Aug. 8, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma gymnasts competing at the U.S. National Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., are now one step closer to attaining national and international status. OU assistant coach Guard Young is in sixth place overall after Wednesday's first day of competition and sophomore Jock Stevens is currently among the top 25 gymnasts. The top 14 gymnasts at the event will comprise the 2001-02 U.S. National Team and the top six gymnasts will be selected to compete at October's World Championships in Belgium.

Young is already a member of the U.S. National Team, and is hoping to attain a roster spot on the World Championship Team. He finished in second place and won a silver medal in the floor exercise. He narrowly missed winning a bronze medal in the still rings competition, after enduring a long wait before performing his rings routine.

"Guard is competing really well," said OU head coach Mark Williams. "He could be leading the whole thing right now if he didn't have a slip-up on the vault."

Stevens is competing in his fourth straight U.S. Championships, but just his second at the senior level. A former junior national champion in the floor exercise and the high bar, Stevens placed third in the floor exercise, had a very encouraging routine on the parallel bars and will continue his pursuit of the all-around championship on Friday.

"So far, after the first day, we're doing really well," said Williams of his gymnasts. "Hopefully we can pick things up tomorrow and Friday and bring home some more medals."

The championships continue Thursday and the international squads will be determined based on the final standings. NBC will televise the event on Sept. 2.