#NCAAMGym Week 7 OU & Stanford score 420+ while resting key contributors

OU Takes Care of Air Force in Norman

Here's something to wrap your head around: three current Sooners are on the U.S. Senior National Team. Those three Sooners combined for just three routines in Saturday's meet against Air Force. The Sooners still scored a 425.55, good enough for the fifth-best team score in the NCAA this year (they own the top-four scores as well, duh).

"My intention was to allow Allan Bower, Yul Moldauer and Hunter Justus to get some rest after Winter Cup," commented head coach Mark Williams. "Especially with Yul having [AT&T] American Cup this weekend and Allan competing at Stuttgart [World Cup] in two weeks."

While those three rested, Colin Van Wicklen (NCAA & MPSF Gymnast of the Week) and Genki Suzuki stepped into the all-around spots and did fine jobs. Van Wicklen won the AA title with an 84.5 while Suzuki followed with an 83.55. It was the first time ever competing all-around in an NCAA competition for Suzuki, who's a sophomore. Williams said that the solid AA score has much to do with Suzuki's improvement on rings and parallel bars, two of his weaker events.

Highlights and a meet recap for the Sooners can be found here.

Saturday marked the lowest score (394.85) of the season for the Air Force Falcons. Their biggest points of weakness were SR, PB and HB where they scored in the 64's as a team. Tim Wang followed up a 13th place finish at Winter Cup with an 83.25, good enough for third place. Taking home the lone event title for the Falcons was Casey Branin on FX with a 14.3.

A Look at Next week's Meet: Stanford vs. OU

Now Oklahoma's focus turns to the premier meet of the season: a Saturday night duel with second-ranked Stanford. Both teams will be without their top competitor (OU - Moldauer, STAN - Akash Modi) due to the American Cup. "We'll find out who has better depth," added Williams.

The key for the Sooners will be how they start out the meet, which has been a weaker point according to Williams. "We're starting on PH and I think that'll be a huge key as to whether we'll be able to run with them. If we're able to step up and hit five PH routines then it will be game on."

Even without Moldauer & Modi, the meet will still feature four current Senior National Team members in Bower, Justus, Robert Neff and Grant Breckenridge.

Stanford gets the Job Done Against the Gophers

By a score of 421.55-405.6, the Cardinal took care of business Saturday night against Minnesota. "With Modi, Neff and Breckenridge only going on a couple events each, I thought as a team they worked well to show there is some depth," commented head coach Thom Glielmi.

Senior Jordan DeClerk was one who stood out, setting season-highs on SR (14.75) and PB (14.75) and contributing a 14.2 on FX. "Jordan is steady and he knows how the season runs," Glielmi said. "He is an example of how to stay on track, be prepared and execute. It's how we want all our competitors to be and I can say all our seniors possess these qualities."

With the Sooners coming to town next week, Stanford knows that the standard for what is considered a 'hit routine' needs to be raised. Glielmi simply stated, "I expect them to go 30 for 30."

As for the Gophers, it wasn't the meet they were hoping for following a season-high 417.2 performance two weeks ago. PH and HB stuck out in Saturday's meet, both with scores a shade under 63. Both events will be better, but it's a perfect example of how five-up/five-count can jump up and bite you.

A good sign for Minnesota was the return of Zach Liebler who scored a 14.7 on VT in his first action in about a month.

Illini Claim Home Victory Against Iowa

It was another up-and-down day for Illinois, but they were able to leave Saturday with a 409.95-397.1 win over the Hawkeyes. The biggest positive for the Illini was the return of Bobby Baker to the PB lineup, as he won the event with a 14.55. It was the first time Baker has competed on the event since March 12th of last season.

Trouble for the Illini came on PH where they were forced to count three scores of 12.6 or lower.

Having another great day for Illinois was Sophomore Alex Diab who won a pair of titles on FX (14.6) and SR (14.9). Diab has looked great in his second year and is in prime position to defend his B1G SR title from last year.

Similar to their B1G counterpart, Minnesota, the Hawkeyes struggled to match their season-high performance (414.65) from two weeks ago. The blame can be solely placed on PH and FX where they tallied just a pair of hit routines. If you take the scoring from only the remaining four events (SR, VT, PB and HB), Iowa trailed the Illini by just .55.

Freshmen-Led Penn State takes care of Navy

Sam Zakutney was named B1G Gymnast of the Week for the third time.

For the seventh-straight week, a Penn State gymnast has taken home B1G Freshman of the Week honors. This week it was Sam Zakutney for the third time this year. Zakutney held a four-event (FX, VT, PB, HB) average of 13.96 while fellow freshman, Favian Valdez, held a three-event (FX, PH, VT) average of 14.02.

