The rest of the NCAA has officially been put on notice --- the Buckeyes are getting healthy and now have the score to prove it. With a 422.2-404.95 victory over Michigan, Ohio State has entered the conversation for second-best team in the nation. "When your top guys start doing more events, and they're hitting them, you're going to see the difference," commented OSU head coach Rustam Sharipov.
The Buckeyes are seeing quite the difference. As key-contributors like Sean Melton have competed more events the team has enjoyed a roughly 10-point jump in score each week over the first three meets. I don't necessarily anticipate Ohio State to be scoring a 432 next week, but it's possible they could be shooting for that come B1G's and NCAA's.
Jake Martin (B1G Gymnast of the Week) played a huge role this weekend scoring an 85.25 in the all-around. If there was an NCAA Comeback Gymnast of the Year award, Martin would be running away with it.
"Of the past four years he's only had one true successful year, the others he's had illness or injury. I think going through all those ups-and-downs he's learned a lot. He's taking care of his body and he's doing rehab before and after practice - but the main thing for him is he's leading the team as an example, not only in the gym, but in the classroom as he's double-majoring." - Sharipov on Jake Martin
Along with Martin and Melton, Jake Dastrup has played a big role for the Buckeyes this year. He took both the PH (14.9) and PB (14.7) titles on Saturday. Currently Dastrup ranks top-20 in the NCAA on FX (19th) PH (t12th) and PB (4th). OSU highlights from the meet can be found here.
Continuing to make progress were the Wolverines of Michigan, who posted their third-consecutive season-best score. Saturday marked their best efforts of the season on PH (66.0), SR (66.7), PB (68.35) and HB (66.05). An encouraging sign came from getting Dmitri Belanovski back on five events. He competed for the first time this year on FX (where he was an All-American last year). You can view his 14.0 HB set from the meet here.
You can already see the progress being made from some of Michigan's younger team members. Four different freshmen (Mitchell Brown, Mack Lasker, Justin Murphy and Thomas Paul) set season-best scores on Saturday.
Illini Win Second-Straight B1G Dual