Sam Mikulak went out in style by anchoring the Wolverines' final event, floor exercise, with an event-high 16.05. The score gave the Wolverines back-to-back NCAA team titles, and their sixth overall, before a home crowd Friday night at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
Michigan senior |Sam Mikulak clinched the all-around and team title on floor exercise
Michigan led wire-to-wire to defeat runner-up Oklahoma, 445.05-441.65, while Stanford finished third with 436.30. Completing the six-team field in order were Illinois (435.35), Ohio State (433.50) and Penn State (429.80).
Mikulak also won his third NCAA all-around title in spite of a poor high bar routine in the second-to-last rotation. Having posted the top scores on pommel horse, vault and parallel bars, Mikulak overshot the bar on a Kolman, his opening release (13.35). That's when he rebounded on floor for his final routine as a Michigan Wolverine. Every pass was in control, and he stuck his triple twist dismount to set off a frenzy of cheers among his teammates and fans.
As he did last season, Michigan head coach Kurt Golder lightened Mikulak's competitive load throughout the season, and the strategy worked. The Wolverines may not have occupied the top spot in the regular-season rankings, but they did when it counted most, which was after Thursday's qualifier and Friday's NCAA final.
Mikulak's 91.10 proved too much for runner-up Akashi Modi (89.20), the sensational freshman from Stanford. Ohio State freshman Sean Melton was third with 88.40, suggesting a shift in power as Mikulak leaves the collegiate ranks.
Michigan's win was all the more remarkable since it had lost one of its top gymnasts, Adrian de los Angeles, to a torn ACL at the Winter Cup in February. A year ago, de los Angeles placed second all-around at the NCAAs.
Oklahoma had one fall in its first rotation, parallel bars, but battled back to make it interesting. But the Sooners, who had no all-arounders in the meet, lacked the big weapon to challenge the Mikulak-led Wolverines.
For complete results, click here.