved home meet for Cal (their first since January 13) produced a season-high score of 398.95 which was more than enough to take down Arizona State (379.3) and Washington (364.6).

FX, PB & HB represented season-best rotations for the Bears who were winners of all but one event (VT) as a team. The all-around duo of Aaron Mah & Yordan Aleksandrov meanwhile are getting hot at the right time. They finished 1-2, respectively with scores of 81.7 & 81.4.

Yordan Aleksandrov took home wins on PB & HB (photo via Cal Athletics)

They accounted for five titles on the day (three for Mah, two for Aleksandrov) and both possess All-American capabilities come NCAA Championships.

While those two will be getting a majority of the pub for Saturday's meet, a couple of other Cal gymnasts did well too. Harrison Plate produced the meet's top score on SR (13.4) while his teammate, sophomore Jonathan Wang, competed three events, all going 13.45+.

Pac-12 rival Arizona State couldn't keep up the Golden Bears, falling behind heavily on events like SR (trailed Cal by 6.65) & PB (trailed by 4.25). The Sun Devils did end up winning VT with a score of 68.85, their fourth-best total of the season. Anthony Mills, competing for just the third time this season, won the event with a 14.2.

Anthony Mills won AZ State's lone event title on VT (photo: Jess Frankl)

For Washington, the wheels fell off on high bar where the Huskies posted a 55.95. On a positive note, Nathan Tsuji (NCAA Club Gymnast of the Week) led the Huskies with a 76.8 in the all-around which was good enough for a top-three finish.

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Logan Bradley
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Unless otherwise noted, photos belong to Jess Frankl.

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