NCAA Session II Recap Oklahoma, Illinois and Minnesota Advance to Team Finals

There were no surprises in session two as the Oklahoma Sooners (430.6), Illinois Fighting Illini (421.3) and Minnesota Golden Gophers (420.1) secured berths into Saturday night's team final.

Oklahoma took care of business on vault (Photo: Jess Frankl)

For Sooner standards, it wasn't a fantastic day, but similar to Stanford and OSU, it didn't need to be. They looked undeniably impressive on VT (73.6) and threw the two most difficult vaults in the meet -- a tsuk triple full from Matt Wenske and a handspring double front-half out by Colin Van Wicklen.

Hunter Justus finished fourth in the session on SR (Photo: Jess Frankl)

If there was a rough spot tonight for Oklahoma it was PB where they had two missed routines. Even with the mistakes, they still scored a 72.2. So much for rough.

It looked like another day at the office for the entire Oklahoma team, including head coach Mark Williams. Even when his team was hitting sets, he was cool, calm and collected. It looks like we'll have to wait till tomorrow night to see how much his vertical jump has improved since last year.

The Illini ended the day with their second-best team score of 2017. Finishing on SR, the Illini smashed their previous season best (70.45) with a gigantic 71.9. Bobby Baker highlighted the rotation as his 14.95 included a stuck triple back -- something you don't see too often on rings.

Alex Diab tied for 2nd on FX during session two (Photo: Jess Frankl)

There were mistakes here and there but it's no doubt the type of performance Illinois can piggyback off of going into tomorrow night. It might not seem like much, but staying within 10 points of Oklahoma is quite an accomplishment for this team.

Finishing third in the session were the Golden Gophers who qualify to team finals for the second-straight season. They reached the 70+ mark on all but one event, HB. If it wasn't for a single routine on that event, the Gophers could have surpassed the Illini.

Minnesota surpassed the 420 mark on Friday night for just the second time this season (Photo: Jess Frankl)

As usual, Minnesota was impressive on VT throwing 2.5 after 2.5 and finishing with a stuck double front from Yaroslav Pochinka.

After a tough B1G's Justin Karstadt showed up tonight in a big way. He competed on five events and scored 14.3+ on four of them. Another night like that from Karstadt would go a long way for the Gophers.

Finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively, were the Iowa Hawkeyes (412.5), Navy Midshipmen (400.65) and California Golden Bears (400.25).


AA: Jonny Tang, Navy/Andrew Botto, Iowa/Aaron Mah, CAL

FX: Michael Rauchwerger, CAL/Seth Cannon, Army/Lucas Beltran, Navy

PH: Nicholas Merryman, Iowa/Kevin Johnson, Iowa/Austin Hodges, Iowa

SR: Mark Springett, Iowa/Dylan Ellsworth, Iowa/Nicholas Merryman, Iowa

PB: Cory Paterson, Iowa/Nathan Goff, Army/Rogelio Vazquez, Iowa

HB: Cory Paterson, Iowa/Yordan Aleksandrov, CAL/Austin Hodges, Iowa

Created By
Logan Bradley


Photos: Jess Frankl

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