Michigan is in a championship event!
This is a reminder to cancel your Friday night plans to stay in and watch the Michigan women compete in the NCAA Championships. Broadcast is on ESPNU at 8pm EDT.
This semi-final includes Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Nebraska, and Michigan. Top 3 move onto tomorrow's Super Six meet, starting at 9pm EDT.
(post corrected from original)
As we say goodbye to our beloved softball seniors, including Super Sierra, it might help to know that one of our previous all-time champs is still going at it. After missing last year's Worlds because of two separate injuries, Sam made it clear that he's back in shape in time for the Olympics he was always aiming for. (He surprised himself by making the team in 2012, and then surprised everyone else by how well he did.) The two-day competition also determined the 18-man national team. They'll move on to compete in the Olympic trials in a couple weeks to determine the 5-man Olympic team.
Speaking of teams and the future, three members of the current M team (freshmen Emyre Cole and NCAA vault champion Anthony McCallum, Jr., and sophomore Dmitri Belanovksi, all of whom were members of Junior US teams) were invited to compete with the seniors, along with alum Adrian de los Angeles (who was runner-up in the NCAA All-Around in his sophomore year to teammate Sam). Naturally the TV coverage was of the current national team, but Youtube videos of each event show the promise of the youngsters. Sophomore Dmitri has more consistency, but both Emyre and Anthony are so exciting to watch-- Emyre with his fluid lines and Anthony with his explosiveness-- that one can see the future when they're able to balance the excitement with more control and strength.
I'll post now and then try to embed Sam's impossibly difficult high-bar routine (from day 1, so the crowd is sparse), which shows what that combination of high-flying excitement and staying off the ground can look like. He'd tell you it's not perfect, but not perfect for Sam is obviously pretty damn good.
Adding to his 3 NCAA all-around Gymnastics Championships, M grad Sam Mikulak makes it three in a row as US all-around champion. Had a terrible fall off high bar in today's first event, but even after the fall he was a full 4 points ahead of #2, the rest of his routine being so perfect that he actually increased his lead from yesterday.
[EDIT: The photo I posted before disappeared. Let's see how long this one will last.] The Hilton shirt [now jacket] represents where he now trains as part of the US National Team, but there were several other recently graduated, one current and one brand new Wolverine competing in the maize & blue. Recent grad Stacey Ervin doesn't compete in the all-around, but he posted the highest individual event score on the first day of competition in his specialty, floor exercise.
As for the future, incoming freshman Emyre Cole will be competing in tonight's finals of the juniors championships, after scoring the highest in his age group in prelims. Hasn't yet competed for Michigan, but he must be enrolled, already wearing the block M.
And Coach Golder there watching over his troops. (Stacey Ervin next to him. Shirtless status implies senior warm-ups.) Permission to vote on preferred shade of maize.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Michigan ranks at the top of the Big Ten for conference standings for 2012-13 (average conference finish). Minnesota's high ranking surprised me, as did MSU's low ranking (although they did not win a conference championship this year).
The author does not define "average B1G finish" but it seems to be a simple arithmetic mean. In any event, congratulations to our student athletes on their fine overall finish. Conference results below.
The tally: 1. Michigan 4.04; 2. Minnesota 4.43; 3. Ohio State 4.64; 4. Penn State 4.92; 5. Illinois 5.24; 6. Nebraska 5.57; 7. Wisconsin 6.10; 8. Indiana 6.22; 9. Northwestern 6.29; 10. Michigan State 6.83; 11. Purdue 7.35; 12. Iowa 7.58.
I figured this would be the easiest way to compile a list of potential inagural class candidates. The 190 comment thread would be a difficult place to keep track, so here we can be a little more organized. Make suggestions and I'll add them to the lists. Since this is just a way to keep track of potential candidates, feel free to throw out some "maybes." Mods, feel free to edit the OP accordingly.
This may also help keep that initial thread focused on the manner in which people are elected, etc. Without further adieu...
|Van Bergen, Ryan||2011|
|Van Bergen, Ryan||Football|
With all the manball-womanball discussion lately, seems this deserves a mention: Michigan senior gymnast Kylee Botterman won the AAI Award at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, appropriately enough at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.
"Considered the sport's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, Botterman was chosen for the award as the top senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I women's gymnastics. Two Wolverines have previously been finalists for the award -- Janessa Grieco (2000-03) in 2003 and Elise Ray (2001-05) in 2005 -- but no Michigan gymnast has ever won the honor."
She's already been named the Big Ten and NCAA Northeast Regional Gymnast of the Year. She and the rest of the 6th-ranked Wolverines will begin competing in the NCAA championship weekend tomorrow.
EDIT: And, in the interests of equality, the #6-ranked men's team (last year's NCAA champions), placed third in their qualifying round today, sending them on to tomorrow's NCAA finals.
UPDATE: Michigan Alum/Olympic Star Elise Ray is commentator for the live video! http://www.ncaa.com/live/2011-04-15/nc-womens-gymnastics
While we anxiously await the announcement of the new [Greg Mattison] defensive [Greg Mattison] coordinator [Greg Mattison] and maintain an open tab with TomVH's Twitter feed (you're not doing that? Sure, you're not.) to find out about the latest (de)commitments, take the opportunity to flip through the Winter 2011 edition of M Magazine, the Michigan Athletic Department's official souvenir program.
This edition contains several nice features:
- Wolverines to Watch (Veronica Hicks, Basketball; Adrienne Bicek, Swimming; A.J. Treais, Hockey; Chris Cameron, Gymnastics; Jillian Smith, Track and Field; Dan Madwed, Swimming)
- The Big Chill at the Big House
- Water Polo’s Senior Plan: Winning it All, Together
- Why? (Trish Wilson, Gymnastics)
- The Peace Corps: It All Started Here
- Carved in Stone
- The Two Sides of Denard Robinson
- Ask the Athlete
What I learned:
- Michigan has some truly amazing student athletes in many more sports than just football, men's basketball and hockey (in truth, I already knew that).
- Denard Robinson is awesome (see above).
- Evan Smotrycz has never had a job (other than playing basketball). Srsly.
- The stone carver who fashioned the replacement "M" medallions for Yost Ice Arena is very skillful. Check out the video embedded in the online magazine that details the process. Very cool, indeed.
- Michigan will host the 2011 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships at Canham Natatorium in May. Here's hoping it creates a huge home pool advantage for the team.
- Trish Wilson is a warrior of the first order and a true Wolverine.
So the IOC has announced that they have stripped the Chinese women's gymnastics team of its bronze medal in 2000 in Sydney. Why? Because they had an underage gymnast that competed. The US will now be the recipient of the bronze.
But it's interesting to read that it was a literal Dong punch...
"The International Olympic Committee acted after investigations by the sport’s governing body determined that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the 2000 Games. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible."