At the Big Ten championships in Champaign this weekend, the No. 9 Michigan men’s gymnastics team competed with hopes of staying competitive in the stacked conference.
But out of the seven schools competing, the Wolverines finished in dead last, with No. 3 Ohio State taking home the win followed closely by No. 4 Illinois.
Michigan (3-5 Big Ten, 7-13 overall) was led in the all around competition by its top gymnast, sophomore Emyre Cole, who finished in sixth place with a score of 80.650. Cole also offered an impressive performance in the floor event, taking third place with a score of 14.700.
The Wolverines had previously been in good form, winning two of their last three individual meets — a 409.200-405.300 loss against No. 7 Penn State sandwiched between a 402.10-386.80 win over No. 8 California and a 414.950-368.600 victory over No. 17 UIC — coming into this weekend’s championships.
Michigan also received impressive performances on the vault, courtesy of Cole as well as sophomore Anthony McCallum. McCallum placed second overall for the second straight year with a score of 14.800, just behind Minnesota’s Yaroslav Pochinka, who scored a 14.900. Cole tied for third with Minnesota’s Zach Liebler and Vitali Kan with a score of 14.700.
The Wolverines didn’t score as well in the pommel horse as their top scorer, freshman Mack Lasker, finished in ninth place with a score of 14.000 — a far cry from the winner of the event, Illinois’s Brandon Ngai, who paced the competition with his score of 14.550.
Despite the tough finish in the pommel horse, Michigan bounced back in the high bar. Sophomore Adam Dean finished tied for second with Minnesota’s Jalon Stephens with a score of 14.500. Dean tied, and was close behind Illinois’s Tyson Bull, who won the event with a score of 14.550.
The Wolverines also failed to impress on the rings. Their best finisher in the event was sophomore Ryan Dunning, who was 13th with a score of 13.700.
The final event of the weekend was the parallel bar, where the Wolverines were once again carried by Cole. Cole finished tied for seventh with Nebraska’s Anton Stephenson and Ohio State’s Jake Dastrup with a score of 14.200.
Michigan has to bounce back quickly after its disappointing last-place finish, as the Wolverines will compete next weekend at the NCAA Championships next weekend, hoping to improve upon their ninth-place finish from last year.