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NCAA

NCAA Men's Gymnastics Week 4 Recap + A Quick Week 5 Preview

Everything that happened in Week 4 of the NCAA Season PLUS a quick preview of week 5.

January 30, 2024




Gymnastics Podcast Transcript


Illinois made the Upset in their home opener against Oklahoma, Asher Hong got an 84.950 with a fall, the final three athletes have been named for Winter Cup from the qualifiers and more 


For those new here, I’m Kensley the host of Neutral Deductions a Podcast all about men’s gymnastics 


Here’s everything that happened in Week 4 of the NCAA season. 


OU vs. Illinois. 


Illinois had a late home opener against the Oklahoma Sooners who came off a stunning performance at the Rocky Mountain Open. The home team led the way after a head-to-head battle on floor, despite their lead, it was OU’s Emre Dodanli that came away with the floor title. Moving to pommel horse, the Sooners took the lead and carried the lead through the next three rotations, but a meltdown on parallel bars having to count two scores in the 11s mean that Fighting Illini regained the lead and maintained that lead through the final rotation. The Meet ended with a final score of 407.200 to 406.650. Illinois is now 3-0 for Pride Meets. 


For individual awards, neither team fielded any all-arounders. Emre Dodanli of OU won his three events (floor, vault, and high bar). His teammate, Ignacio Yockers won pommel horse with a fall. Illinois took two titles with reigning national champ Ashton Anaya topping the still rings standing and Will Hauke putting in a strong  


A couple of other things to highlight. OU was competing without Fuzzy Benas who currently owns the highest AA score. According to head coach Mark Williams’ social media, Benas has been dealing with the flu. 


Following the meet, Illinois head coach Daniel Riberio said, "Today was a big day for the Illini," head coach Daniel Ribeiro said. "These men understand fight. We had a number of mistakes today but these guys didn't let any of those mistakes faze them. The turning point of the meet was when Tate (Costa) finished his parallel bars routine after a fall, and then Will (Hauke) responded with a huge 14.100. Our entire high bar lineup carried that momentum with Logan (Myers)  anchoring and sealing the victory for us. We will keep this momentum rolling."


This is only the second win for Illinois when facing Oklahoma in the regular season. They will look too keep that momentum as they face the Michigan Wolverine at home next weekend. 


Stanford Open


Stanford, Cal, and a group of athletes representing Team USA competed at the Stanford Open this past weekend which also served as the final Winter Cup qualifying event. Unlike dual meets which use a head-to-head format, the Stanford Open saw a traditional meet with different teams competing simultaneously on different event. Normally, the home team starts in Olympic order, however, Cal started on floor while Stanford started on vault. Three-time world medalist, Khoi Young started the Cardinals off strong with a 14.850 which would end up being the highest score of the night. There was a lot of anticipation for two-time world team member, Asher Hong’s vault. As one of only a handful of people who can compete the hardest vault in the world, it’s always a piece of gymnastics that gets a lot of oohs and aahs from the crowd. Hong attempted his Ri Se Gwang vault which is a full twisting double back tsukahara vault but was under rotated and fell. It’s the first time he’s competed it this season and though he started the meet in a bit of a hole, he would end up victorious at the end of six events. 


Asher ended up winning the meet with an 84.850 meaning that withough the fall, he would have been pushing 86 -a huge number on the international stage. He surpassed Khoi Young in the all around after a massive 15.1 on still rings and also took the event title there. Khoi took home titles on parallel bars and pommel horse in addition to his vault title. Colt Walker was the only other even winner for the Cardinals meaning that their three world team members were the best of the night. Cal’s lone win came from Darren Wong on high bar. 


Following the meet, Noah Newfeld, Brandon Nguyen, and Ian Gunther qualified spots for Winter Cup. 


I also want to mention a couple of other key routines from the Team USA guys. Riley Loos put in an all around performance for an 82.500 which was good enough for 3rd. He was particularly strong on still rings, vault, and high bar and Jeremy Bischoff competed three events, the strongest of which was parallel bars where he placed 10th. 


Springfield vs. Army


Army took the win over Springfield at home and as a team took the highest score on all six events. Army also swept the podium on floor, rings and vault. Franco Peirano took the top score for floor, Maddox Pabellon took the highest score on pommel horse ahead of Springfield’s Peyton Cramer, Jaden Blank took the highest score on still rings, and Steven Manolakis was excellent on vault. 


Sam Kaplan continues to be standout for Springfield and won the parallel bars title; his teammate Owen Carney was the only gymnast to break the 13.00 mark on high bar. 


William and Mary vs. Navy


Navy took the victory over William & Mary by over 25 points. However, William and Mary did do enough to to move up one place in the overall standings from 15th to 14th. Navy led the head to head dual meal by 4.9 points after the first rotation. Though Navy was strong throughout the first rotation, they did so without Syam Buradagunta who has performed strongly for them on floor all year. In his absence, Isaiah Drake picked up the win for the midshipmen. Drake also picked up the title on floor while teammate Matthew Petros led on parallel bars and high bar. The Midshipmen swept all of the events with Ronan McQuillan taking pommel horse and William Champagne taking rings. 


Head coach, Kip Simons said, “"The team was very good today at home as we put the final preparations on for the big competition against Army next Saturday "Today, we tested our depth chart on each event and we have the right team ready to go for next weekend."


Sam Lee continues his impressive streak for William and Mary placing 2nd on parallel bars and vault


Navy’s performance has moved them up into 7th place. 


We will not do a full preview show later this week so here’s your quick preview of what to expect this coming weekend. 


12 teams are going to be competing in mostly dual meets on Saturday, February 3. Navy hosts Army and Simpson hosts Greenville at 2pm Eastern. Stanford will host Cal at 7:00 pm Eastern for the third match up this year. Oklahoma will host Ohio State and ASU at 7:00 Eastern and the two key meets to watch are Penn State at Nebraska and Michigan at Illinois. Penn State has had a slower start to the season and head coach Randy Jepson has cited injuries and illness. So this meet will hopefully provide a clearer picture of where Penn State is this year. Nebraska proved at the Rocky Mountain Open that they are strong. In the home opener, will they be able to capitilize on their momentum and take down Big Ten Rival, Penn State. The other big match up this weekend is Illinois hosting Michigan. Illinois has proved they are here to contend with the best of them after having knocked off # 1 Oklahoma at home. Michigan will need to be at their best to top Illinois. 


As always links for live scoring and video links are available on our website neutraldeductions.com 


Before we move on to a little bit of business We’ve gotten another 5 star review, this one is from levelupneuro who said,


THE source to follow men’s gymnastics

If you’re a MAG fan or want to keep up now that’s it an Olympic year, listen to this! I’ve learned so much from Kensley, and thanks to her passion and expertise covering NCAA, US and international events, I’ve became a big supporter of men’s gymnastics. 🙌


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If you have questions, comments or insider tips,  you can email Kensley at neutraldeductions@gmail.com That’s all for this week. We’ll see you next time! 


Article by: Kensley Behel


 


 

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