ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team earned top billing in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll for the second consecutive season, the conference office announced Thursday. The Buckeyes, who have won 13 Big Ten Championships, were followed by No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Penn State and No. 5 Nebraska. Iowa and Michigan were ranked sixth and seventh in the preseason poll, respectively.
The Big Ten also announced the 2016 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list, with seven Academic All-Big Ten honorees returning for the 2017 campaign. Illinois’ Brandon Ngai, Iowa’s Austin Hodges, Minnesota’s Tristan Duran and Zach Liebler, Nebraska’s Austin Epperson, Ohio State’s Jake Martin and Penn State’s Dominic DiFulvio, were all recognized with the academic honor last season.
Illinois’ Alex Diab, Iowa’s Dylan Ellsworth, Michigan’s Dmitri Belanovski and Tristian Perez-Rivera, Nebraska’s Anton Stephenson, Ohio State’s Tristan Burke and Penn State’s Leroy Clarke were also named to the Gymnasts to Watch list.
Last season, the Buckeyes finished third at the NCAA Championships, followed by the Fighting Illini and the Nittany Lions in fourth and fifth, respectively. The 2017 Big Ten men’s gymnastics season gets underway in January.
The complete Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Gymnasts to Watch List can be found below.
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
- Ohio State
- Penn State
BIG TEN MEN’S GYMNASTS TO WATCH LIST
Alex Diab, So., ILL
Brandon Ngai, Jr., ILL*
Dylan Ellsworth, Jr., IOWA
Austin Hodges, Jr., IOWA*
Dmitri Belanovski, Jr., MICH
Tristian Perez-Rivera, Sr., MICH
Tristan Duran, Jr., MINN*
Zach Liebler, Sr., MINN*
Austin Epperson, Sr., NEB*
Anton Stephenson, So., NEB
Tristan Burke, So., OSU
Jake Martin, Sr., OSU*
Leroy Clarke, Sr., PSU
Dominic DiFulvio, Sr., PSU*
* denotes Academic All-Big Ten honoree