The annual Maize and Blue Intrasquad meet on Saturday was the Wolverines’ first judged event of the season. Michigan coach Kurt Golder was not very excited about his team’s performance in the exhibition.
After last year’s runner-up performance at the NCAA Championships, the sixth-ranked Wolverines are back in action again.
“I saw a lot of good things,” Golder said. “But I saw a lot of missed routines tonight, too. I doubt whether we hit 50 percent of our routines tonight, because we’ve been hitting around 50 percent in practice. That’s disappointing.”
One of the “good things” was the performance of senior Mel Anton Santander, who won the pommel horse and finished third on the rings.
“I thought he looked the best prepared out of all the guys on the team,” Golder said. “During the regular season, I always have most outstanding performance and I would give it to him for the total of all the events tonight.”
In this year’s intrasquad meet, Santander and junior Chris Cameron traded roles from last year.
In last year’s meet, Cameron beat Santander in overall points by a mere 3.1 points. This year Santander got retribution by taking a slim 3.4 point victory, leading the Maize team to a victory.
Even though Santander was the overall winner, he was not completely satisfied with his performance.
“I had some good things and some bad things,” Santander said. “Overall, I felt like it was good, but not good enough. This is just a good starting point for me, and hopefully, it will just continue on to better things in the future of our season.”
Cameron, an All-American last year, was disappointed with his performance at the meet. Though he won the floor exercise and finished second on the high bar, he felt he could have done better.
“At no point should I drop to the level that I performed at today,” Cameron said. “There’s no excuse for that. When it all boils down to what I needed to do, it was nothing near what this team needs of me.”
Other top performers for the Wolverines included freshman Rohan Sebastian, who finished third in the overall competition and junior Thomas Kelley, who won the high bar by an impressive 1.2 points.
Up next for Michigan is the Windy City Invitational in Chicago on Jan. 16. Golder is hoping for a better showing than his team exhibited Saturday.
“We better hit a lot more routines, and we better look a lot cleaner,” Golder said. “We better win it. We won it last year, and we should be a better team this year.”