The Big Ten men's gymnastics season came to a close at the NCAA Championships, where Michigan won the team crown and three out of six individual titles were claimed by conference student-athletes.
NCAA Champions: The Michigan men's gymnastics team claimed the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championship at the University of Michigan's Crisler Center during the first session of the NCAA Championships. This is the Wolverines' second consecutive national championship and their sixth program title, including three in the past five years. The Big Ten has now claimed four titles in the past five years. After recording 445.050 points, Michigan defeated second-place Oklahoma (441.650) and third-place Stanford (436.300). Illinois finished fourth with 435.350 points, Ohio State placed fifth with 433.500 points and Penn State took sixth with 429.800 points. Michigan posted the highest team scores in three of the six events, including the pommel horse, rings and parallel bars. For more on the NCAA Championships, click here.
All-Around Athletes: Wolverine Sam Mikulak won his third all-around crown at the University of Michigan's Crisler Center during the NCAA Championships. In the all-around, Mikulak placed first on the floor exercise (16.050), parallel bars (16.050) and vault (15.300) and tied for first on the pommel horse (15.600). Mikulak becomes the first Big Ten men's gymnast to win the all-around title three times since Minnesota's John Roethlisberger accomplished the feat from 1991-93. For more on the NCAA Championships, click here.
NCAA Individual Success: Three Big Ten men's gymnasts won individual national titles on the final day of the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships. Illinois' Jordan Valdez won the high bar competition with a score of 15.525, marking the first Fighting Illini to win the award since Paul Ruggeri in 2008-09. After winning the all-around crown, Mikulak took home the parallel bars title for the second consecutive season with a score of 15.875. Minnesota's Ellis Mannon took home the pommel horse title after scoring 15.425 points, becoming the first Gopher to claim the pommel horse crown since Clay Strother in 2001-02. Click here for more on individual wins at the NCAA Championships.
Wolverine Winners: The Michigan men's gymnastics team captured the 2014 Big Ten Championship at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb. The title marks the Wolverines' second consecutive crown and 17th overall. Mikulak was the Big Ten all-around champion after finishing with a score of 93.700 points, claiming his third Big Ten all-around crown and becoming the first conference gymnast to win three all-around titles since Ohio State's Blaine Wilson won three straight from 1995-97. Click here for more about the Big Ten Championship.
All the Awards: Following the Big Ten Championships, Michigan's Sam Mikulak was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year for the third time, becoming the first conference gymnast to earn the honor three times since Ohio State's Blaine Wilson earned the accolade from 1995-97. Ohio State's Melton was tabbed the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while Michigan's Kurt Golder was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Mikulak and Melton were joined on the All-Big Ten first team by Illinois' Chandler Eggleston and C.J. Maestas, Minnesota's Ellis Mannon, Ohio State's Jake Martin and Penn State's Trevor Howard. For more information on the postseason honors and All-Big Ten teams, click here.
Academic Success: The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 678 winter sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team, which included 51 men's gymnasts. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The list of gymnasts included 32 repeat winners, including three-time and four-time honorees Cameron Rogers, Cole Smith and Alex Varga of Illinois, Matt McGrath of Iowa, Syque Caesar, Kevin Fraser, Matt Freeman, Dylan James and AJ Schottstaedt of Michigan, Nathan Fortunato, Adam Kern and John Scallon of Minnesota, Donovan Arndt, Mark Ringle and Eric Schryver of Nebraska, Misha Koudinov and Michael Newburger of Ohio State and Adrian Evans, Preston Gall and Ingvar Jochumsson of Penn State. For more on the Academic All-Big Ten selections, click here.