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2024 NCAA Week 1 Recap

A Recap of Week 1 in the 2024 NCAA Season

January 7, 2024

Photo: University of Michigan Athletics

The 2024 NCAA season is underway and the University of Michigan took the highest score of the weekend with a 404.900 –the only team to break the 400.00 mark thus far. Hitting 93% of their routines, the Wolverines bested Simpson and Greenville and came away with four of the six event titles as well as the all-around title. Michigan won the meet without their two stars Paul Juda and Fred Richard, choosing to showcase some of their new talent. Freshman, Pierce Wolfgang is now two for two in all-around titles for the season having previously won the all-around title at the Maize and Blue Intrasquad. The Wolverines also swept the podium on pommel horse, parallel bars, and high bar, where senior, Crew Bold tallied an impressive 14.40. 

Greenville opened the meet in stunning form by leading the trio of teams after the first rotation. Totaling a 383.500, the Panthers came within a point of their all-time program record. In surprising turn of events, two athletes from Greenville bested athletes from Michigan to win event titles; sophomore, Zach Connelly won the floor title with a brand new routine and freshman, Logan Watterson, stuck a Kas 1.5 winning not only the vault title but aslo the coveted Newt Loken Outstanding Performance Award. Greenville was also the only of the five competing teams this weekend to break the 70 barrier on any event with a 70.6500 on vault. 

Rounding out the tri-meet, Simpson has a lot to be proud of including improving their opening total by nearly 25 points and breaking program records on still rings and parallel bars. Brian Rollison was the lone gymnasts from Simpson to earn a spot on the podium with a 3rd place finish on still rings.  Their 366.000 is the second-highest team score in history and Coach Colin Payne said, “there is a lot left in the tank.”

Both Michigan, Greenville, and Simpson with have a rematch next weekend at the Windy City Invitational.

In front of a crowd of 350, Penn State beat Army as expected and swept the event titles. With only a 67% hit ratio after battling injuries and illnesses, the Nittany Lions have a lot of room for improvement. The highlight of the night was sophomore, Josh Karnes on parallel bar where his 14.900 was over a point better than second place. Army finished 23 points behind Penn State with a lone victory in the all-around. Three gymnasts from Army managed second place podiums on pommel horse, vault, and high bar. Penn State and Army will have a rematch next week at the West Point Open. 

Next week, Stanford, Oklahoma, California, Ohio State, William & Mary, Navy, Air Force, Illinois, and Springfied. Only Nebraksa will wait to debut their season on Week 3. The full 2024 NCAA schedule can be found here. 

Article by: Kensley Behel


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