Sam won floor in last night’s team finals with a 16.05, and he is currently ranked #1 in the country on this event. Despite breaking both ankles simultaneously on a floor dismount as a sophomore, Sam continues to be a dominant force on the floor exercise. He competes last on floor tonight and needs to beat a 15.425 to win.
But Sam’s floor routine is similar to his horse routine, filled with rather uncharacteristic errors. He nearly falls on his second pass, and while he attempts a very difficult “air flair,” he scrapes his foot on the ground and bends his legs, losing more in deduction than the skill is worth.
Sam scores a 15.125, and still manages to claim 4th place.
Routine: Back 3/2 punch 2/1 (low landing and small hop); front 1/1 punch double front (low flip large step to side; almost falls); back 5/2 punch front 3/2 (step back); air flair (nearly falls and scrapes foot on floor); wide arm press; layout thomas; layout thomas; back 3/1 (hop and step back)
Sam enters tonight’s horse finals having qualified number 1 with a 15.6. He is currently unranked on Horse, as he did not compete horse at enough regular season competitions to have a national qualifying average. That said, he did compete horse at the 2012 Olympic Games, so he is definitely a competitor to watch out for.
But tonight certainly wasn’t Sam’s best night. His scissor work was good to begin the routine, but he smacks his legs on his russian flop, causing him to lose balance, break form, and nearly fall off the horse. Miraculously, Sam does not fall, but he never seems to get back into the swing of things. The rest of his routine has quite a few form errors and he finishes with just a C dismount, dropping his start value by 3 tenths in the process.
Sam scores a 13.25, putting him in last place
Routine: Mikulak; scissor 1/1 travel; stockli b down; d russian flop (hits the horse, bends and splits his legs and by some miracle stays on the horse); tong fei (legs split); triple russian (legs split and bend); magyar; sivado (legs split); c handstand dismount
Stacey qualified into tonight’s finals in seventh place with a score of 15.3. Interestingly, Stacey is unranked in the national gymnastics rankings. Because he did not compete floor at the B1G Championships, he was not eligible to be nationally ranked. That said, Stacey is definitely one of the best tumblers in the country.
And Stacey really impresses the crowd. His landings are essentially flawless with just a small hop on his Tamayo and his Arabian Double Tuck. His Tamayo is huge, even for Stacey. Not to mention, Stacey’s connection tumbling is immaculate as well. What a great way to end the 2014 season for Stacey.
Unfortunately, Stacey’s 15.1 puts him in second place (behind CJ Maestas of Illinois) with only 2 competitors having gone.
Routine: Front 2/1 punch front 1/1; Tamayo (small hop but so high); press; back 5/2 punch front 1/2; back 3/2 punch front 3/2; layout thomas; arabian double tuck (small hop)
Tonight the wolverines will be competing 4 gymnasts on 5 different events with the potential to earn 7 All-American honors (every gymnast scoring in the top 8 on each event will All-American; 10 gymnasts will compete on each event).
On floor, we will see routines from Sam Mikulak, who won floor in yesterday’s team finals with a huge 16.05! We will also see Sam on pommel horse; he also won horse yesterday with a 15.6. No wolverines will compete on rings, but on vault we will see both Sam Mikulak, who won qualifications with a 15.3, and Tristian Perez-Rivera, who qualified to finals with a 15.05. On parallel bars, we will see both Sam, who won with a 16.05, and Syque, Caesar, who qualified in 6th place with a 15.2. Finally, on high bar, we will see Syque, who qualified with a 14.85. And yes, you did read that right: on every event that Sam will compete tonight, he won during yesterday’s team finals.
The format for tonight’s competition is as follows: gymnasts will compete one at a time on the first three olympic events (Floor, Horse, and Rings). Afterwards, the gymnasts will move to the last three events (Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar).
And Sam wins the NCAA all-around finals for the 3rd time in his career with a 91.1 (Akash Modi of Stanford placed second with an 89.2). This title makes Sam a 6-time NCAA champion, and if he wins an event tomorrow at the event finals, he has the chance to tie Jim Hartung and Joe Giallombardo for the most ever NCAA titles (at 7). This win also makes Sam a 14-time All American! What a way to finish a college career for Sam!
And UM repeats as national champions, finishing with a 444.95. This is the 6th NCAA title in program history and the first back-to-back NCAA titles for any UM sport since 1970, when the trampoline team won in two consecutive seasons.
The victory is even sweater given that UM is at home. The last time UM hosted and won an NCAA Championship was back in 1958, when men’s swimming took home the crown.
With this win, UM finishes the 2014 season undefeated. Time to order some rings!
Sam goes 15.95 and UM finishes with a phenomenal 444.95! What a way to end a competition!