The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 22, 2013

Michigan Olympian dominates, Sooners wins on rings

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Olympian Sam Mikulak didn’t miss a beat Sunday, even after capping a busy weekend with two more NCAA men’s gymnastics titles.

The Michigan standout won individual crowns on the parallel bars and high bar — scoring an impressive 16.1 points on the latter apparatus — a day after taking the all-around competition to help the Wolverines claim the team title.

Mikulak wore a path to the top of the award stand. On his last trip, he celebrated by pumping his fist in harmony to the Michigan fight song that echoed through Rec Hall after he was conferred the trophy for the high bar win.

“It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine,” exclaimed coach Kurt Golder. “It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

And they celebrated on the home floor of Big Ten rival Penn State, which hosted the meet.

The favored Nittany Lions finished a disappointing fourth in the team competition, but did get an individual event winner after Trevor Howard claimed the floor exercise title. He beat out Stanford standout Eddie Penev and Mikulak, who took third in that event.

“Today, I was seeking revenge,” a giddy Howard said afterward. “I was ready to get back at the Wolverines for what happened. It was good to go out there and rock out.”

Ohio State’s Michael Newburger took the pommel horse title to set up an unusual scene in State College. The Buckeyes are a fierce football rival to Penn State, so it’s rare to hear an Ohio State song being played in Happy Valley without being drowned out by boos.

That never happened Sunday, and a few hearty Ohio State teammates and fans even joined in on the fun by clapping along to the song while Newburger soaked up the spotlight on the podium after picking up his first-place trophy.

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