The Wolverine

May 2014 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 123 of 153

  NCAAS: MEN'S GYMNASTICS BY ANDY REID W hen the Michigan men's gymnastics team won the 2013 national champion‑ ship, it returned to its ho‑ tel in State College, Pa., and gathered for a late team dinner. The Wolverines had reached the pinnacle of their sport, but the ex‑ perience, while exhilarating, wasn't quite as satisfying as anyone on the team had hoped. The Penn State fans, who had flocked to the event, were wearing the wrong shade of blue, and the subsequent celebration and awards ceremony in the Bryce Jordan Center wasn't the raucous party that the gymnasts had expected. At the dinner, the Wolverines quickly turned their attention away from the national title they had just won and looked a year into the fu‑ ture. After breaking ground on a $72 million renovation that transformed Crisler Arena into one of the premier venues in college sports, the Michi‑ gan athletic department put a bid in — and was granted the right — to host the 2014 NCAA Men's Gymnas‑ tics Championships April 11‑13. Just hours after winning a title, the Wolverines, who were bringing back nearly every contributor, made a pact to cement their legacy in their own building, in front of their own fans, with a repeat. Performing before a packed house, Michigan did just that, scoring 445.05 points to top second‑place Oklahoma (441.65) and win the program's sixth national championship and the third in the last five years (U‑M has claimed titles in 1963, 1970, 1999, 2010, 2013 and 2014). The back‑to‑back NCAA titles marked the first for any U‑M sport since 1969‑70, when the trampoline team won in consecutive seasons. Men's swimming and diving also ac‑ complished the feat in 1958‑59. It also marked the first time U‑M hosted and won an NCAA championship since 1958 (men's swimming and diving). "You look up you see maize and blue," said senior Sam Mikulak. "Just to see all the support and all the peo‑ ple that are here to root for you for the win was so much better than it was last year. "Seeing your home colors, that's comforting to you, and I had so much family and friends that came to support us. It's nice that I can look STILL ON TOP Men's Gymnastics Claims its Third National Championship In Five Years

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