Norman, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team (2-1) lost Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Mich., to No. 3 ranked Michigan (5-2) 222.275-219.050. It was the first regular season loss for the Sooners since March 9, 2002, against Stanford, they had previously defeated 28 straight opponents.
“We improved quite a bit (from last week) on our team score and gave Michigan a good run tonight,” said Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams. “They were obviously the better team and we still have some work to do. I think they now have the top score in the nation for the current season. I definitely think we are going to become more competitive as the season progresses and improve on our consistency.”
The No. 7 Sooners were outscored in all but one team event, the still rings, where OU topped the Wolverines 37.300-36.550. Freshman Jonathan Horton highlighted the event with a 9.600 score, good for first place. He also picked up second in the all-around (54.150) and tied for second on the vault (9.300) with UM’s Geoff Corrigan. Horton’s 9.600 on the rings and his scores in the all-around and on the vault were all career records for the freshman.
“He was good on rings but struggled on some events and could probably could have won all-around,” added Williams. “He had three good events and three bad events but he is doing a good job of handling the pressure of doing the all-around for us. It is a lot of pressure right now and he is a freshman and needs more time . I am obviously pleased with his work ethic and a lot of his problems will iron themselves out as he gains more collegiate experience.”
Senior Josh Gore was the only other first place finisher for the Sooners, tying for first on the pommel horse with UM’s Paul Woodward. Gore’s score of 9.450 was a career high, beating his previous mark of 9.200. He also finished second on the parallel bars with a score 9.250
Junior Jamie Henderson was third in the all-around with 53.225, tied for third on the still rings with a 9.400 and took fifth on the high bar with a 9.375.
“We are going to approach next weekend a little differently because we have some guys training for Winter Cup (Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons, Jonathan Horton and Jamie Henderson),” added Williams. “Some of the other guys will get a chance to compete against Air Force, but we will try and get Taqiy accustomed to doing the all-around for the first time this season before the Winter Cup.”
The Sooners return to action in their first home meet of the season, Jan. 28, vs. Air Force at 7 p.m. inside the Lloyd Noble Center. OU defeated Air Force earlier this year on Jan. 14, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Winter Cup, held from Feb. 3-6 in Las Vegas, Nev., will feature the nation's best gymnasts all fighting for the six spots available on the U.S. Senior National Team. Click Here for more information on the 2005 event.