Mikulak, de los Angeles lead Michigan past Penn State to 16th Big Ten title
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Behind an NCAA record-setting 15.95 performance on parallel bars from junior Sam Mikulak and a 1-2 all-around competition finish from Mikulak and sophomore Adrian de los Angeles, No. 3 Michigan captured its 16th Big Ten championship by defeating No. 1 Penn State 438.900-434.050 on Friday inside the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.
Additionally, eight Wolverines qualified for 18 different spots for individual event finalists, which are to be held Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
For the first time this season, Michigan began the night on a bye rotation and started off the quest for the 16th Big Ten Title on pommel horse. Freshman Nolan Novak led off on the apparatus, scoring a 14.10, the second-best Wolverine score in his first Big Ten Championships, and advanced to the event finals. Sophomore de los Angeles also qualified for the second night and led the way for Michigan with a 14.20. As a team, Michigan began the night with a 69.60.
On still rings in rotation two, senior Rohan Sebastian and junior Matt Freeman made the event finals, as Sebastian scored a 15.05 to take fifth, while Freeman tallied a 14.95 to take ninth as the Wolverines scored a 73.45.
Four Wolverines advanced to competition on Saturday night on vault, as UM hit a season-best team score of 75.65 that was led by a season best from Ervin (15.45), which was good enough for second, while freshman Konner Ackerman and Mikulak scored 15.25s on the event to tie for fourth. All five Wolverines surpassed the 14.80 mark on the table, as de los Angeles scored a 14.90 to earn a berth on Saturday, while sophomore Michael Strathern hit a 14.80 and tied for 13th.
Led by Mikulak's record-setting performance on parallel bars, UM collected a 74.65, as de los Angeles got second (15.25), senior Syque Caesar took fourth with a 15.00, and Ervin took sixth with a 14.95. The performance for both Ervin and Mikulak served as career highs.
On high bar in the fifth rotation, Caesar placed second with a 14.85, while Mikulak took third with a 14.75, positioning himself to defend his Big Ten title from a year ago on the event. Strathern rounded out UM's trio of event qualifiers, as he tied for eighth 14.30 and the Wolverines scored a 70.10.
Leading by nearly five points heading into the final rotation on floor, Sebastian led off with a 14.30. Three of the final four Wolverines surpassed the 15-point mark to earn event final berths, as Caesar scored a 15.10 in the No. 2 position. The No. 3 spot saw Ervin tally a 15.50 for second, while Mikulak marked a 15.40 to take third.