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No. 4 OU Set to Battle Gophers, Team Texas
January 28, 2011

Jan. 28, 2011

 No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Minnesota | Team Texas
 Date  Saturday, Jan. 29 | 7 p.m. (CT)
 Location  Norman, Okla. | McCasland Field House
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office
 Meet Notes  Sooners
 Internet  Live Stats | Live Video in All-Access
 Promotions  Bart Conner Night

NORMAN, Okla. -- The fourth-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team returns to McCasland Field House Saturday, Jan. 29, for a match up with No. 7 University of Minnesota and Team Texas at 7 p.m.

The Sooners are looking to continue their early season success by defeating their third top 10 opponent of 2011 in No. 7 Minnesota. OU has already defeated No. 10 Nebraska and No. 8 Ohio State in 2011.

Last season, Oklahoma swept team and individual event titles with both competitors en route to its victory over Minnesota (344.850) and the Team Texas (310.650).

The meet also marks "Celebrating Excellence Night", as the Sooners welcome Bart Conner back to McCasland Field House. Conner was a gymnast at OU from 1977-79, 1981 and a two-time Olympian (1984). The first 250 fans will also receive an OU gymnastics stadium cup with Coke, small popcorn.

OPPONENT PREVIEW

Last week, the Gophers finished with a final score of 344.1, handing them a second-place finish behind No. 1 Illinois, who won the meet with a score of 351.5. No. 11 Nebraska finished in third place with a score of 333.1.

In the first meet of the season, the Gophers finished third out of the six teams at the Windy City Invitational with a score of 340.7.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma will return to action next week when select Sooners make the trip to Las Vegas to compete in the 2011 Winter Cup (Feb 2-4). The annual individual event helps determine the participants at the U.S. Visa Championships. Oklahoma returns to team action on Feb. 13 against Nebraska in Lincoln.

2011 Roster | 2011 Schedule | 2011 Blog | 2011 Media Guide


MEET NOTES

A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK
The Sooners (4-0 overall, 2-0 MPSF) posted their highest score of the season (358.350) and remained unbeaten with the victory over the No. 8 Buckeyes (340.350). OU has won three straight regular-season meets against Ohio State dating back to 2007.

OU claimed all six team event titles for the first time this season with wins on floor (61.850), pommel horse (57.550), rings (60.250), vault (63.750), parallel bars (56.400) and high bar (58.550).

Leading the Sooners was sophomore Jacob Dalton claiming a program record on Saturday with a vault score of 16.550. The record was previously held by Legendre (16.500). The sophomore also posted the night's top all-around score (90.750) and highest tally on parallel bars with a 15.350.

OKLAHOMA VS. OHIO STATE INDIVIDUAL TITLES

Floor Exercise: Steven Legendre, Oklahoma
Pommel Horse: Alex Naddour, Oklahoma
Vault: Jacob Dalton, Oklahoma
Parallel Bars: Jacob Dalton, Oklahoma
High Bar: Jacob Dalton, Oklahoma
All-Around: Jacob Dalton, Oklahoma

BEST OF THE WEEK

Oklahoma sophomore Jacob Dalton was named the College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week on Wednesday.

Dalton is the first Sooner to be honored by the CGA this season and he was named the MPSF conference Gymnast of the Week as well.

The honor is the third of Dalton's career as he claimed the all-around title with a 90.750 score against eighth-ranked Ohio State on Saturday. The Reno, Nev., native also won the all-around the previous week at the Rocky Mountain Open.

MR. ALL-AROUND
Sophomore Jacob Dalton is currently ranked first on two apparatuses with average scores of 15.725 on floor and 15.225 on parallel bars.

The Reno, Nev., native is also third on vault (16.125), fourth on high bar (14.925) and third in the all-around (89.625).

SWEEPING IT UP

Oklahoma swept team event titles for the first time this season at home against Ohio State.

Last season. OU swept team event title on three occasions against Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.

GOING TO NO. 1

The Sooners currently the top ranked team on floor and vault with scores of 60.225 and 63.775, respectively.

The team is also ranked in the top-five on three other apparatuses with team scores of 58.925 on rings, 56.900 on parallel bars and 55.075 on high bar.

GYMNAST TO WATCH
Jacob Dalton | Soph. | All-Around -- Leading the Sooners against eighth-ranked Ohio State was sophomore Jacob Dalton,
claiming a program record on Saturday with a vault score of 16.550. The record was previously held by Legendre (16.500).

The sophomore also posted the night's top all-around score (90.750) and highest tally on parallel bars with a 15.350. Dalton has claimed the all-around title in both meets this week and was recently named the MPSF and CGA National Gymnast of the week.


SOONERS COMPETE AGAINST WORLD'S BEST

Half of Team USA at the 2010 World Championships was represented by the Sooner program. Current OU Steven Legendre and former Sooners Jonathan Horton and Chris Brooks competed in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Current OU Head Coach Mark Williams and former Sooner gymnast Tom Meadows also represented Team USA as individual coaches for the Sooner gymnasts.

Horton won the bronze medal in the all-around, while Brooks and Legendre finish in the top eight in high bar and floor, respectively.

SETTING NEW BAR AT RMO
The meet was highlighted by two Sooners that posted RMO record highs with Legendre's 16.400 on vault and Dalton's 15.100 on parallel bars.

Four current Sooners, including Dalton (high bar parallel bars), Legendre (floor, vault, allaround), Jackson (rings) and Alex Naddour (pommel horse) hold each of the event records for the Rocky Mountain Open.

ONE MEET AT A TIME
The Sooners will participate in eight regular season meets and face five opponents that competed at the 2010 NCAA Championship final. OU will also host three home meets at the Howard McCasland Field House, highlighted by matchups with California Illinois and Penn State.

The 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships will be hosted by Air Force Academy on April 2, while the NCAA Championships will be hosted by Ohio State on April 14 -16.

PRE-SEASON PROMINENCE
In the last 11 years, the OU men's gymnastics program has been ranked in the top three of the preseason coaches poll every season. Six of the 11 years the Sooners have been positioned at the top of the poll.

BRINGING IN MORE TALENT
For the 2011 season head coach Mark Williams signed Presten Ellsworth as a part of the 2010 signing class.

Presten Ellsworth
Hometown: Allen, Texas
High School: Allen | Club: WOGA

A native of Allen, Texas, Ellsworth was a member of the USA Junior National Team for the 2005-06 season and is coached by Sergei Pakanich, at WOGA Gymnastics. In 2009, Ellsworth competed at the Men's Junior Olympic National Championships where he finished third on floor and 11th in the all-around and also competed at the Visa Championships.

In 2008, he also competed in Men's Junior Olympic National Championships and Visa Championships finishing seventh all-around in both events.

LEADING THE 2010 SOONERS
Seniors Ian Jackson and Steven Legendre were named co-captains for the 2011 season by head coach Mark Williams. Both were a part of the Sooners 2008 National Championship squad and have received national honors for their effort.

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