The Wolverine

June-July 2013 - Wolverine

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 154

Dynasty In The Making U-M's Men's Gymnastics Team Won The National Title, And It's Already Taking Aim At A Repeat A By Andy Reid t the 2012 NCAA Championships, the Michigan men's gymnastics team looked like it was on a roll. The Wolverines beat the five other teams in the preliminary round, building momentum to another Super Six appearance. But then the bottom fell out, and the team tumbled to a sixth-place finish — dead last — in the finals, sitting behind national champion Illinois by 7.8 points, an insurmountable margin of defeat in the sport. In the long run, 2012's disappointment paved the way for 2013's wealth of riches. "After that finish, the team banded together and said: 'We are going to work so hard to make sure we're going to win,'" fifth-year senior parallel bars specialist Syque Caesar said. "When we walked through the door this year, we knew we were going to be champions. There was no other option." The Wolverines didn't just win the national championship; they crushed the competition, scoring 443.2 points and beating second-place Oklahoma by a whopping 3.1 points. Michigan tallied just four total misses in the prelims and finals, putting together an almost perfect two-day run at the event, held in State College, Pa. At the prelims, the Wolverines scored at least 71.7 in every event, beating every team in their session by at least 10 total points. Penn State, which won the second session of prelims, tallied seven fewer points than Michigan. "During the prelims, I didn't realize how well we were doing until Syque messed up on high bar," said junior Sam Mikulak, who claimed his second NCAA all-around national championship in three years (2011). "He came up and apologized and said, 'Sorry for being the first routine that was missed.' And then I thought, 'Wow, we have been hitting very consistently.'" To that point in the prelims, Michigan had already competed on pommel horse, still rings, vault and parallel balls. The team was on a roll.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - June-July 2013 - Wolverine