#NCAAMGym Week 8 Recap

Two weeks without NCAA competition somehow felt like a lifetime. Nevertheless, five-up-five-count action started out with a bang as we adventure into the second-half of the NCAA season.

Before we get into everything that happened, as always, here's the One Thing We Learned...

Inconsistent Judging Is A Real Problem

I wish this wasn't always a topic, but unfortunately it is. Also, to make clear, it's not a problem for just one particular region or school -- the inconsistency rears its ugly head all across the country.

The reason it's such a big issue is because it renders the rankings almost completely useless. Sure, they give us a general idea of how teams and individuals stack up, but nobody really has any clue as to how legitimate they actually are. This isn't just a problem that I've observed, either. I've had multiple current NCAA gymnasts reach out to me regarding their own scores and how they were MUCH higher than they should've been -- as in 1+ points too high. How does that even happen? This then leads to (in some cases) the gymnast them self being put in a sticky situation just because they were given a score that they had no control over.

I know there are some fantastic judges out there who don't deserve criticism, but as is the case in many situations, the bad outweigh the good. I dream of a day where I can look at a West Coast, East Coast and Midwest score all from the same weekend and know it's accurate. It feels like that day will never come. -- Logan Bradley

Michigan @ Oklahoma

Yul Moldauer made his all-around season debut to lead the No. 1 Sooners to their best meet of the season last Saturday against Michigan. In doing so, OU shrugged off all doubt about their right to the throne; it was also a stark demonstration of how valuable Moldauer is to the team.


Beating the Sooners in Norman was a huge demand of the No. 3 Wolverines from the start. But their 411.2 was nonetheless a big disappointment for those who had hoped the gap between OU and the second and third-ranked teams was narrowing.  

Oklahoma excelled on all six but was especially impressive on vault: Their 73.45 was the top team score on the event this season by nearly a point. Leading the charge on vault was Levi Anderson and his Tsuk double pike, which earned him a 14.8 to tie for the title with Michigan’s Emyre Cole.

Moldauer, for his part, proved yet again that he’s untouchable in the all around. His 88.3 is the top all-around score of the season by almost four points. He also put up the country’s best floor and p-bars scores of the season, with a 15.3 and a 15.1 on each.

Michigan looked fairly confident at the start of the meet, but their rings rotation ended up being a surprising turning point. Their season-low 65.6 on the event came after a few strange mistakes, and after OU’s eruption on vault, the Wolverines were set back much too far to recover.

Highlights for the Wolverines included another solid floor set from Jacob Moore, a third-place finish on horse for Mack Lasker, a 14.55 on rings from Ryan Dunning, Cole’s vault title, and Cameron Bock making podium on p-bars and high bar.

The Wolverines have this weekend off. They face Iowa in Ann Arbor on March 9.

OU has the weekend off, too, although Moldauer will be representing at the American Cup. The Sooners’ next meet is at home against Illinois on March 9. -- Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Cal @ Stanford

Going at each other for the sixth time in 2019, Stanford handed their rival their largest defeat of the season en route to a season-best team score.


Nothing lower than a 68.4 is quite a feat, and it should say something about the consistency that the Cardinal is finding as the season continues.

Two Stanford gymnasts competed all-around and both of them, Brody Malone and Ryan Sheppard, enjoyed fantastic days. The freshman, Malone, took home the crown with an 84.1 while Sheppard came away with a not-too-shabby 82.95.

Stanford swept the events in Palo Alto with Malone taking HB and Sheppard PB, along with Bryan Perla on FX, Joey Ringer on PH, Josiah Eng on SR and Connor Lewis on VT. Of that group, Perla is a name to really keep an eye on come MSPF and NCAA Championships. He has the talent to push for a top-three finish on floor.

Cal, on the other hand, stumbled a little bit following their upward trend prior to Winter Cup. The good: the Golden Bears continue looking great on parallel bars -- a bit of unique event to have as your strength. Not a single gymnast scored below 13.1. The bad: there isn't much in terms of fire power on vault. Not a single Cal gymnast competed a 5.0+ VT. -- Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Navy/Air Force @ Penn State

Penn State cruised to victory over Air Force and Navy last Saturday and cracked 410 for the first time this season.


The No. 4 Nittany Lions struggled on floor but were poised otherwise. They set season highs on pommel horse, rings and p-bars, and earned individual titles on every event besides floor. Their 69.1 on pommels, led by Stephen Nedoroscik’s 15.25, was the highest team score on the event so far this season.

Navy had a disappointing meet, putting up just a 393.95, a nearly 15-point drop from their last meet two weeks ago. Ben Provost earned Navy’s sole individual event title with a 13.95 on floor.

Air Force had a lackluster day as well. After breaking 400 two weeks ago, the Falcons dropped to the low-390s, scoring a 392.65 to keep pace with Navy. Air Force had the top team score of the night on floor but struggled badly on pommels. It was a squandered chance for the Falcons to avenge their loss to Navy on Feb. 9.

