Later this month, 81 of the best male gymnasts from across the United States will head to Boston, to compete at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Between the junior and senior divisions, 26 will compete for NCAA teams during the 2019 season. Let’s take a look at what’s at stake for these current and future NCAA stars.
The men will have two days of competition, beginning on Thursday, August 16, at 1:30 p.m. with the juniors, followed by the seniors at 7:30 p.m. They’ll compete again two days later, with the juniors beginning at 10:30 a.m and the seniors beginning at 3:30 p.m. The junior division features gymnasts between the ages of 12 and 18, and the senior division features gymnasts at least 18 years old. The senior men’s competitions will be broadcast live on TV, with day one live on NBCSN from 8-10 p.m. and day two live on the Olympic Channel from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. All times are Eastern.
National titles and national team berths are at stake for the field of gymnasts. Yul Moldauer, a rising senior at Oklahoma, will look to defend his all around and floor titles. He will face fierce competition in the all around from Sam Mikulak, a former Michigan gymnast, who was unable to compete in the all around at last year’s championships due to injury, but previously won the title four times. Akash Modi, a former Stanford gymnast, and Allan Bower, a former Oklahoma gymnast, will also be in the hunt for the all around title. Moldauer is strong on every event but will look to separate himself from the rest of the all arounders on floor, an event he won the bronze medal on at last year’s world championships.
U.S. Senior National Team members Alec Yoder of Ohio State and Shane Wiskus of Minnesota will look to challenge for national titles as well. Yoder will contend on his standout event pommel horse, where earlier this year he won the event at the Winter Cup Challenge and placed third at the Doha World Cup. 2018 NCAA championships all around runner-up Wiskus will be one of many looking to dethrone Moldauer in the all around standings.
U.S. Junior National Team members Bennet Huang, Kevin Penev and Vitaliy Guimaraes are the only other collegiate gymnasts competing who are members of one of the national teams. Huang, who will be a sophomore at Iowa, will compete in the senior division for the first time while Penev, an incoming freshman at Michigan, will compete in the junior division. Also competing in the junior division is Guimaraes, an incoming freshman at Oklahoma who will try and defend his junior national title on floor.
Of the 11 NCAA teams with gymnasts competing at nationals, Oklahoma leads the field with eight current NCAA gymnasts competing. Illinois, Iowa and Michigan all tie for the second most with three competitors each. Many other competitors, such as Modi and Bower, will be representing their former schools at nationals but are not included in this count as they are not current NCAA athletes.
Check out the table below for the full list of men’s NCAA gymnasts competing at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. To learn more about the event and for tickets, head to USGymChampionships.com.
|Angel Leon||Junior||Ohio State||Freshman|
|Stephen Nedoroscik||Senior||Penn State||Junior|
|Kiwan Watts||Senior||Arizona State||Sophomore|
|Jordan Williams||Junior||Arizona State||Freshman|
|Alec Yoder||Senior||Ohio State||Senior|
*Not competing due to injury
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Article by Brandis Heffner
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