NORMAN, Okla. The No. 2-ranked Oklahoma men’s gymnastics scored a school record 225.650 points in rolling to its sixth Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship Friday night at the Lloyd Noble Center. Including Big Eight competition, it marked the 14th all-time conference crown for the Sooners.
OU’s scoring total was the second-highest in NCAA history to Ohio State’s 226.900 set earlier this year.
California was second in Friday night’s competition at 219.725, followed by Stanford 217.925, Nebraska 215.375 and Air Force 197.200.
“I like the way our team showed up tonight on the first event,” said OU head coach Mark Williams. “It wasn’t our highest score on the vault this season, but it was definitely our best overall performance in that event.
“I think out of the 36 routines tonight we only had two mistakes. That’s a solid hit percentage and I am very pleased with that. If we can perform with the same poise and enthusiasm that we did tonight at the NCAA Championships in two weeks I definitely like our chances.”
Oklahoma freshman Jonathan Horton captured the individual all-around title with a score of 56.475, the top score in school history.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Jonathan,” Williams said. “In all my years of competing against Oklahoma and coaching for Oklahoma I can’t remember a freshman, not even Bart Conner, that came in an performed like he did to win the all-around.”
Horton called Friday night his best performance as a gymnast.
“Being a freshman and winning the conference all-around was huge for me,” he said. “I was so pumped going into the last event and knowing that it was my best event. I knew that I could hit my ring routine and I had excitement flowing through my veins. This was my best meet ever.”
OU set team school records in the high bar and floor exercise with scores of 225.650 and 37.575, respectively. Josh Gore tied the school individual record in the pommel horse with a score of 9.725.
In the high bar, five of the six Sooner competitors scored at least 9.50. David Henderson led the charge with a mark of 9.675. James Myers and Josh Gore both scored 9.55.
On the floor, Horton posted the top mark at 9.675. Jacob Messina turned in a 9.475.
“Our high bar and floor were awesome tonight,” said Williams. “The pommel horse was also another key event.”
Typically, OU was strong on the rings. The team score was 38.150. That performance was highlighted by a 9.775 from Henderson.
The MPSF competition wraps up Saturday afternoon with individual competition. OU qualified 18 different slots, the maximum allowed, for the competition that will determine the six conference champions on each apparatus. That action begins at 1 p.m., at the LNC. The Big 12 Women’s Gymnastics Championship will be decided Saturday night at the LNC. That meet starts at 7 p.m.