It wasn't just the youngsters getting in on the action; veterans Leroy Clarke Jr. and Dom DiFulvio did their jobs as well. Clarke Jr. won PH with a 14.2 while DiFulvio tied teammate Chris Sands for the SR title (14.4) and won VT (14.25) as well.

The perfect mix of youth and experience could spell good things for the Nittany Lions come postseason.

Navy has nothing to hang their head about staying within 10 points of a solid PSU team. Jonny Tang, coming off a 22nd place finish at Winter Cup, went 82.3 to win the all-around. Tang also nabbed the FX title with a 14.2.

Huskers Head into the Windy City; defeat Flames

In Sunday’s only NCAA meet, the Huskers handled UIC with ease, 406.3-367.95. Anton Stephenson (B1G Gymnast of the Week) scored Nebraska’s first 15 of the season with this stuck yurchenko-2.5. He also contributed three other solid scores: a 14.05 on FX (tied for title with teammate Austin Epperson), a 13.65 on PH (title) and a 14.1 on PB.

As long as Stephenson can keep up this level of production, Nebraska will be in the mix for an NCAA team finals’ spot.

After a couple of encouraging weeks, the Flames suffered two sub-60 event scores (PH & HB) on Sunday. Chris Root however was a bright spot for UIC as he led the team in all three of his events (PH - 13.5, SR - 12.7 and PB - 13.8).

Wolverines Handle Golden Bears in Ann Arbor

Emyre Cole won FX & VT titles

It looks like Michigan has found their scoring sweet-spot in the 400-405 range after their 402.1-386.8 win over Cal. Had they been able to avoid disaster on HB (61.4), their day could’ve been better. Part of the reason for the low score on HB was due to the fact that Dmitri Belanovski (only competed FX on Saturday) wasn’t in the lineup following his performance at Winter Cup.

Emyre Cole kept his stellar season rolling with titles on FX (14.4 - tied with Cal’s Aaron Mah) and VT (14.8). The Wolverines also got big numbers from Uche Eke on PH (14.15) and Ryan Dunning on SR (14.5).

Once Belanovski is back doing more events this team will have a chance at scoring 410+.

For the Golden Bears, it was not the best day. They struggled again on PH (58.4) and had trouble on PB as well (61.8). They still grabbed two titles: one from Yordan Aleksandrov on HB (13.4) and one from Aaron Mah in the AA (81.6).

Tribe Takes Down Conference Rivals Army and Springfield

Gliozzi won PH with a 14.4

Though it wasn’t one of their higher scoring outputs this year, William & Mary (390.2) defeated conference rivals Army (383.5) and Springfield (380.15) at West Point. PH star Jacopo Gliozzi (ECAC Specialist of the Week) had the highest score of the day for W&M, winning PH with a 14.4. Gliozzi now ranks 12th in the NCAA on the event.

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a season for Army as they suffered a season-low team score Saturday following a season-high just two weeks ago. Senior Leo Genders had a nice day with top-four finishes on all three of his events (FX - 13.75, VT - 14.15 and HB - 13.85).

Similar to Army, Springfield suffered a season-low team score. Still, the Pride left West Point with three titles: Joshua Dieker on SR (13.05), Jannik Haas on PB (13.45) and Stephen Lewis (ECAC Rookie of the Week) in the AA (77.85).

Arizona State defends home turf; Wins Sun Devil Classic

It seems that the Sun Devil Classic was kind to all teams involved. The home Sun Devils (395.5) prevailed over Washington (391.0), Temple (382.75) and SC United (345.65).

The driving factor in Arizona State’s victory was VT where they recorded five scores of 14.15+. Anthony Mills and Nick Garcia tied for the event title with a pair of 14.55’s.

Also taking home title were Austin Kane and William Howald on PH (13.6) and Kirk Malm on HB (13.55).

Starring for Washington was Nathan Tsuji (NCAA Club Gymnast of the Week) who scored a 77.8 following an appearance at Winter Cup. Along with Tsui’s AA title, Nick Kano won SR (14.55) and Carl Meader won PB (14.35).

It appears that the Huskies want everyone to know that Arizona State isn’t the only club-level team ready to compete with the big boys.

Scoring a season-best by over three points was Temple. Casey Polizzotto left with a title on FX (13.9 - tie with AZ St.’s Nick Garcia) and an AA score of 75.55. He was bested in the AA by teammate Jakob Welsh who scored a 77.4.

Nicolas Horner did AA (70.4) for SC United who finished the day in fourth place.

Created By
Logan Bradley
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Photo credits to Jess Frankl - Photo of William & Mary courtesy of William & Mary athletics

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