at least it's not just us?
Sam Mikulak has only competed in three all-around competitions this year and is now three for three: Big Ten, NCAA and now the U.S. Men's Championship.
It was a big Maize & Blue presence on network TV, with two other team members competing and [at least] three coaches. All were getting screen time because Sam was so far ahead after day one of the competition he was the big story. But even the commentators noted loving the Wolverines' team attitude (after Stacey Ervin was seen/heard on camera ethusiastically announcing, "This guy has major skills. This guy has major skills" after one of Sam's events). Their events weren't shown, but Stacey, in his very first all-around competition, came in 11th in the all-around, joining Sam on the national team on the basis of two top 5 finishes in individual events. Adrian de los Angeles, selected for last year's national team, came in 14th in the all-around.
Newest national team member Stacey Ervin in action:
On the same day that the women's tennis team locked up a Big Ten title & softball completed another series sweep, junior gymnast Sam Mikulak added two more titles to his impressive collection, complementing his individual & team all-around championships with event titles in parallel bars and high bar.
For those who may be more informed, I'm wondering if one could start to build a case that Mikulak is the greatest UM gymnast of all time, or at least close to it. He holds two individual all-around titles (and was runner-up the other time), has been on two team title-winning teams, and has (if I count correctly) three individual event titles. This is clearly ridiculous success, does anyone know of someone from Michigan's past who could rival it?
Michigan wins their 5th National Championship in Men's Gymnastics. Hail to the Victors.
Michigan went 1-2 in the Individual All-Around. Sam Mikulak wins his second Individual All-Around Title and Adrian de los Angeles finished 2nd.
Men's Gymnastics defeated #1 Penn State (among others) to win their 16th Big Ten Championship, with junior Sam Mikulak and sophomore Adrian de los Angeles going 1 and 2 in the all-around competition. This is Sam's second all-around win, having won in his freshman year in both the Big Ten and the NCAA. He'd been battling injuries (again), and last night was his first all-around competition this year. He also broke an NCAA record score in parallel bars, a record set earlier this season (twice) by teammate Syque Caesar. But, as usual, the victory was a team effort. Based on last night's performances, eight members of the team qualified for 18 spots in tonight's individual event finals. Not that there's anything else going on...
After his performance in this weekend's Winter Cup Challenge (a national invitational meet), sophomore gymnast Adrian de los Angeles was named to the U.S. National Team, joining fellow Wolverine Sam Mikulak. (Sam couldn't compete this weekend due to injury, but he and his fellow Olympians are automatically named to this year's US team.)
Adrian was the surprise all-around leader after the prelims, going back and forth with Olympian Jake Dalton (who competes for Oklahoma). Dalton pulled it out in the final event, with Adrian finishing in second, ahead of Danell Levya, the all-around bronze medalist in last year's Olympics. Pretty good company.
Also making Michigan proud was sophomore Stacey Ervin, who was 7th in the complicated qualification point system going into the finals even though he didn't compete in all 6 events, making the finals on the strength of his placing top 10 in 3 out of his 4 prelim events (including tying Adrian for 2nd in floor). In fact, he was the only qualifier in the top 15 not to have been in all 6 events.
The following picture of Adrian and Sam is posted as a public service to prove that gymnastics isn't only fun and games; success follows commitment to down-in-the-dirt (or chalk) blue-collar teamwork.
A full report of Mens' Gymnastics' recent success wouldn't be complete without adding that 5th-year senior Syque Caesar (who competed in the Olympics for Bangladesh), broke the NCAA record for parallel bars when Michigan upset #2 Stanford two weeks ago. Not surprisingly, he was named both national and Big Ten gymnast of the week. Boy, these guys are good.
Less than a year after breaking both ankles in competition, Michigan gymnast Sam Mikulak is in third place going into the finals of the 2012 national gymnastics competition, which airs today on NBC at 1:00 pm Eastern. As many of you know, Mikulak was 2011 NCAA National All-Around Champion as a freshman, and even after his major injuries managed to win the 2012 NCAA title in high bar. Last year’s U.S. national champion, Danell Leyva, is currently in first place (Mikulak was unable to compete in last year’s nationals because of the injuries), and 2011 world team bronze medalist John Orozco is currently in second.
Michigan freshman and last year’s junior national champion Adrian de los Angeles placed 18th overall in Day 1, and Michigan senior Syque Caesar is already set for the Olympics, competing for Bangladesh.
The highest combined scores from this championship and the U.S. Olympic trials held later this month will determine one member of the Olympic Team, after which the other four team members will be determined by committee.
Don't be distressed if you see him in a red uni. That's one of the uniforms for US national team (he's already a member). Maybe today they'll wear the blue.
UPDATE: One step closer to the Olympics. Finishes Nationals in third. With the smaller Olympics teams this year, not much room for specialists, so Sam's amazing consistency over the two-day competition is a major plus. Based on today's performances, the U.S. men's team should be a serious contender in London.