Michigan dominates field by three-plus points to capture fifth national title
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Olympian Sam Mikulak won the all-around competition and helped Michigan pull away from Oklahoma in the final rotation to take the NCAA men's gymnastics title on Saturday.
Michigan finished with 443.200 points, and Oklahoma had 440.100 after leading by five-tenths after five events. The Wolverines' final event was floor exercise and they scored 75.250, while the Sooners earned 72.750 on the high bar.
The championship was Michigan's fifth, and the third for head coach Kurt Golder.
''You work so hard every year and it doesn't always come to fruition,'' Golder said. ''When it does, it's very special.''
Sooners coach Mark Williams was pleased with the second-place finish.
''We were trying to get as good as we could during the year and see how far we could go,'' Williams said. ''There's no way I could have projected this team would have finished second.''
Stanford was third at 436.150, followed by host Penn State at 436.100, Iowa at 426.450 and Illinois at 422.550.
Mikulak finished at 91.150 for his second all-around title in three years. He was second last season. Teammate Adrian de los Angeles was second at 88.350.
''We wanted that 1-2 finish and that's what we got,'' Mikulak said.
The NCAA title in his senior season capped off quite a year for Mikulak, a member of the U.S. senior national team who competed in the London Olympics.
''There's a lot more pride with this team of brothers I've been working so hard every day with in the gym,'' Mikulak said. ''As much as the Olympics was an amazing experience, this is something that I hadn't accomplished and this is the final accolade I was striving to get for my college career.''
Golder chose to start on the pommel horse, typically one of the competition's most difficult events.
''If you do have trouble, you have five events to dig yourself out of a hole you just dug,'' Golder said. ''But we didn't have trouble. That's what we did at Big Tens and we won and that's what we did in prelims. So there wasn't much of a need to change.''
Individual champions will be determined in the six events Sunday.