Having lost more gymnasts to injuries than meets this season, the No. 3 Michigan men”s gymnastics team will host top-ranked Oklahoma and No. 10 Massachusetts this Sunday afternoon at Cliff Keen Arena.
As the Wolverines prepare to face off against the Sooners perhaps their most talented opponent this season and the Minutemen, they will undoubtedly have the status of senior tri-captain Kevin Roulston on their mind.
Roulston, who injured his knee in the warmups prior to the meet against Penn State two weeks ago, had an MRI taken yesterday. Results will most likely confirm a suspected torn ACL.
“We”re pretty certain that it”s a complete ACL tear,” Michigan coach Kurt Golder said. “We were hoping that everyone gets healthier.”
But thus far, while some gymnasts have recovered from injuries, others have fallen victim.
Juniors Scott Vetere, Daniel Diaz-Luong and Brad Kenna who have all competed injured for the past few weeks are now starting to return to form.
To compete with the Sooners and Minutemen, Michigan will need strong performances from its trio of juniors, but the wild cards will be sophomores Kris Zimmerman and Jaime Hertza.
Zimmerman narrowly missed qualifying for a spot on the U.S. national gymnastics team, bringing home a sixth-place finish in the Winter Cup Challenge.
Zimmerman and Kenna will take part in the all-around against Oklahoma and Massachusetts.
“Oklahoma has a different approach than us,” Golfer said. “They are much more aggressive and add a lot more difficulty in their routines than we do. We are trying to be more consistent with ours.
“And so far, it”s worked.”
The likes of Zimmerman and Hertza will be called upon to contribute heavily this weekend and perhaps the rest of the season towards the team score, especially with team”s lack of depth.
Though the Wolverines have yet to lose a tournament this season, they dropped to the third spot in the GymInfo national rankings after having been atop the polls for four consecutive weeks.
The rankings are based on the average scores of a home meet and two away meets.
Despite beating the Nittany Lions in State College two weeks ago, Michigan dropped in the rankings because of its low margin of victory.
“We beat Penn State at Rec Hall and that”s the main thing,” Golder said. “The rankings don”t bother me much at this point.”