April 15, 2010
At the 2010 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics National Qualifier on Thursday in West Point, N.Y., Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State advanced to Friday night’s team final. The three Big Ten teams comprise half of the team championship field as the trio will be joined by California, Oklahoma and Stanford, the same six that took part in last year’s final. Despite not advancing to the team finals, Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State send a combined 18 gymnasts to compete for individual titles.
Top-ranked Illinois finished second in the afternoon session, finishing with a qualifying score of 354.050, to advance to the team finals on Friday night. No. 5 Ohio State finished third in the session, recording a score of 346.800. The Illini advance to their ninth-straight team final, while the Buckeyes head back to the team final for the second year in a row.
Penn State, which finished fourth in Thursday’s qualifier, will have a strong showing during Friday’s competition as six gymnasts will compete for a chance at individual championships. Noam Shaham (floor exercise, still rings, vault parallel bars and high bar), co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year Felix Aronovich (pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars), Nick Virbitsky (floor exercise, vault), Nick Grant (floor exercise), Matt Greenfield (high bar) and Matt Chelberg (rings) will represent Penn State during Friday’s competition.
In Thursday’s evening session, Michigan punched its ticket to the team final for the 12th-straight time, joining Illinois and Ohio State in Friday’s competition. The third-ranked Wolverines finished first in the evening session, totaling 359.800 points, the highest team total of the day. Michigan enters the team final as the No. 1 seed. Minnesota finished the meet in fourth with a score of 350.000 and Iowa was sixth with 341.550 points.
Minnesota and Iowa will still be represented in Friday’s competition as each squad will send individuals to compete for individual titles. The Gophers send eight gymnasts to Friday night’s action, including Andre Berry (vault), Harris Coleman (pommel horse), Aaron Fortunato (all-around), Colin McGuire (floor exercise), Thomas O’Brien (pommel horse, still rings), Michael Paulus (parallel bars), Adam Reichow (floor exercise), and Cole Storer (floor exercise).
Four Hawkeyes advanced through to Friday’s competition as Jonathan Buese takes part in the high bar, Zach Cazabon competes on the parallel bars, Mike Jiang advanced on the pommel horse, and Matt McGrath will compete on the vault.
Competition continues at 7 p.m. ET on Friday at the 2010 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships with the team and all-around finals. Performers that place in the top 10 in each event during the team finals competition will qualify for the NCAA individual event finals, scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.