More of our overall athletic excellence. Per MGoBlue.
Men's Gymnastics Unanimous No. 1 in Big Ten Preseason Poll
I would imagine with Sam coming back they should defend their National Championship. Also with the #1 incoming recruiting class, Coach Golder is building quite the juggernaut! Go Blue!
They bring back most of their defending B1G and NCAA championship team from last year, which includes not only Olympian Sam Mikulak (also two-time NCAA all-around champ AND 2013 U.S. National Champ), but Olympian Syque Caesar, who competed for Bangladesh, Adrian de los Angeles, who came in 2nd to Sam in the NCAA all-around (and on last year's national team), all of whom were competing while injured for most or part of last year (hence being ranked only #2 or #3 most of the season). Current US national team member Stacey Ervin is adding events to his slate, and the team is older and more experienced this year, with three promising freshmen adding to the depth, including Tristian Perez-Rivera , ammeber of , who competes internationally for Puerto Rico. (Three more highly recruited teens are already committed for next year.)
AND THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL BE IN ANN ARBOR NEXT APRIL! The tix are incredibly cheap (I think $20 for the full weekend, including the qualifying rounds Friday, team and all-around finals Saturday, and event finals on Sunday). I think individual session tix are $5-$7. If you haven't seen elite gymnastics close up, it's nothing like watching on TV.
Not being able to watch the men much out here in the boonies of NYC, I treated myself to the NCAA Championships at Penn State last year (a friend lives nearby), after seeing them convincingly win the B1G, which is traditionally a top gymnastics conference. I'm not an insider, but I managed to sit behind Sam's mother at the event finals. Having already won the AA and Team championships the night before, and finished his other event finals Sunday, he decided he had nothing to lose and let it all out for the very last performance of the night, high bar (adding to his difficulty level). I don't know if I ever understood the word "breathtaking" before until watching that performance. Highest score ever for him in that event, and way above #2 (who I think was Syque Caesar, also terrific job, but without the high difficulty score).
Interestingly (for those who read this far), it was the high bar that knocked Sam out of a likely #2 finish in the world championships (behind the defending 4-time Japanese world & Olympic champion) after having a slight glitch in that, his last event. A few hundredths of a point can mean a lot on the elite level.
So he just missed the world podium, but that means he has unfinished goals. And those of you in A2 can watch him work for it.
those Michigan sports that I dont actively follow, but recognize their awesomeness. A good season here will count towards our Capital One Cup standings