NORMAN, Okla., -- The University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team got exactly what it was looking for on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Minnesota, a solid score on the road. The No. 3 Sooners won at No. 9 Minnesota, 220.175-216.625, led by individual event wins by senior Josh Gore, junior Jamie Henderson and freshman Jonathan Horton.
After winning big at home against Nebraska with the second highest score in NCAA history (224.05), under the current scoring system, OU head coach Mark Williams was looking for a high score on the road to possibly improve the team’s national ranking.
The Sooners were able to take four of the six team events, winning on the floor, still rings, parallel bars and high bar.
“It was our highest score away from home, but we are still looking for a better tally on the road where our ranking will improve,“ commented Williams. “It will be tough for us to move up in next week’s national rankings. I still think our performance is not quite where it needs to be, especially since we struggled on the pommel horse today.
“On the bright side, we had some good things happen today with the improvements we made on the floor. Jonathan (Horton) had a good meet. He competed in the all-around and did great on five events.”
Horton led the Sooners by taking second place in the all-around with a career high 55.10 that placed him behind fellow U.S. Senior National Team member, Guillermo Alvarez (55.550). The freshman also took first place honors on the still rings with an impressive 9.8. Horton also tied a career high on the floor exercise and the vault with a 9.5 and 9.3, respectively, both good for second place.
Gore continued his recent dominance on the parallel bars with a 9.375 to win the event. Joining him on the first place stand was Jamie Henderson who recorded a 9.425 on the high bar.
“Overall, I am pretty satisfied with our effort, especially considering it was on the road,” added Williams. “I am proud of the guys and now we have to prepare for our next meet. I hope we continue to improve as the season winds down and we enter the postseason, especially with Ohio State coming to town. If we expect to compete with them, we must be consistent on all six events. Having a potential No. 2 versus No. 3 meet should make for an exciting competition.”
The Sooners return to action on Saturday, March 5 against current-No. 2 Ohio State inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The last time the two met was in Columbus, Ohio, last season when Mark Williams recorded his 100th victory at OU, defeating the No. 1 Buckeyes.