March 28, 2001
Just in case you didn't know, we didn't come walking away with the Big Ten Championship. There was no trophy, no champion hats or shirts, nothing. We walked away having to accept a disappointing fourth-place finish behind Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. It was very hard to accept, especially because of the fact that we led the competition through four of the six rotations.
To sum up how we did during the competition, we nailed floor, dominated on pommel horse and rings, and we had also had a fairly decent vault day as well. Everything was going a hundred miles an hour, all the guys were amped up because of how well we had been doing. It was amazing, especially because of the fact that we had hit our most feared event, the pommel horse. We were definitely well on our way to winning the meet.
Then we went to parallel bars. Everything went from a hundred miles an hour to a dead stop. It was like we hit a brick wall or something. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember exactly what happened. It's all kind of a blur. Anyway, it's not that we didn't hit our routines, they just weren't as good as usual. There were little hand movements here and there, some of our positioning was off, and dismounts..... they didn't go too well. When we were done with p-bars, we had lost motivation, and the lead was no longer ours.
We weren't down and out, though. If we wanted to win or even place in the top three, we needed to be near perfect on high bar and we knew we still had a chance. Cook started it off with a solid performance, and it continued on down the line. Spelic, Wetterling, Ham, Leo and J.G.--all solid. I honestly don't know what the judges were looking at, but our scores were terrible and they didn't even come close to reflecting the routines we had performed.
Then the questions came, what did we score? What did they score? What place did we get? The answers didn't meet our expectations. We didn't win or place in the top three. We were fourth. We had to sit and watch the three teams walk out in front of us as Ohio State's fight song played. That was hard to handle. We went from leading the competition to not even making the podium.
So yeah, it was disappointing and even a little heartbreaking, but like I said before, what can you do? The answer is that we're gonna pick ourselves up and move on. We have one more competition to go--the NCAA Championships. We're gonna get the job done, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Its redemption time, we're coming out to make a statement next week, and when its show time you better believe that were gonna lay it out on the line!