The NCAA men's gymnastics meet isn't just to decide who will be this year's national champion. It's also a miniature preview of the upcoming U.S. Olympic trials.
Six current members of the U.S. national team are competing at the NCAA meet opening today. For a few days at least, gymnasts such as Jake Dalton from Oklahoma and Glen Ishino of California will focus on an NCAA trophy rather than Team USA.
Michigan, Illinois, Penn State, Stanford, Minnesota, Ohio State, Temple, Nebraska, Iowa and Air Force are also part of the field in Norman, Okla.
While gymnastics remains one of the marquee events at the Olympics, the college side of the sport is struggling. The 17 NCAA teams nearly shrank by one last year when Cal moved to drop its program to a club sport before a fundraising campaign saved it, at least temporarily.