Men's Gymnasts Face Challenge In Illinois And Ohio State

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
FEBRUARY 15, 2002

Feb. 15, 2002

NORMAN, Okla. - The top-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team will put their flawless 8-0 record on the line this weekend as they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 2 Illinois and No. 7 Ohio State at 6 p.m. CST. The Buckeyes have not lost on their home floor since the 1991 season when the Sooners beat them and went on to win the national championship.

"It's always difficult to go on the road," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "We marked this meet on our calender at the beginning of the season as our first real test. I think my team is ready, but we'll have to be at our best to defeat Illinois and OSU on the road."

As a team, the Sooners rank No. 1 on the floor exercise, pommel horse, rings and vault nationally. They are tied for first with Nebraska on the parallel bars and rank No. 3 on the high bar. Junior Daniel Furney, who qualified for the U.S. National Team last weekend, ranks No. 2 in the all-around, No. 4 on the parallel bars and No. 8 on the pommel horse. Other Sooners in the top five are Jock Stevens (No. 1 on floor exercise and vault), Josh Landis (No. 1 on the pommel horse), Brett Covey (No. 2 on the rings) and David Henderson (No. 5 on the rings).

Illinois enters the meet with a 7-2 record with wins over Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Illinois-Chicago (2), Nebraska and Minnesota. The Illini have fallen to Iowa and Penn State and are 3-2 against teams that are now ranked in the top 10.

The seventh-ranked Buckeyes are 3-3 on the season with victories over Minnestoa, Illinois-Chicago (2) and losses to Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. OSU is 1-3 against teams that are now ranked in the top 10.

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