March 10, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team dropped its first meet of the season to Stanford late Saturday night, 214.700 to 214.550. Competing in its final home meet under longtime head coach Sadao Hamada, the No. 11 Cardinal posted a new season high on three events to upset Oklahoma (11-1) one week after falling to OU in Norman.
"Stanford competed extremely well and my hat is off to them," said Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams. "They had an incredible amount of emotion with coach Hamada having his final home meet after 30 years and they really took it to us. We fought hard and put forth a good effort, but I'm disappointed in the loss. Hopefully we will learn from this experience and peak at the right time."
The Sooners came into the meet ranked No.1 in the nation on the still rings and scored a 38.20 in the event, paced by freshman David Henderson's 9.650 and Jim Lovelady's 9.600. OU also had higher scores on the high bar and floor exercise than the Cardinal, posting scores of 36.100 and 35.150, respectively.
Henderson was OU's top all-around gymnast, scoring a 52.700, and Jock Stevens was his usual solid self, earning a 9.450 on the floor and 9.050 on vault. Everette Bierker won the high bar competition with a 9.450 and David Johnston took home gold on the pommel horse with his 9.100.
Oklahoma was without three of their top competitors on Saturday evening in juniors Daniel Furney, Josh Landis and Shannon Carrion. OU head coach Mark Williams decided to rest the trio in preparation for the upcoming conference and national championship meets.
The Sooners' next action will come at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship meet on March 22-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo. OU has won three consecutive MPSF conference titles and looks to build momentum for the NCAA championships, which will be held at the Lloyd Noble Center on April 4-6.