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De los Angeles joins Mikulak on U.S. National Team

Allison Farrand/Daily
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By Alex Taylor, Daily Sports Writer
Published February 10, 2013

Several members of the No. 2 Michigan men’s gymnastics team took their talents to Las Vegas this past weekend, with hopes of making the U.S senior national team. Two such participants were sophomores Adrian de los Angeles and Stacey Ervin.

The Winter Cup, a USA Gymnastics-sponsored tournament, helps determine the 15 members of the national team. Because the members of the 2012 U.S Olympic team automatically keep their roster spots, only seven spots were open for the competitors at the Winter Cup.

Over the three days of competition, De los Angeles earned a roster spot while Ervin just missed out.

“I was very happy,” said Michigan coach Kurt Golder. “Those guys made Michigan real proud, they did very well.”

De los Angeles earned a roster spot by finishing second in the all-around. He turned in a score of 15.65 on the floor exercise, 15.10 on parallel bars, 14.70 on vault, 14.35 on rings and 13.30 on pommel horse.

“He didn’t have a perfect competition,” Golder said. “But he sure opened a lot of eyes.”

The combination of De los Angeles and his teammate, junior Sam Mikulak — who was guaranteed a spot via his participation with Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics — was the talk of the tournament.

“One comment I got from an executive was, ‘Michigan has the best all-around gymnasts in the country, but the only thing is, they have a better one back home in Sam Mikulak.’ So that was very cool,” Golder said. “I think we gained a lot of respect and I think Adrian gained a lot of respect.”

Mikulak, who has been plagued with injuries all year long, didn’t participate in the tournament due to injury.

Ervin, one of the 42 finalists, just missed out on receiving a roster spot. He competed on floor exercise, parallel bars, vault, and on parallel bars. In the finals, Ervin finished third on floor exercise and fourth on vault.

During the competition, program assistant Ian Makowske represented Team Mikey’s Way — a non-profit organization that helps children cope with the cancer treatment.

All in all, the Wolverines as a whole had one of the best overall performances by any program in attendance.

“To have two guys who are current students on the team, I don’t think there is another university that has that,” Golder said. “Two of the (15) guys are from Michigan, and I couldn’t be more proud. And we were very close to having three with Stacey.”

Michigan, with its newly minted national team members, will return to competition on Saturday, as it travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State in its Big Ten opener.