Sam Mikulak three-peats as US National Champion

Sam Mikulak three-peats as US National Champion

Submitted by Michigasling on August 16th, 2015 at 5:07 PM

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.

Mikulak repeats as US Gym. Champ, and M future represents

Mikulak repeats as US Gym. Champ, and M future represents

Submitted by Michigasling on August 24th, 2014 at 11:17 PM

For those who don't want to read the whole post, it's good news, starting with the spoiler that Sam Mikulak, who successfully defended his NCAA Championship in Ann Arbor this spring, defended his U.S. Men's Championship.  But this time it was with more drama.  (Good news about the new kids is below.  Spoiler: One is a former junior champ, the other just became one.*)

At one point Sam was in 24th place on the first night of competition after a couple of slip-ups on two of his best events.  The Twitterverse is now calling him the Comeback Kid.  With his usual aw-shucks smile (even when he surprised himself by ending up on his tusch in the middle of an otherwise-excellent floor routine), he pulled himself back to third by the end of the first night, and it wasn't until the last event in the finals that his 1st place was assured.  He had a huge gap to close in this field of Oympians and national team members.  Fellow Olympians John Orozco, the 2012 US Champion from the Bronx, and Jake Dalton, former NCAA champ who used to compete for Oklahoma, came in 2nd & 3rd in the tight final.  They'll all be competing for the U.S. Team in China this October at Worlds. 

You'll notice Sam's not wearing his M gear this time, having used up his eligibility, but he's sticking around Ann Arbor as an assistant coach so he can continue training while finishing his degree.  But there was plenty of maize & blue with Coach Kurt Golder and his gang always on camera, and senior Nick Hunter, competing in only three events in what I think is his first national meet, always by Sam's side on the bench.  There's something to be said for highlighter yellow when you want it to be seen in the shadows.

As for Michigan's continued success, the future was also on display in the Junior Men's competition with two of M's incoming freshmen:  Dmitri Belanovski, a former junior champion, finished 8th in the 17-18 year-old junior division.  Marty Strech finished first in the 15-16 year-old category with a final score higher than any in the older junior division.  [*In what I think is a new quirk, the top two of each junior category after Day 1 had to compete with the senior men in the finals.  The idea is to give the top juniors experience competing against the best, to better prepare them for future international competition.  The commentators for the stream said their scores would still be used for their final placing in juniors, but as of now, Strech is not listed as champion except for being on top of the final scoring sheet,including all the juniors, and the current photos have the guys who were top three in each of tonight's junior competition categories on their respective podium.  Seems unfair to move them off the podium because they're too good or because they already went home.  If I learn more I'll edit.] 

Speaking of the incoming class, the third announced all-star commit is apparently no longer part of the class.  He was not mentioned in the M press release about the competition, and he's not listed on the new roster.  No point speculating, but I'm hoping it's only that having already made the national team earlier this year he decided to forego the college route and train full-time at the U.S. training center.  And no point worrying that we only have one former and one current junior champion joining the gang.

And another B1G Championship for Men's Gymnastics & Mikulak.

And another B1G Championship for Men's Gymnastics & Mikulak.

Submitted by Michigasling on March 28th, 2014 at 11:35 PM

While most of us were otherwise occupied, the Men's Gymnastics Team won their second straight Big Ten Championship, generally considered the strongest conference for gymnastics.  Sam Mikulak, defending B1G, NCAA and U.S. champion, successfully defended his title by a generous margin, winning 4 out of 6 events outright, scoring above 15 on all events and an almost unheard of score of 16 or over on two (high bar and parallel bars).  (The scoring is unlike the traditional limit of a perfect 10, which the women still use.  Enough to know that on the elite level a score in the 14.00's is good and above 15.00 is championship material.) 

The bad news is that Stacey Ervin, who can actually beat the Mighty Mikulak on floor, tore his biceps on parallel bars, but, as seems to be traditional with these guys,* finished the event without those of us watching even aware of his injury until he was seen with a huge pack of ice around his arm.  He obviously couldn't compete in any other events, but, as the Mitch McGary of the mat men, It didn't stop him from jumping around and cheering on his teammates.  Adrian de los Angeles, Sam's runner-up in the NCAA all-around last year, was unfortunately injured early this year, and yet the team had the depth to win without their expected high scores.

*Sam Mikulak fractured both ankles in a meet in Puerto Rico after his freshman championship season and didn't know until later.  He got taped up and kept going.  But that's the reason he's only won three championships.   

The individual event championships will be on BTN tomorrow afternoon, in case anyone else wants to multitask.

 

Mikulak wins Michigan's first U.S. Gymnastics Championship

Mikulak wins Michigan's first U.S. Gymnastics Championship

Submitted by Michigasling on August 18th, 2013 at 5:44 PM

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.  

 Aug. 18, 2013 - Senior Men Day 2 &emdash;

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:

 Aug. 18, 2013 - Senior Men Day 2 &emdash;

More titles! Sam Mikulak picks up two.

More titles! Sam Mikulak picks up two.

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on April 21st, 2013 at 5:15 PM

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 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics National Championship - Open Thread

Michigan wins 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics National Championship - Open Thread

Submitted by Leaders And Best on April 20th, 2013 at 9:06 PM

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.

Live stream: http://www.ncaa.com/championship/liveplayer/player?gameId=291190&date=2013/04/20

Yet Another Big Ten Title: Men's Gymnastics Makes it a Sweet Sixteen

Yet Another Big Ten Title: Men's Gymnastics Makes it a Sweet Sixteen

Submitted by Michigasling on April 6th, 2013 at 11:04 AM

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...

On the good news front: Another Michigan gymnast makes the National Team

On the good news front: Another Michigan gymnast makes the National Team

Submitted by Michigasling on February 10th, 2013 at 12:24 PM

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.

Sam Mikulak: One Step Closer to the Olympics

Sam Mikulak: One Step Closer to the Olympics

Submitted by Michigasling on June 9th, 2012 at 12:22 PM

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.

Links: Freep  (sorry -- only Mikulak feature I could find) and USA Gymnastics.

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.

U-M 2nd @ B1G Mens Gymnastics Championships - Mikulak All Around Champ

U-M 2nd @ B1G Mens Gymnastics Championships - Mikulak All Around Champ

Submitted by MGoShoe on April 1st, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Michigan finished 2nd in the team competition to Illinois, which won its third straight B1G championship.  Meanwhile, Michigan freshman Sam Mikulak won the all around championship. The individual event competition is Saturday at 8 pm ET.

Congratulations to the team and to Stan.  After tomorrow's competition, it's on to the NCAA meet starting Apr 14 in Columbus.

Team Standings
Place  Team Score 
1  University of Illinois 355.550 
2  Michigan 352.750 
3  Ohio State 350.000 
4  Penn State 349.000 
5  Minnesota 344.400 
6  Iowa 339.300 

 

All Around Results
Place  Gymnast  Team Score 
1  Sam Mikulak  Michigan 89.050 
2  Kris Done  Ohio State 86.600 
3  Tyler Mizoguchi  University of Illinois 85.700 
4  Rohan Sebastian  Michigan 85.000 
5  Thomas Kelley  Michigan 84.850 
6  DJ Repp  Minnesota 84.450 
7  Felix Aronovich  Penn State 84.400 

Sam Mikulak