Penn State will face Ohio State in Columbus this Saturday, and the Falcons face Army at home the same day. Navy will face William & Mary in Williamsburg on Friday. -- Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Minnesota/UIC @ Nebraska

A tightly-contested matchup came down to the wire in Lincoln this past weekend with Nebraska defending their home arena, taking down Minnesota and UIC.


While this win will not count towards their Big Ten regular season record (the two teams will meet again March 8), the Cornhuskers made a statement defeating a great Minnesota team. Interestingly, both teams seem to have similar compositions: weaker pommel horse and rings but very strong on the other four. This formula made for one of the closest competitions we have seen so far this year.

Nebraska was led by Evan Hymanson who scored an 81.00 in his all-around debut. Hymanson had a trio of top-four finishes (FX, SR, PB). Nebraska has really shined recently on high bar, where they needed to deliver this past Saturday. Griffin Kehler and Khalil Jackson each took a share of the event title (14.00) to close out the win.

The Cornhuskers have now taken down Illinois and Minnesota in their previous two outings after a tough loss to Penn State. It is safe to say that Nebraska is back on track.

Minnesota had a great chance to take this one, down 4.3 heading into vault while Nebraska went to high bar. The Gophers made a couple of mistakes to close out the meet that allowed victory to slip from their hands. Regardless, this was still a great showing from a young team who was without one of their key contributors, Shaun Herzog.

Mike Moran had a breakout performance, tallying a first place finish on floor (14.40) and a third place finish on vault (14.55). The freshman adds to the longstanding tradition of dominant floor and vault competitors from Mike Burns’ teams. Shane Wiskus, who only competed on three events, grabbed the p-bars title (14.25).

UIC rounded out the field and broke the 360 mark for the first time this season. Sam Montague continues to look great on floor where he placed fourth with a 14.00. -- Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

William & Mary @ Army

What a resurgence Army is experiencing this season. For the fourth-straight meet, the Black Knights registered a 395+, and in this case, came away with a victory over William & Mary.


Leading the charge were your usual suspects in Cole Casanova (81.55) and Matt Davis (78.9). Fresh off of competing in Las Vegas, Casanova captured the HB and PB titles along with all-around. I'm sure he's been able to prove valuable to Davis in bringing him along during his freshman campaign.


As a team, Army gained the most ground on W&M thanks to a stellar 67.0 effort on FX.

As long as the Knights can keep up this level of competitiveness, they'll be looking at an NCAA berth come April.

As for the Tribe, Friday represented a step in the right direction. It was also their first meet of a double-meet weekend where they posted their two highest team scores of the year. While competing at West Point, William & Mary actually brought home four event titles: Cutter Fugett on FX, Jacopo Gliozzi on PH, David Watkins on SR and Andrew Lyubovsky on HB. -- Logan Bradley


Check out full results here.

William & Mary/Temple @ Springfield

The great weekend continued for the Tribe with an easy victory at Springfield on Sunday afternoon.


William & Mary bested Springfield and Temple on each event, adding up to a season-best 394.15. If all goes according to plan, W&M should be able to stay in the low-to-mid-390 range for the rest of the season.

Highlights came in the form of event wins from Gliozzi on PH, Watkins on SR, Jack Hasenkopf on VT and Lyubovsky on both PB & HB. It should be noted that Lyubovsky, who's just a freshman, is having quite the campaign. He now sits No. 24 nationally on HB.


It was a less-than-ideal day for Springfield at home. PH was their ultimate undoing as the Pride could muster just a 58.4 on the event. Five-up-five-count was a bit of their undoing as they were forced to count a sub-10 score on the event.

On the bright side of things, Stephen Lewis recorded his second 80+ all-around score of the season. That was highlighted by an event-winning 13.7 on FX. -- Logan Bradley


The Temple Owls finished with a team score of 352.55 and were led in the all-around by Garrett McDaniel. -- Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

The Sun Devil Classic

Three teams battled it out at the Sun Devil Classic where Arizona State proved they are the powerhouse of GymACT.


It was not their best competition, but it was enough to get the job done.  The Sun Devils were led by none other than Kiwan Watts. Watts won the all-around title with an 80.40 and took home three event titles as well (SR – 14.0, VT – 14.70, PB – 13.80). The other Sun Devil mainstay, Jordan Williams, took the day off after a stellar Winter Cup performance.

In the absence of Williams, it was Kirk Malm who stepped up as the number two guy. Malm won both pommel horse (13.15) and high bar (13.25). All in all, it was another great day for ASU as they took five of six event titles from their GymACT rival.

Washington put up their third score of 375+ but it was not enough to take down the talented Sun Devil team. Nathan Tsuji was once again the highlight, winning floor with a 13.80. Michael Sibley was able to notch a second place finish on p-bars (13.15). Sibley was joined by his teammate, Oscar Hemmert, who also grabbed a second place finish. Hemmert’s clean high bar set earned him a 13.00.

William Pearce led SC United to a third place finish tallying a 70.00 in the all-around. -- Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.