After Dmitri Belanovski closed out his second rings routine of the weekend with a stuck dismount, he pointed to the cameras.
The senior — competing for a Big Ten title on the still rings Saturday night during his final competition in Ann Arbor — knew he’d executed his routine well enough to earn a good score. He scored 13.800, good for fifth place in the final.
“I stuck to what I’ve been doing all year,” Belanovski said. “I definitely have the lowest start value out of these ten guys competing, but I stuck with my execution, stuck my dismount and just did what I did overall all year long.”
Placing just ahead of Belanovski was freshman Cameron Bock, who earned a fourth-place finish with a score of 13.825.
“Cameron has really, really come around on that event, has really developed a lot this year,” said Michigan coach Kurt Golder. “Strategy for (Belanovski), was, you know, he had a little elbow issue, we watered it down a little, went clean and conservative, and it worked out well for him.”
Bock started his strong weekend Friday with a fourth-place finish in the all-around with a score of 82.800.
On the floor, Bock hit a clean routine with the only deductions coming in hops on the landing of his tumbling passes. He followed up his floor routine with good form and rhythm on pommel horse, earning a score of 13.750 — his third-highest tally of the season. Four more clean routines earned him the highest finish of a freshman in the all-around competition.
“I just put on on every event,” Bock said. “I hit 6-for-6 and just came out with a really good score.”
In Saturday’s high bar competition, Bock executed three challenging releases and took just a small step on his dismount to score 13.725, just 0.25 below his qualifying score and good for another fourth-place result.
“He has, I think, a really smart routine,” Golder said. “One that fits his abilities well, and yeah, just real clean.”
On the vault, juniors Emyre Cole and Anthony McCallum placed fourth and fifth, respectively. It was McCallum’s third vault of the season, and the performance should serve him well with the NCAA Championships looming.
“I think particularly today, it’ll help him,” Golder said. “You know, he came up a little short and he was just pulling to make it yesterday, and we were very happy about that. But I think he’ll probably get a big confidence boot by his vault today.”
Though each gymnast performed a perfectly fine routine in Saturday’s competition, the results did not follow how they were expected to perform after earning second place in the team competition on Friday. None of the individual competitors improved upon their qualifying scores, leading to middle-of-the-pack finishes.
The NCAA Championships are just two weeks away, and the Wolverines are hoping to capitalize on the momentum from the team competition and perform better than last year’s ninth-place finish.
“We haven’t been in the top six, we haven’t been in the NCAA finals the last two years,” Belanovski said. “We proved a lot of people wrong with this top two finish yesterday. We’re just looking to get back in the top six and fight for that NCAA trophy.”