Minnesota's John Roethlisberger held off UCLA's Scott Keswick for a second straight year to win the NCAA all-around men's gymnastics title Saturday.
Roethlisberger scored 58.15 in the compulsory routines to total 116.075 with Thursday's preliminary optionals to successfully defend his all-around title.Keswick, who was named the Nissen Award winner as the nation's top senior gymnast earlier in the week, finished with 115.825. He had been second to Stanford's Jair Lynch after Thursday's preliminaries. Roethlisberger stood fourth after Thursday's round.
"This year I think is a little sweeter," Roethlisberger said of his back-to-back titles. "These guys are great gymnasts and any time you get to compete against them and beat them, it's just great."
Roethlisberger and Keswick trailed Lynch and Tim Ryan of Stanford through four rotations of Saturday's compulsories, but Lynch and Ryan both faltered on the parallel bars. Roethlisberger and Keswick took advantage of the break and moved to the front for good.
Lynch and Ryan were coming off a record-setting team race from Friday night. They led the Cardinal to the school's first men's gymnastics title by edging host Nebraska.
Keswick and Roethlisberger said they benefited from the night off, while Ryan and Lynch may have suffered from the mental strain of the tight team race.
"I think that was very helpful," Keswick said. "Last year we were in the team championship the night before and I know it's tough."
"I competed both nights two years ago," Roethlisberger said. "You get mentally tired and you just go through the motions."