March 23, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The third-ranked Oklahoma men's gymnastics team (17-1) claimed four of six individual conference titles today at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., after winning the team event last night with the highest score in the nation (219.225). Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams was named MPSF Coach of the Year for his accomplishments this season.
"I'm just really proud of the guys for taking four individual titles and winning the conference this weekend," said Williams. "We had a good day in the finals, which only prepares us for the NCAAs. I would like to congratulate the champions on their professionalism, consistency and the proud way they represented the University of Oklahoma."
Conference champions include sophomore Jock Stevens, juniors Josh Landis and Brett Covey and senior Everette Bierker. Stevens claimed the floor exercise title with a 9.450 and took third place on the vault with a 9.400. Landis garnered first place honors on the pommel horse with a 9.500 and third place honors on the floor exercise with a 9.050. Freshman Josh Gore took fourth on the pommel horse with a 9.050.
Covey shared the rings title with Stanford's Marshall Erwin with a career-high 9.900, which earned him a share of the school record. Senior Jim Lovelady scored a 9.500 to finish third. Bierker shared high bar honors with California's David Eaton with a 9.300, finished second on the parallel bars with a 8.900 and notched a fifth place finish on the vault with a 9.150.
Senior Ryan Hillyer finished in third on the high bar with a 9.250 and junior Daniel Furney, who finished second in the all-around, tied for fourth on the parallel bars with an 8.600.
"This was a good day for us, and I was very pleased with my team's overall performance," added Williams.
The Sooners will return to the Lloyd Noble Center for the NCAA National Championships April 4-6. Oklahoma looks to top the competition after finishing second to Ohio State last year in Columbus, Ohio.