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No. 1 Sooners Host Cal for Top-Five Matchup
March 04, 2011

March 4, 2011

 No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 California
 Date  Saturday, March 5 | 7 p.m. (CT)
 Location  Norman, Okla. | McCasland Field House
 Tickets  OU Ticket Office
 Meet Notes  Sooners
 Internet  Live Stats
 Webcast  Live Video in All-Access

NORMAN, Okla. -- The top-ranked Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team returns to McCasland Field House for a top-five clash on Saturday, March 5, for a match up with fourth-ranked California at 7 p.m.

The Sooners are 2-0 against opponents ranked in the top five this season. Last meeting, the Sooners beat the Golden Bears, 357.500-351.700, to win the Stanford Open on Feb. 19. Oklahoma claimed two of the six team event titles that day with wins on floor (62.100) and parallel bars (59.000).

Jacob Dalton will not compete in Saturday’s meet against Cal due to being at the 2011 American Cup.

The meet also marks “Superhero Night / OU Faculty & Staff Night”, as the Sooners welcome five of the six past Nissen-Emery AwardWinners back to McCasland Field House. Todd Bishop, Jarrod Hanks, Dan Fink, Daniel Furney and Bart Conner will sign autographs in the lobby of McCasland Field House immediately following the meet.

OPPONENT PREVIEW
Cal -- The Cal (2-3) men’s gymnastics placed third at the Stanford open on Feb. 19, scoring a 351.700.
Season’s Top Score: 358.800 Top Event: Parallel Bars, 59.033 Top Gymnast: Glen Ishino, AA -- 89.

UP NEXT
Next up, Oklahoma travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., to compete against sixth-ranked Michigan on, March 12.

  

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MEET NOTES

A LOOK BACK AT SOONERS’ LAST COMPETITION

OU ending the night with a team score of 357.500 to the Cardinal’s 352.000, while the Golden Bears placed third with a 351.700 team tally. The Sooners are now 2-0 against opponents ranked in the top-five this season.

Leading the Sooners was sophomore Jacob Dalton, finishing second in the all-around with a score of 88.200. The U. S. National Team member took home individual event titles on floor and parallel bars with career high scores of 15.400 and 16.200, respectively.

Dalton shared the floor individual event title with Senior Steven Legendre, both scoring 16.200. Legendre, a six-time NCAA national Champion claimed his 62 title of his career.

OKLAHOMA VS. STANFORD OPEN INDIVIDUAL TITLES
Floor Exercise: Steven Legendre, Oklahoma
Parallel Bars: Jacob Dalton, Oklahoma

THREE AT THE TOP

The Sooners now have three gymnasts in the top five of the all-around rankings. Senior Steven Legendre (1) and sophomores Jacob Dalton (2) and Alex Naddour (4) hold scores of 89.650, 89.150 and 86.350, respectively.

AN ALL-AROUND TEAM
OU currently holds the top ranking on floor (61.517) and vault (64.017) in the latest GymInfo poll. The team is also ranked second on parallel bars (58.633), third on pommel horse (57.850) and rings (59.583) and fourth on high bar (57.750).

VAULT LEADER
Senior Steven Legendre (16.467) and sophomore Jacob Dalton (16.450) are the Sooners’ one-two punch on vault, as each have an average score above 16.000. Both have also set new marks in OU men’s gymnastics on the apparatus this season. Legendre is record holder with a 16.700 on Feb. 13 at Nebraska.

DALTON AT AMERICAN CUP

Winter Cup Challenge champion and University of Oklahoma sophomore Jacob Dalton of will represent the U.S. as an alternate at the 2011 Tyson American Cup March 5 at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Tyson American Cup, one of the most prestigious international invitationals, features some of the world’s top gymnasts in an all-around format.

DALTON, SOONERS DOMINATE 2011 WINTER CUP
OU sophomore Jacob Dalton won the 2011 Winter Cup all-around title and regained his position on the U.S. Senior National Team on Feb. 5. Overall, one third of the national team will remain from the University of Oklahoma men’s program.

Dalton is the second straight Sooner to win the all-around at the Winter Cup. In 2010, current OU graduate assistant coach Chris Brooks claimed the crown.

Joining Dalton on the U.S. National Team are Brooks, sophomore Alex Naddour, senior Steven Legendre and Olympic silver medalist Jonathan Horton. The four Sooners showcased their talents in the sport Saturday night at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev., as three of the four current Sooners sent to the event were selected to the national team following strong performances.

RECORD BROKEN...AGAIN
In a win over Nebraska last week, Steven Legendre broke the program-record 16.700 on vault, which was previously held by sophomore Jacob Dalton (16.550). Legendre also owns OU records on floor with a 16.250.


SETTING NEW BAR AT RMO
The meet was highlighted by two Sooners that posted RMO record highs with Legendre's 16.400 on vault and Dalton's 15.100 on parallel bars.

Four current Sooners, including Dalton (high bar parallel bars), Legendre (floor, vault, allaround), Jackson (rings) and Alex Naddour (pommel horse) hold each of the event records for the Rocky Mountain Open.

ONE MEET AT A TIME
The Sooners will participate in eight regular season meets and face five opponents that competed at the 2010 NCAA Championship final. OU will also host three home meets at the Howard McCasland Field House, highlighted by matchups with California Illinois and Penn State.

The 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships will be hosted by Air Force Academy on April 2, while the NCAA Championships will be hosted by Ohio State on April 14 -16.

PRE-SEASON PROMINENCE
In the last 11 years, the OU men's gymnastics program has been ranked in the top three of the preseason coaches poll every season. Six of the 11 years the Sooners have been positioned at the top of the poll.

BRINGING IN MORE TALENT
For the 2011 season head coach Mark Williams signed Presten Ellsworth as a part of the 2010 signing class

Presten Ellsworth
Hometown: Allen, Texas
High School: Allen | Club: WOGA

A native of Allen, Texas, Ellsworth was a member of the USA Junior National Team for the 2005-06 season and is coached by Sergei Pakanich, at WOGA Gymnastics. In 2009, Ellsworth competed at the Men's Junior Olympic National Championships where he finished third on floor and 11th in the all-around and also competed at the Visa Championships.

In 2008, he also competed in Men's Junior Olympic National Championships and Visa Championships finishing seventh all-around in both events.

LEADING THE 2010 SOONERS
Seniors Ian Jackson and Steven Legendre were named co-captains for the 2011 season by head coach Mark Williams. Both were a part of the Sooners 2008 National Championship squad and have received national honors for their effort.

Dalton and Naddour were the latest to be named to the team, while Brooks, Horton and Legendre automatically retain their spots on the national team as members of the 2010 World Championships Team.

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