Despite missing junior Paul Juda, who was competing in the World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, the No. 4 Michigan men’s gymnastics team (12-1 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) beat Penn State (2-4, 0-4) 408.400-401.800 in its last regular season meet. The win secured the Wolverines the regular-season Big Ten title, the first they’ve won under interim head coach Yuan Xiao.
Sophomores Chris Read and Javier Alfonso tied for first place in rings with a score of 14.200.
“We struggle together and we have fun together,” Read said, reflecting on his experience this season. “The biggest thing we’ve been focusing on is having fun.”
Junior Crew Bold took first in the horizontal bar, placing himself at a 14.700, a 1.250-point improvement from his last meet against Illinois.
“Our team goals were to hit 90% of our routine,” Read said. “We were aiming to get eight sticks.”
Michigan won four out of six events, which was enough to advance over the Nittany Lions.
Sophomore Evgeny Siminiuc won pommel horse with a score of 14.350, and graduate student Nicholas Guy won the vault with a 14.700.
According to Xiao, there is no doubt these young men have been putting in the work.
“They’ve earned this.” Xiao said. “Our team is successful because we are truly believing and working hard.”
Last Friday night, Michigan held a tribute for the four-time national champion, Kurt Golder, who retired as a Michigan coach after the 2021 season. After working as an assistant coach for 16 years, Xiao now leads the Wolverines into the next chapter of Michigan men’s gymnastics history.